EEOC Implements New Strategic Plan

Matt Gonzales By Matt Gonzales August 22, 2023

​The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has adopted its new strategic plan for fiscal years 2022-2026, the agency announced on Aug. 22.

The major points of the plan aim to increase the public's access to the EEOC and increase training and resources for investigations:

  • Expand the agency's capacity to eliminate systemic barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace, including training staff to identify and investigate systemic cases, and devoting additional resources to systemic enforcement.
  • Improve monitoring of conciliation agreements to ensure that workplaces are free from discrimination after the EEOC makes a finding of discrimination.
  • Enhance the EEOC's focus on improving and expanding access to intake services, increasing the availability of intake interview appointments, and improving overall service to the public.
  • Use technology and innovative outreach strategies to expand the agency's reach to diverse populations; vulnerable communities; and small, new and disadvantaged or underserved employers.
  • Promote promising practices that employers can adopt to prevent discrimination in the workplace.

"The new strategic plan reflects our thoughtful assessment of the agency's mission, goals and objectives in light of current conditions and what we expect in the next few years," EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a statement. "It emphasizes expanding the EEOC's capacity to eliminate systemic barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace, using technology and other tools to improve our services to the public, and achieving organizational excellence with a culture of accountability, inclusivity and accessibility."

SHRM Online gathered additional news on this topic.

Strategic Enforcement Plan Still Not Finalized

The new EEOC playbook focuses on systemic discrimination. However, the agency has not yet released a final version of a separate litigation-focused agency playbook, its Strategic Enforcement Plan, though a draft was released earlier this year for public comment.

(Bloomberg Law)

Changes to Come in EEOC Enforcement

Employers are likely to see more aggressive enforcement efforts by the EEOC, thanks to its bigger budget, potentially new leadership and revised strategic priorities. Kalpana Kotagal recently became the EEOC's fifth commissioner, giving the agency a Democratic majority in panel votes after an extended period of partisan deadlock.

(SHRM Online)

EEOC Offers Recommendations for Addressing Harassment in Federal Workplaces

The EEOC recently released a technical assistance document that includes steps for federal employers to avoid, report and address sexual, racial and other forms of harassment. Burrows said the document will serve as a "valuable resource to help agencies prevent and remedy harassment and will assist in their efforts to update or revise agency policies and programs."

(SHRM Online)

New Guidance Helps Employees with Hearing Disabilities

The EEOC recently issued updated guidance on how employers should handle hearing-based disabilities at work. The document outlines when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a hearing condition, what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with hearing disabilities may need, and other workplace-related recommendations.


Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage at EEOC

Workplace discrimination caused by artificial intelligence will be a heavy area of focus for the EEOC over the next four years, according to a draft of its new Strategic Enforcement Plan. The increased emphasis on AI-related bias at work comes as nearly 1 in 4 organizations uses AI to support HR-related activities, according to a 2022 survey by SHRM.

(SHRM Online)



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