The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved revisions to its 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). The SEP provides employers with an indication of where the agency will concentrate investigatory and litigation resources in future years. The revised SEP calls for prioritization in the following areas:
- Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring;
- Protecting vulnerable workers, including immigrant and migrant workers, and underserved communities from discrimination;
- Addressing selected emerging and developing issues;
- Ensuring equal pay protections for all workers;
- Preserving access to the legal system; and
- Preventing systemic harassment.
While none of these points reflect specific enforcement strategies, the EEOC also stated its concerns over backlash discrimination against those who are Muslim or Sikh, or persons of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, as well as persons perceived to be members of these groups; the lack of diversity in technology industries; and the increasing use of data driven screening tools as barriers to recruitment and hiring.
The SEP helps the EEOC determine what cases it will select for systemic enforcement efforts, as well as its decisions on litigating discrimination claims on behalf of employees.