On August 22, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) unveiled its four-year Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 that it will use as a framework to advance its goals of preventing and remedying employment discrimination. Under the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act, agencies like the EEOC must develop and post a strategic plan every four fiscal years. The EEOC’s new Strategic Plan will be implemented immediately.
The Strategic Plan establishes three main goals for the EEOC to achieve in the coming years, and creates 15 performance measures to track the agency’s progress in achieving these goals. The three main goals are to:
- Combat and prevent employment discrimination through the strategic application of the EEOC’s law enforcement authorities.
- Prevent employment discrimination and advance equal employment opportunities through education and outreach.
- Strive for organizational excellence through its people, practices, and technology.
The EEOC’s first goal relates to the EEOC’s litigation efforts to combat employment discrimination. As part of the first goal, the EEOC will seek to ensure that more conciliations and litigation resolutions contain targeted, equitable relief, as opposed to simply providing monetary damages. In addition, as part of this first goal, the EEOC is seeking to increase its capacity to target systemic discrimination. It plans to do this by providing more training to its staff attorneys on how to identify systemic discrimination, as well as ensuring that each district office of the EEOC has at least two staff members dedicated to identifying systemic discrimination.
Another way the EEOC will seek to prevent employment discrimination in the upcoming years is by increasing the monitoring of conciliation agreements, to ensure that workplaces are free from discrimination after the EEOC makes a finding of discrimination. Finally, as part of this first goal the EEOC plans to enhance its intake services to potential charging parties, respondents, and their representatives. The EEOC stated that it recently modernized and made its intake system more efficient, and it plans to continue to make its intake system more accessible and functional so it can better process requests for assistance.
The EEOC has developed ten strategies to execute its second goal, which is focused on education and outreach, rather than litigating already existing disputes. These strategies include targeted outreach to vulnerable communities and underserved employees, up-to-date guidance on employment discrimination laws, and improved online infrastructure. The EEOC plans to monitor the progress it makes of reaching out to vulnerable communities by utilizing analytics and metrics to directly measure the impact of each effort to reach communities.
The EEOC’s third goal is an internal initiative, and includes programs like supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within its own workplace.