On August 22nd, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adopted its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. Briefly, the EEOC’s Strategic Plan is a framework for how the agency plans to achieve its core mission to prevent and remedy employment discrimination. The 2022-2026 Strategic Plan lays out specific and measurable strategic goals and objectives that will facilitate its mission through Fiscal Year 2026. Employers should examine the plan to keep abreast of how the agency plans to enforce the equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws it oversees. Additionally, employees must make sure they post the EEOC’s updated “Know Your Rights” poster, which went into effect June 27.
Background of the EEOC’s Strategic Plan
The EEOC introduces a new Strategic Plan every four fiscal years. The plan outlines how the agency will combat and prevent employment discrimination through enforcement, education, and outreach. Overall, the EEOC creates the plan using three values that form the basis of the agency’s culture and guide its daily work. These are a commitment to equal employment opportunity, accountability, and integrity. Finally, the Strategic Plan communicates how the agency strives for organizational excellence through its people, practices, and technology. Congress requires the EEOC to develop and post a strategic plan on its public website every four fiscal years. These plans lay the foundation for developing more detailed annual plans, budgets, and related program performance information in the future.
Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan
In sum, the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan presents clear and realistic strategies for achieving the agency’s broader goals. It also identifies 15 performance measures with specific targets through each of the four fiscal years. These performance measures help track the EEOC’s progress while it executes the plan through Fiscal Year 2026. Highlighted measures within the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan include the following:
- Increased focus on preventing systemic discrimination by training its staff to identify and investigate instances of systemic discrimination. The agency will also use outreach, education, technical assistance, and enforcement to achieve this goal on a broader scale.
- Improved oversight and monitoring of employer conciliation agreements to make sure workplaces meet their obligations to prevent discrimination after the EEOC makes a finding in a case.
- Enhanced and expanded complaint intake services, including identifying technological solutions and other resources to make these services more accessible and improve overall service to the public.
- Using technology and innovative strategies to expand reach to vulnerable communities, as well as small, new, or underserved employers.
- Promoting ways employers can prevent discrimination of protected classes in the workplace.
Note that the EEOC also publishes a separate Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) every four fiscal years. The SEP establishes the agency’s specific enforcement priorities that it uses to prevent and remedy employment discrimination and advance equal employment opportunity.