When I began thinking about writing my blog article this month, I started thinking about all of the changes that last year brought, as well as the changes that will be coming this year. Last year, due to the pandemic, we had to make many changes to the way we all live our lives. We were told we needed to pivot and adapt. We realized that most of us were more adept at making changes to our lives than we thought.
This year, with the change in the government, we will also have many changes. Any time the administration changes, there are lots of changes for Federal agencies. I believe we will see many policies amended and/or rescinded. When working for the Federal government, each time the administration changed, it was like getting a new boss.
At the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there is a Chair, a Vice-Chair and three Commissioners. They are a bipartisan group. For much of the past four years, EEOC did not have a Chair. One of the Commissioners was the acting Chair, but it was not until last year that Janet Dhillon was confirmed as the Chair. Several of the Commissioners’ terms had expired and they were not reappointed. What that meant for quite some time was that the EEOC did not have a quorum and could not vote on many issues.
Last year, there were several appointments at EEOC into high level positions. As is indicated, these positions are appointed and can be changed with the change of administration. Since EEOC is a small and independent agency, there may not be immediate changes, but they will come. With that change may come new initiatives for the Commission. Most of the Commissioners have projects they push forward for implementation. There could also be changes made to the strategic enforcement plan. I would strongly urge you to keep an eye on EEOC’s website, www.eeoc.gov, to stay current with what is going on with EEOC. You can sign up for news articles to be sent to you when they are posted to the website.
EEOC has been very good about keeping employers updated about COVID-19 and the Commission’s position about new and ever-evolving issues. I think that charges regarding COVID-19 issues are imminent especially with the vaccinations beginning.
Now is the time to think about whether your company has a policy regarding vaccinations, and how you plan to handle the issue. Don’t wait. Plan now. EEOC just updated its guidance on the subject recently. Make sure your employees know what the company’s position is, and educate them on your policy. Being pro-active is the best way to avoid issues in the future.
Who knows what this year will bring? I hope it brings health, success and happiness to you all.
If I can assist you with your training and/or investigation needs, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 553-7648. Let’s embrace the changes and do our best in this new year to adapt and prosper. Happy New Year!