The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 18 held a public meeting at which academics, representatives of the civil rights, business and federal sector communities, as well as former EEOC leaders and current employees, presented their views about the agency’s proposed Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2012-2016.

The Strategic Enforcement Plan grew out of the agency’s strategic plan adopted at a commission meeting on Feb. 22, 2012.  That plan set forth three underlying values that will guide the work of the EEOC: commitment to justice, accountability, and integrity; and three strategic objectives: strategic law enforcement, education and outreach, and efficiently serving the public. One requirement of the Strategic Plan was to develop the SEP  and have it in place by the start of fiscal year 2013 — Oct. 1, 2012. 

At the meeting, participants noted the importance of the EEOC's continuing to use systemic investigations and litigation to target specific issues and practices where government enforcement will have the greatest impact, according to commission reports. 

Several advocacy groups urged the commission to focus its enforcement efforts on hiring discrimination and retaliation that affect so many workers, as well as on pay, pregnancy, and caregiver discrimination, and developing issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Participants in the roundtable focusing on the EEOC’s federal sector program included representatives from other agencies, unions representing federal employees, and federal employee affinity groups.  They noted, among other issues, the need to clarify the role of agency counsel in the investigative stage of proceedings, the need for increased oversight of federal agency enforcement, the need for training for managers on supervision as well as EEO, and for employees on navigating the complaints process.

The EEOC will hold open the July 18, 2012, Commission meeting record for 15 days, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20507, or e-mailed to