EEOC Issues Fiscal 2016 Performance and Accountability Report

EEOC Issues Fiscal 2016 Performance and Accountability Report

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) just released a 104-page document summarizing recovery and enforcement action in the past year. The November 2016 update states that the EEOC recovered a staggering $482.1 million dollars on behalf of discrimination plaintiffs in private, state and local government sectors across litigation, conciliation, and mediation matters. Important to note, these figures do not include lawsuits disposed of in private litigation.

The EEOC’s report also indicates that the number of charges resolved increased by 6.5 percent over fiscal 2016 and that the agency handled over 585,000 calls to its office via a toll-free number. At this time, the final litigation statistics have not yet been released, but the EEOC’s report makes it clear that employment discrimination is alive and well as a problem in today's work environment.

Strategic Plan Well Underway

Earlier in 2016 we alerted our readers to a strategic enforcement plan that was developed by the EEOC. The highlights of this plan included a concerted effort to get the word out about the necessity of training and education for employees and employers alike about the growing discrimination problem in America. The EEOC’s November confirms that this plan is bearing fruit for the agency in the form of increased awareness and resolved charges, yet not in the implementation of training programs by employers.  For this reason, it is paramount that your company engage in active training of your workforce to get ahead of the curve, before the EEOC’s watchdogs arrive at your door.

Younger Workers and National Origin Discrimination also Key

Two other key issues discussed in the strategic enforcement results are Title VII’s prohibition against unlawful harassment based on national origin and a concerted effort to educate and engage younger employees to eradicate discrimination in the workplace. These hot button issues came to light in the hotly contested, and just concluded Presidential election campaign, and a large number of immigrant and young employees concerned they will be facing a backlash in the form of employment discrimination.  

You must remember that you have an obligation to provide your workforce with the kind of training that will keep them engaged and thinking about these issues long before they reach the litigation or charge stage. As noted in the November 2016 report, the EEOC is making a concerted effort to reach those potential plaintiffs who they feel are at the highest risk for discrimination. Make sure that your employees are well-trained and well-educated or face the harsh consequences that led to almost $500M in EEOC recovery in fiscal 2016.

Syntrio is a leader in both the employment law and ethics and compliance field, with an innovative philosophy towards compliance program design and engaging, entertaining, and thought provoking content. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our employment discrimination prevention online courses for and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance that impact your company!

 

Written by Jonathan Gonzalez, Chief Counsel for Syntrio.

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