On February 12, 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) unanimously approved its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Congress requires federal government agencies like the EEOC to formulate strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website. According to the EEOC, the Strategic Plan serves as the 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 Strategic Plan differs from the Strategic Enforcement Plan, which outlines the types of discrimination the agency will more actively enforce.
To accomplish its mission, the Strategic Plan outlines the following three strategic objectives and outcome goals.
Strategic Objective 1: Combat and prevent employment discrimination through the strategic application of the EEOC’s law enforcement authorities.
The EEOC has two outcome goals for this strategic objective. First, the EEOC seeks to stop and remedy discriminatory employment practices and ensure victims of discrimination receive meaningful relief. The EEOC also wants to exercise its enforcement authority fairly, efficiently, and based on the circumstances of each charge or complaint.
Strategic Objective 2: Prevent employment discrimination and promote inclusive workplaces through education and outreach.
The two outcome goals for this objective are making sure members of the public understand the employment discrimination laws and know their rights and responsibilities under these laws, and for employers, unions, and employment agencies to prevent discrimination, effectively address EEO issues, and support more inclusive workplaces. The EEOC’s strategies for achieving these goals include: (1) broadening the use of technology to expand the agency’s reach to diverse populations; (2) targeting outreach to vulnerable workers and underserved communities; (3) utilizing modern technology and media to expand the agency’s reach to employers and other covered entities; (4) offering recommendations that employers can adopt to prevent discrimination in the workplace; and (5) targeting outreach to small and new employers.
Strategic Objective 3: Achieve organizational excellence.
The EEOC’s management objective, achieving organizational excellence, is mostly an internal directive. The two outcome goals for this objective include having staff that exemplify a culture of excellence, respect and accountability and allocating resources that align with the agency’s priorities to strengthen outreach, education, and service to the public.
The plan also identifies twelve “performance measures,” which are intended to track the EEOC’s progress through 2022 in implementing each of the objectives as well as identified outcome goals. The performance measures are comprehensive, and include such targets as focusing on favorable resolutions of EEOC lawsuits, including by achieving equitable relief, meeting quality standards in investigations, conciliations, hearings, and appeals, updating guidance and training materials, prioritizing funding to meet strategic goals, and updating and using technology to allow the public better access to information available through the EEOC.
The newly released Strategic Plan can be found on the EEOC’s website at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_18-22.cfm. According to the EEOC, implementation of the plan began in February 2018. Employers are encouraged to review the plan to further understand the EEOC’s objectives for the next few years in order to be better prepared in addressing any matters involving the EEOC.