Posted in: Employment, Employment law, Legal and compliance, Special Report
The EEOC’s Strategic Plan for enforcing laws against discrimination over the next four years is moving ahead, after receiving final approval in late February. What’s new and different?
Under the plan, which ranges from 2012 to 2016, the EEOC is continuing to focus on the high-impact cases and employing the Systemic Discrimination Task Force to dig deeper into an employer’s policies and practices affecting large classes of people – employees or applicants.
The Commission explains that it’s trying to deploy its funds in such a way that it gets the biggest bang for the buck and biggest headlines – snaring the big fish.
- A significant increase in the number of discrimination charges since our country’s economic downturn, and
- EEOC’s budget was cut by $7 million.
The commission said this doesn’t mean it’ll let smaller fry slip through the net. It’ll continue to pursue individual cases – but it sounds like the EEOC will be forced to be more selective.
The EEOC says its technique will be more like getting its foot in the door investigating a basic allegation – but then using that as an excuse to poke around through all your closets and drawers.
Since most companies now have more data on workforces, the EEOC says it will have no problem requesting that information – even if appears unrelated to the initial complaint.
There are a couple of steps employers can take now to be sure they’re best protected against unwelcome intrusions:
- Gut check. Evaluate the policies you have in place to make sure they’re up to date with the demands of today’s workplace. For example: Is there sufficient handicapped access? Is your job selection/promotion process weighted unequally in any way? During exit interviews, does anyone cite incidents of bias?
- Crunch numbers. Collect and examine the hard data generated by current employment policies. In addition to tracking bias charges — proven and unfounded — are you breaking out the numbers into specific categories? Do the numbers show any trends?