August 23, 2014

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EEOC Outlines Enforcement Priorities in Approved Plan

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) aimed at establishing national enforcement priorities and more effectively integrating enforcement responsibilities across the Commission’s 54 offices.

As part of the plan, the EEOC has identified six national priorities:

  • Eliminating barriers in recruiting and hiring;
  • Protecting vulnerable workers (such as immigrant workers);
  • Addressing emerging and developing employment discrimination issues;
  • Enforcing equal pay laws;
  • Preserving access to the legal system; and
  • Preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach.

The SEP notes that the EEOC will continue its focus on systemic discrimination, using individual discrimination charges as a vehicle to investigate all of the employment practices of employers. The EEOC will also pay particular attention to use of criminal background checks during the hiring process, an issue we have discussed in other newsletters and on radio, to LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination and to pregnancy discrimination claims.

The SEP lays out an aggressive agenda for the EEOC. Employers are well advised to take precautionary steps now to insulate against a possible EEOC “pandemic”.

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Kelly H. Kolb has defended employment claims for over 20 years before State and federal courts, administrative bodies and arbitration panels. He has successfully defended State and Federal discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, USERRA, FLSA overtime, wrongful termination, wage, and unemployment claims. He has fought FLSA overtime compliance audits by the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, and has successfully litigated FLSA collective action overtime suits. He has successfully litigated ERISA and COBRA claims, defending both employers and plan administrators. He has...

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