Employers with 15+ Employees
October 1, 2023
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On September 21, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for fiscal years 2024-2028. The SEP establishes the EEOC’s subject matter priorities to achieve its mission of preventing and remedying unlawful employment discrimination.
Earlier this year, the EEOC published its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026, which serves as an overarching framework for achieving the EEOC’s mission. The SEP will work together with the Strategic Plan by establishing substantive law enforcement priorities. Notable aspects of the SEP include:
- Targeting discrimination, bias, and hate directed against religious minorities (including antisemitism and Islamophobia), racial or ethnic groups, and LGBTQI+ individuals;
- Expanding the vulnerable and underserved worker priority to include additional categories of workers who may be unaware of their rights under equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws, may be reluctant or unable to exercise their legally protected rights, or have historically been underserved by federal employment discrimination protections;
- Updating the emerging and developing issues priority to include protecting workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including under the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and other EEO laws; employment discrimination associated with the long-term effects of COVID-19 symptoms; and technology-related employment discrimination;
- Highlighting the continued underrepresentation of women and workers of color in certain industries and sectors, such as construction and manufacturing, finance, tech and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields;
- Recognizing employers’ increasing use of technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to target job advertisements, recruit applicants, and make or assist in hiring and other employment decisions; and
- Preserving access to the legal system by addressing overly broad waivers, releases, non-disclosure agreements, or non-disparagement agreements when they restrict workers’ ability to obtain remedies for civil rights violations.
The new SEP also commits the EEOC to supporting employer efforts to proactively identify and address barriers to equal employment opportunity, cultivate a diverse pool of qualified workers and foster inclusive workplaces.
The 2024-2028 SEP was developed in conjunction with input from the public through a series of three public listening sessions, in which the EEOC heard from a total of 35 witnesses, including representatives from civil rights and workers’ rights organizations, unions, employer and human resources representatives, scholars, and attorneys representing plaintiffs and defendants in employment discrimination matters.
- Review the EEOC’s full 2024-2028 SEP here.
- Ensure workplace policies comply with applicable EEO requirements.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2023 ManagEase