Meyer Suozzi's Employment Law Group has prepared the below Employment Law Alert entitled 'The EEOC Steps Up Its Enforcement of Claims' to inform clients of the EEOC's strategic plan for 2012-2016.
2011 was a record year for EEOC enforcement activity against employers. Processing almost 100,000 charges of alleged discrimination, the agency delivered more than $364.6 Million to victims of workplace discrimination. This is the highest level of monetary recovery in the Commission's history. During fiscal year 2011, the agency conducted 580 large-scale investigations of alleged employment discrimination and filed 261 lawsuits against employers. Of particular note, claims of religious and pregnancy discrimination have increased significantly over the last few years, with 5,797 pregnancy discrimination cases filed last year.
Going forward, the EEOC recently approved its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2016. The Plan discusses 13 benchmarks the agency will use to measure how well it achieves three performance goals:
1) combating employment discrimination through strategic law enforcement;
2) preventing employment discrimination through education and outreach; and
3) delivering excellent service through effective systems, updated technology, and a skilled and diverse workforce.
The agency also seeks to shorten the period between the time it first becomes informed of a new charge and when it decides whether to act on it. The EEOC's aggressive enforcement drive underscores the importance of adopting workplace policies that conform with the law and are fully and fairly enforced by knowledgeable employers.