Aggressive Investigation Strategies – EEOC

May 20, 2014

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws relating to the employment relationship, particularly in the area of discrimination. The EEOC recently issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan which gives employers a clear indication of what will be the focus of investigations by the EEOC.

The EEOC said they have limited funds so they will be focusing their resources on the following areas:

  • Hiring and recruiting especially the use of criminal background checks and various types of screening tools used by employers to narrow the candidate pool for new positions;
  • Harassment of all types from sexual harassment to racial harassment;
  • Reasonable accommodation and undue hardship determinations as well as pregnancy and sexual orientation discrimination are considered emerging issues that will have priority;
  • Equal pay with particular focus on audits of federal projects;
  • Immigrant and highly underpaid worker rights;
  • Review of employer agreements and releases used to obtain protection from an employee claim that may be overbroad or non-compliant with federal regulations.

Employers need to be aware of these target areas and make sure that training is done so that the supervisors on the forefront in the workplace are aware of these areas of concern and are trained on how to properly make employment decisions. Employers should also review their personnel policies and procedures to avoid a potential investigation by the EEOC.

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