The EEOC continued to successfully combat and prevent employment discrimination through the strategic enforcement of laws within their jurisdiction
On November 15, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its Fiscal Year 2021 Agency Financial Report (AFR) which provides an overview of its financial management and performance results.
During FY 2021, EEOC had a record year for discoveries of more than $484 million and helped prevent discrimination through outreach and education. Also, despite the pandemic, the agency made significant progress towards conducting outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement, reaching levels accomplished in prior years. In the last six months of the fiscal year, EEOC filled approximately 450 positions including investigators, mediators, attorneys, and equal employment specialists, bringing the employee headcount to 2,100.
- Conducted more than 2,300 outreach events, including over 300 COVID-19 related events.
- Provided 255,000 individuals nationwide with information about employment discrimination.
- Held the agency’s first public hearing addressing the civil rights impacts of COVID-19 in the workplace. Issued new and regularly updated technical assistance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, reasonable accommodations, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Investigations and Litigation
- Obtained more than $350 million and other relief for victims of employment discrimination in the private sector, including state and local government, workplaces.
- Resolved 138 lawsuits and obtained $34 million in monetary relief.
- Obtained approximately $15 million from 21 lawsuits alleging race or national origin discrimination.
- Obtained approximately $1 million from 10 compensation discrimination cases.
- Obtained over $46 million from 26 systemic lawsuits and over 340 systemic investigations on the merits.
The comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for the fiscal year 2021 are expected to be released in early 2022.
End of the fiscal year goals
“EEOC prioritized rebuilding and strengthening the agency and renewed its focus on tackling systemic discrimination in the workplace, including promoting racial justice and equity, preventing and remedying discrimination in pay, and addressing the civil rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the public and private sectors.”
According to HR Dive, a SHRM survey of 1,313 U.S. workers found that, over the same five-year period, 42% of Black respondents experienced unfair treatment at work based on their race or ethnicity, while one-third had experienced such treatment within the past year. Twenty-six percent of Asian respondents and 21% of Hispanic or Latino respondents said they experienced similar treatment in the past five years. The SHRM study also showed that turnover caused by racial inequity may have cost employers up to $172 billion over the five-year period. Additionally, absenteeism caused by experiencing or witnessing racial bias at work may account for up to $54 billion in losses during the past year, and lost productivity may account for $59 billion in losses.
These numbers are staggering, especially in light of the recent hiring struggling associated with the pandemic. We are all aware of the Department of Labor’s class member locator, which currently has 13 lawsuits identified, and now we know that systemic discrimination is a focus area for EEOC. Employers should conduct a thorough investigation of all alleged discrimination complaints and look for patterns that could eventually lead to class action lawsuits.
EEOC has identified best practices in preventing race and color discrimination in the workplace which includes respecting cultural and racial differences. OutSolve’s DE&I Mirror™ focuses on actionable steps companies can take to implement a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan. For more information about OutSolve’s diversity, equity, and inclusion services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-414-2410.