September 08, 2023
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the approval of the Strategic Plan for 2022 through 2026. As such, the plan will take immediate effect with the EEOC’s enforcement. According to the program, the EEOC will enforce federal laws banning discrimination. The EEOC stated, “This Strategic Plan will guide the agency as we fulfill our mission of preventing and remedying unlawful employment discrimination and advancing equal employment opportunity for all.”
The EEOC’s Strategic Plan is a framework for the agency to achieve several goals: Preventing and remedying illegal employment discrimination. The current plan has three goals for the agency to work toward.
These are the following:
- Combating and preventing employment discrimination through the EEOC’s law enforcement according to strategic action
- Using education and outreach to prevent employment discrimination and improve equal employment opportunities
- Excellence through EEOC’s people, practices, and technology
Combating and Preventing Discrimination
The first goal is consistent with the primary mission of the EEOC. To achieve it, the agency must ensure that more conciliations and litigation resolutions have targeted equitable solutions. This relief should address discriminatory practices in cases; it cannot only provide monetary relief.
The strategic action mentioned in the first goal requires the EEOC to improve its ability to address systemic discrimination. As such, the agency may have its staff attorneys and others undergo specific training to achieve this step. The EEOC will then post at least two trained staff members to each district office. They will dedicate their time to monitoring and identifying systemic discrimination closely.
Furthermore, the EEOC will combat employment discrimination by improving its conciliation agreement monitoring. This step occurs after the EEOC detects discrimination in a workplace, ensuring further discrimination does not happen. As such, the EEOC announced it would update its intake services, making the system more efficient to receive and address complaints. The agency added that it intends to improve the system’s accessibility and function continuously.
Education and Outreach
The second goal addresses the EEOC’s part in educating and reaching the public about employment discrimination. According to Title VII, the agency must engage in activities, such as training and technical assistance, that explain the laws enforced by the agency.
This goal, which hopes to deter discrimination before it takes place, has two objectives:
- To ensure the public becomes more aware of employment discrimination laws, including their rights and responsibilities upheld by the law; and
- To provide the information and guidance necessary for employers, federal agencies, unions, and staffing agencies; this information would improve equal employment opportunity, prevent discrimination, and resolve EEO issues generally.
The agency lists ten strategies it intends to use to achieve these objectives. Examples of these strategies include:
- Reaching out to vulnerable workers and underserved communities,
- Promoting practices for employers to prevent discrimination and
- Ensuring support services that promote accessible outreach and education.
The final goal addresses internal objectives. The EEOC wants to “improve management functions with a focus on people, service to the public, information technology, infrastructure enhancement, and accountable financial stewardship.” The agency explained that the third goal is crucial in accomplishing the first two goals.
The EEOC said, “It must ensure excellence in its people and the service it provides to the public, as well as its effective management of financial and technological resources.” This stance created the third goal: Organizational Excellence.
This step has two objectives:
- To improve its culture, such as accountability, inclusivity, and accessibility.
- To align resources with priorities, strengthening intake, outreach, education, enforcement, and service to the public. Such resources should protect and improve civil rights in the workplace.
The Commission has included several strategies to achieve these objectives. Examples include fostering constructive relations with employees and labor management and expanding technology to improve productivity when serving the public. In addition to these strategies, the EEOC intends to commit various Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) initiatives and monitor its progress toward its organizational goal.
The EEOC’s strategic plan demonstrates its commitment to eliminating workplace discrimination. As such, employers should diligently review their employment and hiring policies to ensure their practices remain discrimination-free. One way to avoid discrimination in the hiring process is by working with a background check company. The right provider will ensure the background screening process complies with anti-discrimination laws and more.