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EEOC's commissioners approve strategic enforcement plan

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved a strategic enforcement plan (SEP) setting the agency's future priorities with a bipartisan vote of 3-1 by the EEOC commissioners on Dec. 17. The approved plan lists six national priorities as focuses of an integrated enforcement effort.

According to the EEOC, "The purpose of the SEP is to focus and coordinate the EEOC's programs to have a sustainable impact in reducing and deterring discriminatory practices in the workplace."

It also includes the development of enforcement plans for EEOC district offices and the federal sector, fostering "consistent and integrated enforcement," across all workplaces that EEOC has responsibility, private, public (state and local) and federal.

EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien told BNA in an interview that the commission "certainly read and carefully considered" all comments they received after the draft plan was released. Berrien stated the final plan was "clarified" in response to confusion from commentators and she indicated the equal pay law was added as a national priority enforcement area to the final plan.

The EEOC's press release identifies the strategic enforcement plan's "six national priorities as the focus of this integrated enforcement effort. These are:

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring;

Protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers;

Addressing emerging and developing employment discrimination issues;

Enforcing equal pay laws;

Preserving access to the legal system; and

Preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach."

Source: Bloomberg BNA, "EEOC Approves Final Strategic Plan Setting Enforcement Priorities for Next Four Years," December 18, 2012, Kevin P. McGowan

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