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Grading the EEOC in 2013

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 1/29/2014
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employee and employer

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is on a mission. According to its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2016, the EEOC is focused on:

  • combating employment discrimination with administrative (investigation, mediation, conciliation) and litigation enforcement mechanisms
  • preventing employment discrimination with education and outreach activities
  • delivering excellent and consistent services with effective systems.

The EEOC’s enforcement objectives and activities provide valuable insight into what employers should pay special attention to when dealing with equal employment opportunity matters. According to its Fiscal Year 2013 Performance and Accountability Report, the EEOC:

  • received 93,727 charges, which ranks among the top five years even though it is approximately 6,000 fewer than last year
  • reduced the average processing time to resolve charges from 288 days to 267 days
  • secured 8,890 private sector mediated resolutions out of 11,513 mediations conducted and obtained more than $160.9 million for complainants, which ranks second in the program’s history
  • secured $372.1 million through its private sector administrative enforcement activities, the most ever obtained by the EEOC
  • filed 131 merits lawsuits (89 individual suits, 21 non-systemic class suits and 21 systemic suits), which collectively contained claims under Title VII (78), the Americans with Disabilities Act (51), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (7), the Equal Pay Act (5) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (3)
  • resolved 209 merits lawsuits for a total of $39 million
  • argued 11 cases before a jury, winning 9 of them
  • obtained the largest ADA award in the history of the EEOC ($240 million) for a class of intellectually disabled men

Despite dealing with sequestration, furloughs, hiring freezes and budget reductions, the EEOC was very productive in 2013. Preventative measures must be taken to avoid becoming one of the EEOC’s 2014 statistics. Employers must develop and enforce effective equal employment opportunity policies and procedures.

Employees must also be trained to prevent, detect and address any unlawful behavior. Training should cover all relevant topics, such as employment liabilities, workplace investigations, sexual harassment for managers and employees, workplace diversity, discrimination and harassment prevention and disability discrimination.

If you would like to learn more about controlling employment-related liabilities, check out The Human Equation’s library of online courses or contact us.

The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance and Risk.

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