The US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions took a long hard look at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and came back with a report that accuses the agency of being on the wrong track.
The report starts out by discussing the EEOC’s lofty goals of preventing discrimination in the workplace, but quickly turns to accusations of questionable decision making and “embarrassing” and “egregious” litigation tactics. The staff report highlights several cases and situations where the EEOC is accused of using failed methodology, unreliable experts and a glaring lack of transparency.
Here are some of the key findings from the report:
- The EEOC has been sanctioned and ordered to pay attorneys’ fees ten times since 2011. Taxpayers had to foot the bill.
- Monetary rewards for actual victims of discrimination are at a 16 year low.
- The EEOC is ignoring its own mandate to do everything possible to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. Successful conciliations are down significantly over the last 5 years.
- The EEOC is being sued for failing to meet deadlines imposed by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and for failing to meet the agency’s own FOIA regulations.
- The EEOC is focusing its attention on higher-impact, higher-profile cases… sometimes without any actual plaintiffs alleging discrimination.
The report concludes that the agency is increasingly demonstrating poor judgment and using questionable tactics in pursuit of cases that are not fulfilling the EEOC's objective of protecting employees from workplace discrimination.
The report is detailed and very easy to read, as far as government publications go. Click here to see the full report.
Interestingly, just a few days before the Senate released its report, the EEOC issued its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for 2014. This report claims the agency is meeting its strategic enforcement goals despite hurdles like sequestration. Take a look by clicking here.