EEOC Adopts Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022 – 2026

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the adoption of its strategic plan to cover fiscal years 2022 – 2026. The main focus of the new strategic plan is to increase public access to the EEOC and increase resources for agency investigations.

In its strategic plan, the EEOC plans to devote additional resources to training staff to identify, investigate, and enforce systemic discrimination cases. This approach is designed to reach its goal of eliminating systemic barriers to equal opportunity for all in the workplace. The agency also plans to more closely monitor conciliation agreements to ensure that workplaces remain discrimination-free after an EEOC finding of discrimination. Moreover, the EEOC will develop and promote new discrimination avoidance practices for employers to adopt in the workplace, including those related to using artificial intelligence (AI) in recruiting and hiring, which promises to be an area with a significant potential for discrimination.

To increase public access to the agency and its resources, the EEOC plans to expand its existing intake services by increasing intake interview appointment availability and improving customer service and responsiveness. Furthermore, the agency intends to extend its reach to diverse and vulnerable communities and smaller, new, disadvantaged, and underserved employers through technological and other innovative outreach methods.

Despite adopting its new strategic plan, the EEOC has yet to release a final version of its Strategic Enforcement Plan, although the agency did release a draft earlier this year. This plan is a separate litigation-based plan. Additionally, as the EEOC now has a bigger budget, revised strategic priorities, and potentially new leadership, more enforcement actions are likely.

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