The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) achieved record results in its enforcement efforts during fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report published recently.
“In this 50th anniversary year of the Commission, we recognize the progress we have made and the challenges we have ahead,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “This is a pivotal moment to renew our national commitment to combating discrimination. There is a growing awareness-across racial and ethnic lines-that we must do more as a country to address issues of equality. As we look ahead to the challenges that remain, our country must continue to invest the resources necessary to fulfill the promise of equal employment opportunity.”
Significant agency accomplishments in fiscal year 2015 include the following:
- EEOC secured more than $525 million for victims of discrimination in private, state and local government, and federal workplaces. This included $356.6 million for victims of employment discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation, and settlements; $65.3 million for charging parties through litigation; and $105.7 million for federal employees and applicants. Importantly, in each of these categories, the agency obtained substantial changes to discriminatory practices to remedy violations of equal employment opportunity laws and prevent future discriminatory conduct in the workplace.
- Systemic cases address patterns or practices of discrimination or policies that have a broad impact on a region, industry, or a group of employees or job applicants. In fiscal year 2015, EEOC resolved 268 systemic investigations before filing litigation, obtaining more than $33.5 million in remedies. In litigation, EEOC resolved 26 systemic cases, six of which included at least 50 victims of discrimination and 13 that included at least 20 victims.
- The agency’s outreach programs reached 336,855 people during the year through participation in 3,700 no-cost educational, training and outreach events. EEOC’s national Training Institute trained over 12,000 individuals at more than 140 events that focused on the agency’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) priorities, including small businesses, vulnerable workers, underserved geographic areas and communities, and emphasized new statutory responsibilities, issues related to migrant workers, human trafficking and youth.
- EEOC achieved record success in its conciliation of private-sector charges, with 44 percent of conciliations successfully resolved and 64 percent of systemic investigations resulting in voluntary resolutions. These achievements helped EEOC better managed its charge workload, leading to a 6 percent increase in charge resolutions, even as workers filed more charges of discrimination compared to fiscal year 2014. EEOC resolved 92,641charges and received 89,385 charges in fiscal year 2015.
- EEOC filed 142 lawsuits alleging discrimination during fiscal year 2015. This included 100 individual suits and 42 suits involving multiple victims or discriminatory policies (versus discriminatory treatment), of which 16 were systemic suits. Legal staff resolved 155 lawsuits alleging discrimination. At the end of the fiscal year, EEOC had 218 cases on its active docket, of which 48 (22 percent) involved challenges to systemic discrimination and 40 (18 percent) were multiple-victim cases.