EEOC Enforcement Activity Increasing, Approaching Pre-Pandemic Levels
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s enforcement capabilities are returning to pre-pandemic levels. Despite COVID-19, the EEOC remains committed to preventing and remedying unlawful employment discrimination and advancing equal opportunities in the workplace. The most recent Agency Financial Report highlights the EEOC’s enforcement accomplishments in 2021 and identifies its strategic enforcement objectives going forward. This crucial information can help employers avoid the EEOC in 2022.
During fiscal year 2021 (October 1st – September 30th), the EEOC handled approximately 383,500 calls and 52,000 emails from the public, which is nearly 40% more than in 2020. The EEOC also:
Secured more than $484 million for victims of discrimination, including:
- $350.7 million for 11,067 victims of employment discrimination through mediation, conciliation and settlements;
- $34 million for 1,920 individuals as a direct result of litigation resolutions; and
- more than $100 million for 2,169 federal employees and applicants.
Filed 116 lawsuits, including:
- 74 suits on behalf of individuals;
- 29 non-systemic suits with multiple victims; and
- 13 systemic suits involving multiple victims or discriminatory policies.
Prioritized its mediation program by conducting:
- 6,644 successful mediations resulting in $176.6 million in benefits to charging parties; and
- 639 federal sector mediations resulting in nearly $8.4 million for federal employees and applicants.
The EEOC also resolved 138 lawsuits and achieved favorable results in approximately 96% of all federal district court resolutions. In addition, the EEOC successfully resolved 41.1% of conciliations. A charge with a reasonable cause determination that is resolved by the EEOC through voluntary efforts is considered a successful conciliation.
In 2022, the EEOC will continue its efforts to prevent and remedy employment discrimination by:
- rebuilding and strengthening its enforcement capacity;
- addressing systemic discrimination on all bases;
- advancing racial justice;
- enforcing pay equity; and
- addressing the civil rights impact of COVID-19.
Employers can use the EEOC’s Agency Financial Report like a radar detector. It’s much easier to avoid costly violations when you know where the EEOC is directing its attention and how it’s allocating resources. However, given today’s rapidly changing environment, employers also need employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) because it’s impossible to know what tomorrow may bring.
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