Late last month, in the culmination of almost a year's
work, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adopted a four-year
strategic plan for 2012-16.
The three stated goals of the plan are to:
While those goals are no surprise, the actual vehicles
which the agency will use to deliver them remain somewhat a mystery.
However, by late 2012/early 2013, after public comments are taken into account
and the actual plans are put to a formal vote by the Commissioners, employers
everywhere will have a much clearer idea of what the Commission will be
focusing on. Rest assured, however, that the EEOC will likely spend a
great deal of time in the next several years targeting "systemic"
discrimination, as it has recently by holding hearings on whether there is a
disparate impact on groups like the unemployed, or those with criminal
In addition, the EEOC's website clearly demonstrates that
enforcement in the coming years will continue to be a primary focus of the
agency's new plan, with a particular emphasis on helping "vulnerable workers
and underserved communities."
The final aspect of the Commission's plan worth
mentioning is the increased use of technology in case investigation and to
streamline processes. In particular, the EEOC wants to focus its use
of technology to help flush out and identify discriminatory polices or
practices among its own brethren - federal agencies - since they are the
largest employer in the country and exert substantial influence on practices in
the private sector.
While the EEOC hasn't quite been in the headlines as much
as, say, the National Labor Relations Board has during the last 12-18 months,
it has been more active as an agency in general, and the form its strategic
plan takes once ultimately approved bears watching by employers everywhere.
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