The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just finalized its FY2024-2028 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP), after three public listening sessions, and after having received comments during the 30-day public period. Per the EEOC, the SEP “updates and refines the EEOC’s subject matter priorities.”
Below are some highlights of specific interest to the EEOC:
- Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring
Of special note is the “use of technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning,” “online systems,” and “screening tools or requirements” like “artificial intelligence or other automated systems, pre-employment tests, and background checks” that negatively impact protected groups. In addition, the EEOC will be considering “policies and practices that limit employees exclusively to temporary work” as prohibited by federal employment law when those employees are qualified for available “permanent” (regular) positions.
- Protecting Vulnerable Workers
Included in this area are also individuals on temporary visas, people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, individuals with arrest or conviction records, LGBTQ+, temporary, and older employees, low-wage earners, survivors of gender-based violence, Native Americans/Alaska Natives, and persons with limited literacy or English proficiency. The EEOC has identified these individuals as “particularly vulnerable to discriminatory practices or policies.”
- Addressing Selected Emerging and Developing Issues
The SEP signifies that issues in this category may be added or removed through interim amendments to the SEP. One area noted that falls into this category are “workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA, as well as pregnancy-related disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).” COVID-19 pandemic, including Long COVID” and “Technology-related employment discrimination.
- Advancing Equal Pay for All Workers
Areas of interest are “pay secrecy policies, discouraging or prohibiting workers from asking about pay or sharing their pay with co-workers, and reliance on past salary history or applicants’ salary expectations to set pay.”
- Preserving Access to the Legal System
The EEOC will concentrate on waivers, releases, non-disparagement agreements, mandatory arbitration provisions, failure to keep applicant and employment data and records, and retaliatory practices related to exercising rights under employment discrimination laws.
- Preventing and Remedying Systemic Harassment
The EEOC will concentrate on both enforcement with relief and promoting anti-harassment programs/practices.
If you’d like to learn more about how employment compliance might affect you, contact Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) today.
Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: email@example.com