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EEOC outlines new strategic enforcement plan

In September, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlined a new plan of targeted enforcement, which will more effectively use the limited resources the agency possesses in preventing employment discrimination.

The EEOC's mission is to "stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination" and their strategic plan is based on the concept of targeted enforcement. Their current process is complaint-based, with the EEOC responding to individual complaints. While this has helped many individuals and groups, it is resource intensive.

Like many governmental agencies, it has been subject to budget cuts and hiring freezes. By shifting their focus to target systemic discrimination, the EEOC hopes to have a greater impact on employment discrimination issues.

The first priority listed by the EEOC involves hiring practices involving facially neutral requirements that negatively impact particular groups and class-based intentional hiring discrimination.

This type of systemic discrimination affects "racial and ethnic minorities, older workers, women, and people with disabilities," who are either excluded from employment by various illegal tactics used in the application process or "steered" to specific jobs.

They have also announced that they will be targeting "emerging" issues, including implementation of the ADA, LBGT coverage under Title VII, and issues relating to pregnancy accommodations.

Source: "U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Strategic Enforcement Plan," EEOC, September 4, 2012

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