More News from Corporate Services, Inc.
|Can Height be a Disability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?|
|06/17/2013||Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person. . . more|
|How Electronic Discovery Saved This Company in Court|
|06/14/2013||How many times has an incriminating email sunk a company. . . more|
|ACA Requires Employer Notices About Health Insurance Marketplaces|
|06/13/2013||Section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created Section. . . more|
|Firing a Woman for Lactating at Work is Against the Law|
|06/12/2013||Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Texas, et. . . more|
|Mercer Offers Tips on Preparing for the Affordable Care Act|
|06/10/2013||Consultants offer the top 10 ways employers can prioritize. . . more|
|FLSA Suits Hit Record High|
|06/07/2013||Federal wage-and-hour lawsuits spike above 7,700 between. . . more|
Wary of EEOC's Success
Posted: December 12, 2011
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) recent report highlighting record monetary rewards and efficiency may be good for the agency — but for employers, it is just another reminder that they are being hit hard with ever-more in-depth demands for information about potential bias.
There is little doubt as to whether the EEOC's report on fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, is news; whether that news is good or bad depends on which side you are on. The report touts the agency's "historic relief through administrative enforcement — more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination" (the highest level in the agency's history) as well as "a record 99,947 charges of discrimination" received.
The 2011 report also shows that the EEOC's staff went from 2,176 full-time equivalents in 2008 to 2,506 in 2011. Also seeing a growth period for the EEOC is federal funding that grew from $329.3 million to $366.5 million over the same three years.
EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien says that the EEOC "was able to strategically manage existing resources and take full advantage of increased resources in the past two fiscal years to make significant progress toward effective enforcement of the nation's civil rights laws."
On the other side, employment attorneys are saying that it is the shift in focus from helping companies with compliance to enforcement that lies behind the EEOC's numbers. Michael Lotito, a partner in the San Francisco office of Jackson Lewis, says that "companies aren't willing to engage in [costly] back-and-forth communications [with an emboldened, aggressive and well-backed EEOC], so they go ahead and settle more quickly."
The EEOC responds to such claims that its commitment is to providing employers with support and training. According to Justine S. Lisser, senior attorney-advisor for the EEOC's Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs, "We believe that preventing discrimination from occurring in the workplace in the first place is preferable to remedying the consequences of discrimination. However, when efforts to resolve charges ... out of court fail, the commission may engage in litigation." The EEOC puts the number of people "directly reached" by the agency's public outreach and education programs for 2011 at 540,000, more than double the number for 2010.
Employer-side attorneys, however, remain wary of the EEOC and what they see as a continuingly aggressive posture and viewing the consequences of such a posture as hugely more risky and expensive to employers.
Want to know more? Read the full article by Kristen B. Frasch at Human Resource Executive Online