EEOC Vote Approving Class-Based Initiatives: What Employers Need to Know
Lane Powell Shareholder Susan K. Eggum authored an article in the Winter 2013 issue of Oregon Bankers Association’s Banking Matters magazine titled “EEOC Vote Approving Class-Based Initiatives: What Employers Need to Know.” The article is about the Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”) that received approval last month by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). With its recent approval, the SEP will set forth EEOC’s national priorities and implement changes in the responsibilities among its national and field offices for 2012-2016. By adopting the new policies outlined in the SEP, the EEOC hopes to eliminate systematic barriers in the screening, hiring and compensation processes for several protected classes of job applicants. In the article, Eggum discussed why the SEP is “the most sweeping and significant development of the EEOC since its formation in 1965 under the Johnson administration.”
Most significant is the EEOC’s plan to initiate investigative inquiries — in addition to investigating claims brought to the agency by an employee or rejected job applicant. The targets of the EEOC will include employers who publicly display a preference for certain races, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or ability. The EEOC plans to trace these preferences to applicant screening and hiring practices; disparate pay and compensation practices; failures to accommodate the disabled; or work environments hostile to protected classes including (but not limited to) pregnant applicants and workers, migrant and immigrant workers, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) community.