On February 12, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for FY2018 – FY2022 (SEP). Congress requires federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC to develop strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website. The EEOC’s plan serves as a framework for the agency in achieving its mission to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace. The EEOC’s new SEP outlines three core values: Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity, Accountability, and Integrity. To further these values, the plan sets out the following strategic objectives and outcome goals:
- Combat and prevent employment discrimination through the strategic application of EEOC’s law enforcement authorities. The EEOC’s stated goals are: 1) discriminatory employment practices are stopped and remedied, and victims of discrimination receive meaningful relief; and 2) enforcement authorities are exercised fairly, efficiently, and based on the circumstances of each charge or complaint. The new SEP continues the same substantive area priorities identified by the EEOC in the prior SEP, with some changes to sharpen the agency’s focus and update emerging issues of concern. The SEP also clarifies the way the substantive area priorities will be integrated into EEOC’s charge management system. It also reaffirms the importance of strengthening the integration of staff efforts across programs and offices and ensuring accountability to operate as “One EEOC.”
- Prevent employment discrimination and promote inclusive workplaces through education and outreach. The outcome goals here are: 1) members of the public understand the employment discrimination laws and know their rights and responsibilities under these laws; and 2) employers, unions, and employment agencies (covered entities) prevent discrimination, effectively address EEO issues, and support more inclusive workplaces. The SEP emphasizes the need to leverage digital technology to directly reach the agency’s varied and wide-ranging audiences – employees, job-seekers, employers, unions, employment agencies, attorneys, judges, issue advocates, and policymakers. In addition, the SEP discusses that the EEOC will seek to enhance its use of social media to promote its education and outreach activities and to encourage greater use of the contents of its website. With a continued focus on providing clear, easy-to-understand materials for a diverse array of audiences, the SEP also provides that EEOC will conduct a full review of its sub-regulatory documents (i.e., technical guidance) and update or augment them as needed with plain language materials.
- Organizational excellence. The corresponding outcome goals stated in the SEP here are: 1) a culture of excellence, respect, and accountability; and 2) resources align with priorities to strengthen outreach, education, enforcement, and service to the public. Much of this objective is operational in nature and is intended to be addressed in greater detail in plans external to the SEP.
Each of these strategic objectives and outcome goals, along with their performance measures, are detailed on here on the EEOC’s website. Implementation of the new Strategic Enforcement Plan will begin in February 2018.