Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
Oct. 17 — The EEOC has approved a strategic enforcement plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2021 that adds the “emerging issues” of increased use of contract workers and discrimination against Muslims, among others, to its existing priorities.
The new plan, which the agency announced Oct. 17, updates a prior four-year plan that set six broad enforcement priorities.
One new emerging issue relates to “complex employment relationships” in the contemporary workplace, the EEOC said. That means more agency scrutiny regarding temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships and the on-demand or “gig” economy.
The other new emphasis is “backlash discrimination” based on religion, race or national origin against Muslims or Sikhs or people of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, the agency said.
The technology industry’s lack of diversity and the use of “data-driven screening tools” to make hiring and employment decisions also will be focus areas, the EEOC said.
Barriers in the tech industry to the employment and advancement of women, certain racial minorities and other protected groups were discussed at a May 18 EEOC meeting.
Last week, an EEOC meeting focused on discrimination that could occur when employers use computer-driven tools to find, recruit and evaluate job applicants and employees.
The EEOC in December 2012 adopted its original strategic enforcement plan to set priorities and to coordinate the agency’s efforts, which aren’t limited to litigation. They also include investigations, settlement efforts and education and outreach to employers, workers and other affected parties.
The agency’s latest plan retains those enforcement priorities set in the fiscal 2013-2016 plan:
The EEOC’s lawsuits filed on behalf of workers who are victims of human trafficking and on behalf of LGBT individuals alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity are some examples of how it pursued those priorities.
The agency this year also released a task force report on preventing workplace harassment and new enforcement guidance on retaliation. Both seek to reboot the EEOC’s efforts against those persistent forms of discrimination.
The EEOC adopted its latest strategic enforcement plan by a 3-2 vote in late September, a commission spokeswoman told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 17.
Commissioner Victoria Lipnic (R) said the latest plan gives too much leeway to the EEOC general counsel to file lawsuits without first getting the five-member commission’s approval.
The fiscal 2013-2016 plan required the general counsel annually to submit at least one litigation recommendation from each EEOC district to the commission for approval. That meant the general counsel had to submit at least 15 proposed lawsuits for EEOC approval each year.
Under the new plan, however, the general counsel doesn’t have to submit at least one case from each district for litigation approval by Sept. 30 each year. Instead, he can submit a report to the EEOC that describes lawsuits approved by the general counsel from districts for which the EEOC commissioners hadn’t reviewed any proposed lawsuits during the prior fiscal year.
That was a deal-breaker for Lipnic, who in 2012 had voted for the original strategic enforcement plan.
“As a matter of [EEOC] governance, the Commissioners should review more proposed litigation matters, not fewer,” Lipnic said in an Oct. 17 e-mail to Bloomberg BNA. “I am troubled that the revised SEP released today appears to move backwards in this regard, and I could not support it.”
Commissioner Constance Barker (R), the EEOC’s longest-serving member, also voted against the plan. Barker in 2012 had cast the sole vote against the original SEP.
EEOC Chair Jenny Yang (D) and Commissioners Chai Feldblum (D) and Charlotte Burrows (D) voted for the new plan.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin McGowan in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement plan is available at http://src.bna.com/jp9.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)