join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Total Articles: 94

EEOC Releases Draft Strategic Plans for FY 2018-2022

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will focus on aligning its resources to improve discrimination prevention and public education about the discrimination laws, according to a draft of its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022. The strategic plan is open for public comment until January 8, 2018.

EEOC’s Online Filing Tool For The Public Is Now Fully Operational

The latest tool that can be used against employers is now fully operational. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) online filing portal, or Public Portal, which was tested in five cities over the past six months, was just rolled out across the entire country. As of November 1, individuals will be able to initiate discrimination charges against employers using the EEOC’s digital platform. What do employers need to know about this 21st-century development?

EEOC Opens Online Portal to File and Track Discrimination Charges

Employees seeking help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can now go online to file and sign claims. The EEOC announced the launch of a public portal on November 1 to provide online access for individuals to request intake interviews, make appointments and track their charge information.

Employers are Optimistic About Pro-Business Changes at the EEOC

Employers are hopeful that, with the confirmation of President Trump’s nominees for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that the agency will adopt a more business-friendly approach to the issues before it. Employers are looking for changes to several Obama-era regulations, including the elimination of the Pay-Gap Disclosure Rule, changes to the EEOC’s stance on LGBT employee protections, and approval of employer wellness incentive programs. The Senate is expected to confirm both nominees soon.

End of Fiscal Year Filings Signal Business as Usual at the EEOC – For Now

Just like the leaves turning colors, you can count on a flurry of court filings from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) every September as the agency rushes to get cases on file before the end of its fiscal year, September 30. Despite the dramatic changes in Washington D.C., as well as turnover within the top ranks of the historically litigious EEOC’s Chicago Regional Office this year’s filings suggest that it is business as usual for now.

How to Be Ready When the EEOC Charges In

It’s one of those days. An envelope containing a charge from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) arrives on your desk. The charging party is a recently departed employee, and it’s the company’s first notice of the complaint. The former employee checked the harassment box (but no others), alleging that she had been sexually harassed by a supervisor on two occasions. There is no mention of witnesses and it seems as if it could be an isolated matter. Will the EEOC agree?

Trump Nominates Gade for EEOC Vacancy

President Donald J. Trump has nominated Daniel M. Gade to serve as a commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Gade, a West Point graduate and a disabled Iraqi war veteran from North Dakota, would fill the remainder of a five-year term ending July 1, 2021.

EEOC Update from ILG National Conference

Day two of the 2017 ILG National Conference is in the books. Conference attendees had a variety of sessions to choose from that covered topics across the spectrum. The morning, however, kicked-off with a much anticipated keynote address from Acting EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic. Commission Lipnic spoke at last year’s conference, prior to being appointed Acting Chair, where she shared her thoughts about the role of EEOC, it’s goals and her personal thoughts on the EEO-1 pay data reporting tool.

President Trump Moves to Fill Last Vacancy on EEOC

This week, President Trump announced that he would nominate Daniel Gade for the last open seat on the five-member U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Dhillon Nominated to Replace Lipnic as EEOC Chair

On June 28, 2017, the White House announced that President Trump had selected Janet L. Dhillon to be chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Dhillon, who is currently the general counsel of a national retailer, will be nominated to serve a term on the Commission that will expire on July 1, 2022.

EEOC Commissioner Yang Reviews Agency Priorities at New York Seminar

Commissioner Jenny R. Yang, speaking at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) New York District Technical Assistance Program Seminar (TAPS) on June 7, confirmed that the agency's mission continues on despite a shift in priorities by the Trump administration and changing commission appointments.

President's Budget Proposes Paid Leave, Funding Cuts, and Merger of OFCCP and EEOC

President Trump has released his proposed federal budget, setting out his priorities for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins October 1.1 As anticipated, the budget represents a marked shift in potential government spending; it proposes to eliminate roughly $3.6 trillion over the next decade. And, true to his campaign promise, the president seeks to designate funds ($1.6 billion) for commencement of the construction of a wall along the southern border.

House Hearing Examines EEOC's Regulatory and Enforcement Policies

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing to discuss the direction of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The witnesses and lawmakers raised several topics related to the EEOC's regulatory and enforcement priorities in recent years and the Commission's revised EEO-1 report. The EEOC’s focus on systemic investigations came under scrutiny as did the FY 2018 proposed budget's call for merging the EEOC with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The following provides a brief overview of the hearing.

Breaking News: EEOC/OFCCP Proposed Merger Resulting in Unexpected Allies

As we speculated yesterday, the White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 proposes to merge the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Group of Senators Request Rescission of EEOC Pay Disclosure Rule

As employers eagerly await the fate of the EEOC’s pay disclosure rule, a group of senators asked the Trump administration to unwind the rule.

You Can’t Spell “THE GIG ECONOMY” Without “E-E-O-C”

When the EEOC published its Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021 in October, the EEOC had identified “complex employment relationships” as an area it wished to explore more closely in the coming months and years. In the Plan, the EEOC specifically identified in its “Developing Issues” category: “clarifying the employment relationship and the application of workplace civil rights protections in light of the increasing complexity of employment relationships and structures, including temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy.”

Supreme Court Rules on EEOC Subpoena Standard of Review

The Supreme Court has ruled on a case that initially challenged the breadth of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative subpoena. The McLane Co., Inc., v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision aligns the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' standard of review for EEOC subpoenas with that of the other circuits. The ruling was welcomed by employer groups that have expressed concern regarding possible EEOC overreach during investigations.

Supreme Court Holds Deferential Standard is Appropriate for EEOC Subpoena Reviews

Under Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the authority to issue subpoenas for documents relevant to its investigations. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in McLane Co. v. EEOC, which issued yesterday, all but one federal circuit applied a deferential standard to district court decisions on the enforcement of EEOC subpoenas.

Supreme Court Limits EEOC Subpoena Power

In a 7 to 1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that courts of appeals should largely defer to lower courts’ decisions when policing subpoenas issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). By requiring that lower court rulings should be reviewed for abuse of discretion, rather than under a de novo review standard, the Supreme Court’s decision keeps a more sensible, reasonable limit on the EEOC’s investigatory powers, including the scope of requests for information in administrative subpoenas.

EEOC Launches New Five-City Trial For Online Employee Inquiries

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just added a fourth option for employees to initiate charges against their employers – an online portal. On March 13, 2017, the agency announced the Online Inquiry and Appointment System (OIAS), another step forward in its cyber-presence, and another avenue for individuals to initiate employment discrimination claims against their employers. What do employers need to know about this latest development?

EEOC Made Easy? Agency Launches New Online Portal to Ease Intake in Five Cities

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that five of its offices have launched a new system to make the charge-filing process easier. The new Online Inquiry and Appointment System will allow individuals seeking to file a discrimination charge to take their initial actions—submitting inquiries and scheduling intake interviews—electronically.

Annual Report on EEOC Developments – Fiscal Year 2016

This Annual Report on EEOC Developments—Fiscal Year 2016 (hereafter “Report”), our sixth annual Report, is designed as a comprehensive guide to significant EEOC developments over the past fiscal year. The Report does not merely summarize case law and litigation statistics, but also offers an analysis of the EEOC’s achievements and setbacks, and the implications of those outcomes. By focusing on key developments and anticipated trends, the Report provides employers with a roadmap to where the EEOC is headed in the year to come.

New Proposed Anti-Harassment Guidance Addresses Many Issues

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment. The 75-page Proposed Guidance follows a Report from the Commission’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. This Task Force was co-chaired by Republican Commissioner Victoria A. Lipnic (now Acting EEOC Chair) and Democratic Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum. The EEOC is inviting interested persons to provide comments to the Proposed Guidance by February 9, 2017.

President Trump Appoints Lipnic to Serve as Acting Chair of the EEOC

On January 25, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that President Trump has appointed Victoria Lipnic to serve as the acting chair of the federal agency. Lipnic will take over for Jenny Yang, who has been the current chair since September of 2014.

EEOC Workplace Discrimination Charges Increased Slightly in FY2016

ndividuals filed 91,503 charges of workplace discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal year 2016, the agency announced.

A Review of the EEOC's Systemic Initiative: Tracking its Progress, Current Priorities, and Key Developments in FY 2016

On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its annual Performance and Accountability Report, which highlights key EEOC developments over the past fiscal year, ending September 30, 2016, including review of the EEOC’s current priorities and systemic initiative. On July 7, 2016, the EEOC also published “A Review of the Systemic Program of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” looking back over the past decade. Based on these publications, the EEOC has been far more transparent than ever in shedding greater light on its systemic initiative.

EEOC 2016 Performance Report Announces $482.1 Million in Recoveries

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year 2016. The agency secured more than $482.1 million in the private and public sectors through mediation, conciliation, settlements and litigation during FY 2016, which ended September 30.

EEOC FY 2016 Performance Report Shows Slight Decrease in Recoveries and Agency’s Struggles with Data

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Fiscal Year 2016 Performance and Accountability Report (“PAR”) shows a slight decrease in the amount of monetary recoveries by the EEOC in litigation and other enforcement activities compared to 2015, as well as its struggles with the data available to it. The report covers the period October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

EEOC Performance and Accountability Report Shows Increase in Charge Filings for FY 2016

On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), revealing an increase in charge activity for FY 2016. According to the PAR, the EEOC received 91,503 charges in FY 2016, roughly 2,000 more charges than in FY 2015. EEOC staff resolved 97,433 charges, contributing to a net reduction of the charge workload.

EEOC to Collect Pay Data from Employers with 100 or More Employees

Last January, the Obama Administration proposed executive action through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal watchdog for employment discrimination statutes, to require certain businesses to provide information on how much their employees were paid. This information was to be broken down based on race, gender, and ethnicity. In theory, this would allow the EEOC to easily identify pay disparities between genders. Many employers expressed serious concerns regarding the burden the data collection would cause, and on June 22, 2016, the EEOC announced it would issue a revised version of the rule, taking into account these burdens. On July 13, 2016, the EEOC issued its revised rule. The comment period ended on August 15, 2016. The rule was made final on September 29, 2016.

EEOC Issues Updated Strategic Enforcement Plan: What Should Employers Do Now?

On October 17, 2016 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021. This recently approved SEP updates the EEOC’s first SEP which spanned Fiscal Years 2013 – 2016. A complete version of the 2017 – 2021 SEP is available on the EEOC’s website.

EEOC Announces New Enforcement Priorities

Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a new series of enforcement priorities on which it will focus over the next five years. By releasing its second-ever Strategic Enforcement Plan, the EEOC provided a clear message to employers regarding the areas that will occupy a considerable amount of attention when it comes to investigations, enforcement actions, and litigation from 2017 to 2021.

Supreme Court to Hear Case Challenging EEOC's Investigatory Power

The Supreme Court opened its new term by agreeing to hear a case involving the power of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to compel an employer to turn over information during an investigation. The dispute stems from the EEOC's investigation into possible Title VII violations at a grocery supply company's Arizona subsidiary.

How Conciliatory Should You Be?

Many employers faced with a charge of discrimination have participated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mediation process. Employers, however, may not be as familiar with a separate EEOC process known as “conciliation.” This article reviews that process and provides suggestions for employers negotiating with the Commission.

EEOC Burnishes Systemic Successes and Intentions

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jenny R. Yang has issued a report on the EEOC’s Systemic Discrimination efforts over the last 10 years. The Report contains insights on the type of employer vulnerabilities the EEOC exploits and the agency’s aims for growth in new areas.

EEOC Changes Date for Employers to Begin Reporting Pay Data

Last Wednesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission revised the proposed rule requiring certain employers to collect and report pay data to the federal government. The initial proposed rule, published in late January, required reporting to begin on September 30, 2017. Due to input received during the initial 60-day comment period, the start date for reporting data was moved to March 31, 2018; this change delays reporting until after employers have issued W-2 forms for the previous calendar year.

EEOC Issues Revised Equal Pay Data Rule

Earlier this year, the EEOC announced a proposed rule to expand employer EEO-1 reporting requirements to include pay range data and hours worked data. In response to pubilc comments on the proposed rule, the EEOC this week issued a slightly revised proposed rule, which triggers a new 30-day public comment period (open until August 15, 2016). The revised proposed rule and additional information concerning the rule are available here.

EEOC Increases Penalty for Violating Notice Posting Requirements by 150 Percent

Executive Summary: The EEOC is increasing the penalty for failure to post the required workplace notices under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA by 150 percent. This increase means the maximum penalty for notice violations will increase to $525 per violation effective July 5, 2016. The increase will only apply to penalties issued after the July 5th effective date.

EEOC Issues Position Statement Procedures

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued its first-ever nationwide procedures on respondent position statements and guidance on effective position statements. These procedures, along with the EEOC’s Digital Charge system, make significant changes in some jurisdictions, while formalizing the existing practices in others.

Senate Bill Takes Aim at 1,933% Increase in Data Collection Proposed in EEO-1 Pay Data Revisions

Senate Bill 2693, the “EEOC Reform Act,” would put a halt to implementation of the proposed pay data revisions to the EEO-1 report so the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission instead can focus on the tremendous backlog of “76,408” discrimination charges pending at the close of fiscal year 2015.

EEOC Spotlights 7 Compliance Issues: Is Your Company Prepared?

With Democratic President Barak Obama at the helm and a Republican Congress, it remains extremely difficult for any employment law legislation to pass. Nonetheless, the EEOC has been aggressively following up on its Strategic Plan from 2012 and attempting to root out discrimination and harassment while ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace. Here are seven areas the EEOC has been especially focused on of which employers need to be aware:

4 Things to Know About the EEOC’s Updated Position Statement Procedures

By now, most employers are aware of the fact that the EEOC has announced changes related to the way that an employer’s position statement – the initial document filed by a company, outlining its defenses to a Charge of Discrimination – are being handled, and that those changes became effective on a nationwide basis on January 1, 2016.

EEOC Adopts New Position Statement Procedures

For many years, the primary way that a charging party could obtain a copy of an employer’s EEOC’s position statement was through a Freedom of Information Act request following the resolution of the charge and closure of the case. As of January 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) implemented nationwide procedures that allow its offices to release employer position statements and non-confidential information to employees and their representatives during an ongoing investigation.

There's Nothing Quite Like a Silver Platter: The EEOC's New Nationwide Procedures for Releasing Respondents' Position Statements Gratis

On Feb. 18, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its Nationwide Procedures for Releasing Respondent Position Statements and Obtaining Responses from Charging Parties, which are retroactive to all position statements submitted by employers to the EEOC on or after Jan. 1, 2016. In short, the new procedures provide charging parties and their counsel, to the extent they have one, an employer’s position statement on a silver platter, with no concomitant provision of information to the employer, such as the charging party’s Intake Questionnaire or the subsequent rebuttal, which he or she now has an opportunity to give within 20 days after the filing of a position statement.

EEOC Implements New, Nationwide Procedures for Position Statements

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“the EEOC”) has implemented new procedures for employer position statements that apply to all EEOC requests for position statements made on or after January 1, 2016. Most importantly, the new procedures state that, upon the charging party’s request, the EEOC will now provide the charging party with a copy of the employer’s position statement while the matter is pending before the EEOC. Previously, the charging party could obtain the employer’s position letter only after the EEOC investigation was completed.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes At The EEOC

Starting January 1, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implemented significant changes to its case-handling process. As a result, all employers who draft and submit position statements in response to Charges of Discrimination will want to consider altering your practices to adapt to these changes.

eLABORate: EEOC Will Now Offer to Share Employer Position Statements With Charging Parties During Investigations

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has announced a new nationwide policy relevant to employers’ submission of position statements in response to EEOC charges. When employers receive a discrimination charge from the EEOC, they often are asked to submit a position statement responding to the allegations. A well-crafted position statement may help the employer significantly in getting the EEOC to dismiss the charge with no finding of probable cause that discrimination occurred. It also often will be accompanied by multiple documents about company policy, personnel, and even financial or other business information, some of which the employer may consider to be confidential.

New Position Statement Procedures in Effect at the EEOC

On February 18, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a new nationwide procedure? providing for the release of respondent position statements and nonconfidential attachments to charging parties. Previously, this procedure was the norm in some, but not all, EEOC offices. Pursuant to the new procedure, if a respondent relies on confidential information in its position statement, it should provide such information in a separate attachment to the position statement labeled “Sensitive Medical Information,” “Confidential Commercial Information,” “Confidential Financial Information,” “Trade Secret Information,” and so on.

EEOC Retaliation, Disability Charges Up Over Last Year

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed 5% more retaliation charges against private-sector employers in fiscal year 2015 than the year before, according to a new report.

Retaliation and Disability Charges are on the Rise, According to EEOC Litigation and Charge Statistics for FY 2015

The number of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is once again climbing, according to newly released litigation and enforcement statistics for FY 2015. During the past fiscal year, 89,385 charges were filed with the agency, up slightly from the 88,778 charges filed the previous year. The largest number of charges filed with the agency since FY 1997—the first year the agency started compiling such data—is 99,947 charges filed in FY 2011. Charge numbers had steadily declined since that time until this year.

EEOC Proposes to Collect Pay Data from Employers

Proposed changes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s EEO-1 report would have employers with at least 100 employees submitting all employees’ W-2 earnings data and actual hours worked beginning with the 2017 EEO-1 reporting cycle.

Seventh Circuit Affirms the Dismissal of Lawsuit Based on the EEOC's Failure to Conciliate Claims Related to Releases

On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy.1 This lawsuit has been the subject of significant media attention due to the EEOC’s challenge to common provisions included in many standard severance agreements. Like the district judge’s decision, the appellate court panel of three judges resolved the case based on the EEOC’s failure to engage in conciliation required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, but also provided important commentary on the merits of the EEOC’s claims.2

Annual Report on EEOC Developments – Fiscal Year 2015

This Annual Report on EEOC Developments—Fiscal Year 2015 (hereafter “Report”), our fifth annual Report, is designed as a comprehensive guide to significant EEOC developments over the past fiscal year. The Report does not merely summarize case law and litigation statistics, but also offers an analysis of what the EEOC has and has not accomplished, and the implications of those outcomes. By focusing on key developments and anticipated trends, the Report provides employers with a roadmap to where the EEOC is headed in the year to come.

EEOC Systemic Recoveries Increase in 2015; Trend Expected to Continue in 2016

According to its 2015 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) secured more than $525 million in private, state and local government and federal workplace discrimination cases. Of the overall amount, $356.6 million was secured through mediation, conciliation and settlements. Systemic investigations, or those that address patterns or practices of discrimination or policies that have a broad impact, accounted for a notable $33.5 million in remedies prior to filing litigation.

Looking Backward and Forward: A Review of Key EEOC Developments, Successes and Failures in FY 2015 and What to Watch For in FY 2016

On November 19, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), which highlights key EEOC developments over the past fiscal year, ending September 30, 2015. This Insight provides a preliminary review of selected statistics highlighted in the PAR and discusses the EEOC’s successes and failures during the past fiscal year, particularly focusing on the EEOC’s “national priorities” discussed in its Strategic Enforcement Plan.

EEOC Announces FY 2015 Performance Results, Touts Increase in Litigation and Systemic Successes

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recently released Performance and Accountability Report (“PAR”) for Fiscal Year 2015 shows the EEOC recovered more than a half billion dollars through litigation and other enforcement activities this past fiscal year, a significant increase over FY 2014.

U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Recent Complaint Filings and Trends

The end of the federal government fiscal year (September 30) always produces a flurry of activity from the EEOC, and this year was no different. Of the 157 lawsuits filed by the EEOC in fiscal year 2015, approximately 62 of them were filed between September 1 and September 30, 2015. The Fiscal year provides a good time to assess EEOC priorities and potential implication for employers.

The EEOC Goes Electronic: FAQs On EEOC's New Electronic Pilot Program

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently rolled out a pilot program to electronically notify employers of new Charges filed against them. Instead of mailing the Notice of Charge of Discrimination form through conventional means, the EEOC is rolling out a new system that will notify an employer of a pending charge and allow an employer to respond to the Charge through an online portal.

EEOC Subpoena Has Long Reach in Age Discrimination Investigation

Highlighting just how far the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigative powers can go, a staffing firm under agency investigation for purportedly handling clients’ job requisitions that are facially discriminatory has been ordered to comply with an EEOC subpoena seeking the names of all of the firm’s clients — 22,000 of them — at 62 of the firm’s offices. EEOC v. Aerotek, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-00275 (N.D. Ill.). The firm has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to reconsider its decision to deny a stay of the district court’s order that it produce the data requested by the EEOC.

EEOC Officials Field Pointed Questions During Senate Committee Hearing

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's enforcement strategies and ligation history came under fire from Republican members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday. During the hearing to examine the agency's recent activities, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang and General Counsel P. David Lopez responded to a variety of questions about the agency's charge backlog, recent proposed rule governing wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the use of commissioner's charges and directed investigations to pursue alleged discrimination when no claimant has come forward.

EEOC Launches Digital Charge System Pilot Program

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that it will launch a pilot program to electronically transmit documents between the EEOC and employers regarding discrimination charges. The program, called ACT Digital, will be implemented in 11 of its 53 offices.

EEOC Required to "Conciliate"—However It Sees Fit—Before Suing Employers

Executive Summary: In a limited victory for employers, the Supreme Court held last week in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC that courts have jurisdiction to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") fulfilled its statutory obligation to conciliate with an employer before filing a lawsuit against it. A court's scope of review is extremely limited, however, with an inquiry limited to the quality or nature of the EEOC's conciliation efforts. Courts may review that the EEOC: 1) informed the employer about the nature of the alleged discrimination and which employee(s) have allegedly suffered from such discrimination, and 2) tried to "engage the employer in some form of discussion," written or oral. If the court finds the EEOC neglected these "barebones" requirements to conciliate prior to litigation, the employer's remedy is a stay of the lawsuit and an order requiring the EEOC to undertake the mandated conciliation efforts.

EEOC Will Begin Pilot Program for Online Submissions in Response to Charge Notices

Executive Summary: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced a pilot program for online submissions in response to a Notice of Charge. The online system will allow employers (or their legal representatives) to elect mediation, request extensions of time, and file position statements. Select regions will begin the pilot program on May 4, 2015, and the agency plans on rolling out the program nationally by October 2015.

Supreme Court Holds that EEOC Conciliation Efforts are Subject to Judicial Review

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held that courts have the authority to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has fulfilled its statutory duty to attempt to conciliate charges of discrimination prior to filing suit, reversing a prior decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Supreme Court (Sort of) Allows Courts To Review EEOC Mediation Efforts

Today, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s statutory duty to conciliate to remedy a Title VII violation prior to filing a lawsuit on the violation is subject to some level of judicial review. Mach Mining v. EEOC.

Justices Give Courts Authority to Review EEOC Conciliation Efforts

On April 29, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided whether—and the extent to which—courts may review efforts made by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve discrimination claims with an employer before filing suit. The Court decided that courts may review whether the EEOC has fulfilled its mandatory statutory duty to attempt to conciliate discrimination claims before litigation.

Supreme Court Clarifies EEOC Conciliation Process

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts have the authority to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has fulfilled its statutory obligation to pursue pre-suit conciliation. The Supreme Court’s decision resolves a split that existed between the circuit courts as to whether courts had the requisite authority to review the adequacy of the EEOC’s conciliation efforts. Yesterday’s decision addresses the issue of how far a judge may delve into whether the EEOC made a “good faith” attempt at conciliation. The previously existing split among the circuit courts resulted in some courts requiring only a minimum level of “good faith,” while other courts required a significant showing that meaningful efforts were pursued. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that the EEOC attempt to negotiate a settlement between an employer and the allegedly aggrieved employee prior to suing for judicial remedy.

EEOC FY 2014 Statistics Are Here: What Do They Mean for Employers?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 enforcement and litigation statistical report for the private sector. Presented annually, the report always contains some nuggets for employers and employment attorneys, and this year’s is no exception.

eLABORate: Eleventh Circuit Denies Enforcement of Overreaching EEOC Subpoena

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., No. 1313519 (11th Cir. Nov. 6, 2014) (per curiam), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied enforcement of a broad EEOC administrative subpoena on the grounds that the subpoena sought information that was not relevant to the individual charge of discrimination and that compliance with the disputed portions of the subpoena would be unduly burdensome to Royal Caribbean.

eLABORate: EEOC "Spam" Gets a Green Light

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “spam” as an “unsolicited usually commercial email sent to a large number of addresses” or “a canned meat product.” Another definition may now be “an aggressive investigative tactic of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) which has been given a green light by the courts.”

White House Announces New EEOC Nomination

On September 15, the White House announced that President Obama’s nomination of Charlotte A. Burrows to the post of Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had been sent to the U.S. Senate. The announcement came just a few days after President Obama expressed his intent to nominate several individuals, including Burrows, to key posts in the current administration. According to a White House press release, President Obama nominated Burrows, who is the current Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to the Commission for a term expiring on July 1, 2019.

Supreme Court Agrees to Resolve Current Appellate Court Split on EEOC’s Conciliation Obligations

In December 2013, we reported on the Seventh Circuit’s controversial decision in EEOC v. Mach Mining, in which the Court exacerbated the already existing split amongst federal appellate courts regarding the EEOC’s obligation to engage in conciliation of discrimination claims before filing a lawsuit. Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to address whether courts can review the EEOC’s pre-suit conciliation efforts by granting certiorari to hear the Mach Mining case and, hopefully, provide a uniform standard.

EEOC Continues Its Aggressive Stance against Severance Agreements

Last Friday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against CVS Pharmacy in the Northern District of Illinois alleging that standard separation agreements used by CVS unlawfully deter employees, who sign these agreements in order to receive severance pay, from exercising their right to file charges of discrimination and participate in EEOC investigations.

EEOC Releases FY 2013 Enforcement And Litigation Data: Employers Take Heed

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just released its fiscal year (FY) 2013 enforcement and litigation statistical report. Presented annually, the report is always a treasure trove of information for employers and employment attorneys, and this year’s is no exception. Among the FY 2013 highlights are the following statistics.

State Attorneys General Accuse EEOC of Going Too Far

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is under fire from the attorneys general in nine states because of its controversial stance on the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process

Hiring Discrimination: An EEOC Focal Point in 2013 and Beyond

On December 17, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its strategic enforcement plan for 2013-2016. That plan identified the EEOC’s priorities and intended focus over the next few years. Topping that list is the EEOC’s goal to eliminate barriers in recruitment and hiring.

EEOC Approves Strategic Enforcement Plan

On December 17, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan ("SEP") for 2013 - 2016 in a 4-1 vote (commissioner Barker voting against). The final SEP updated and modified the draft SEP that was issued earlier in 2012. The plan establishes priorities for the EEOC in enforcement, investigation, research, and education. The Commission stated that the guiding principle for the SEP is the agency's belief that "targeted enforcement efforts will have the broadest impact to prevent and remedy discriminatory practices in the workplace" and to help the agency "make the best use of limited resources." The areas identified for Nationwide Priorities are:

EEOC Deadline Fast Approaching

Seeing a sudden uptick in EEOC activity? You're not alone.

Been Sued by the EEOC Lately? Keep an Eye on Your Mailbox in the Next Couple of Weeks

An article on the SHRM site, September: Rush Hour for EEOC Lawsuit Filings, Settlements ($), reminded me that we are nearing the witching hour for the filing of EEOC lawsuits. The reason is of course the end of the government's fiscal year on September 30, and its reporting period.

Tell the EEOC What To Do

The EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan is open for public comment and gives employers a clear idea of what the EEOC will be targeting.

How To Make the EEOC Happy

The EEOC announces a major shift in its priorities. How to stay out of legal hot water now and in the future.

New EEOC Charge Data Tool

Want to know who's really suing whom for what and where?

Want Some Insight into the EEOC's priorities in the Area of ADA and Leaves of Absence? Follow EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on Twitter

With the growth of blogs and other social networking like Linkedin and Twitter, news comes at us fast and furious these days. In a recent blog post, LexBlog CEO and legal marketing guru Kevin O'Keefe cited a recent survey finding that 55 percent of people hear about breaking news on Facebook and 20 percent on Twitter.

EEOC’s FY 2011 Enforcement Statistics

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release detailing its final statistics for fiscal year 2011, which ended September 30, 2011.  In that press release, entitled “Private Sector Bias Charges Hit All-Time High,” the EEOC announced that in fiscal year 2011 the agency:

Tell the EEOC What You Think

The EEOC is seeking public comments on its strategic plan.

THE EEOC: ANNUAL RECORDS, SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION AND OTHER ISSUES TO WATCH IN 2012

In a November 15, 2011, press release, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) touted a number of records achieved during the past 12 months. Of note:

EEOC Receives Record Number of Charges of Discrimination and Secures Highest Amount of Damages in FY 2011

Charges of employment discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hit another record level in 2011. According to the EEOC’s recently released annual Performance and Accountability Report, the EEOC received 99,947 charges of employment discrimination in fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011), which is the largest number of charges ever filed in a fiscal year with the EEOC. Last fiscal year, 99,922 charges were filed with the agency.

Fair Employment Opportunity Act would prohibit hiring discrimination against unemployed job seekers.

In February of this year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting to examine the practices by employers of considering only currently employed candidates for job vacancies and excluding currently unemployed persons from job applicant pools. A recent follow-up report by the National Employment Law Project , a national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers, focused on what it called “the persistent practice” of excluding candidates based on their employment status. In response to this report and others like it, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in June that will make it illegal for employers and employment agencies to screen out unemployed job seekers. On August 2, the Senate followed suit with an as-yet unpublished bill with the same purpose. The proposed legislation has been named the “Fair Employment Opportunity Act” and prohibits consideration of an individual’s status as “unemployed” in screening for or filling positions.

Discrimination Charge Filings Hit Record Levels for 2010; Recoveries for Charging Parties Also Sets Record

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) earlier this week released its annual report of charges filed with the agency. The results confirm what many employers and their employment counsel already know: discrimination charges filed with the EEOC are up. In fact, a record 99,922 charges were filed during the EEOC’s fiscal year 2010 (which ended September 30, 2010). While these numbers may not be especially surprising given the struggling economy and high unemployment rates, what is surprising is that for the first time in the EEOC’s history, retaliation surpassed race discrimination as the most frequent claim (36,258 vs. 35,890). Since the agency’s inception in 1965, race had been the most prevalent claim. Likewise, disability (25,165), age, (23,264), and religion (3,790) charges also saw increases. Click here for the full report by category.

In Defense of the EEOC? No, Just a Reminder About Pancakes

Tom Crane, at the San Antonio Employment Law Blog, had a very interesting post last week that complains about an EEOC investigator turning an employee away when it appeared she had a valid complaint, EEOC Would Not See Retaliation If It Was in Front of Its Face.

Staying Out Of The EEOC's Line Of Fire.

The last place you want to see your company listed is on the EEOC's website under "Press Releases." Hospitality employers continue to make this list with reports of high-dollar settlements of discrimination and harassment allegations.

The EEOC is Partying Like It’s … 2002?

The EEOC recently released its statistics for 2007 and the news was not good for those hoping for a slowdown in EEOC enforcement activity. In fact, 2007 saw an almost double-digit percentage growth from the previous year in charges filed at just under 83,000, returning to a level not seen since 2002 when there were almost 84,500 charges filed with the EEOC.

EEOC – What's Ahead For 2008?

Recently, Naomi Earp, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, shared the Agency’s enforcement focuses. At the EEOC Technical Assistance Program seminar in Hampton, Virginia in September 2007, Earp gave employers a heads up on issues of particular concern to the Agency in the coming months. Here is a brief summary of what we can expect in 2008.

EEOC's Suit For Monetary Relief Barred (pdf).

Court finds workers not entitled to "two bites at the apple".