The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that is responsible for enforcing federal workplace discrimination laws. Every year, the EEOC receives thousands of complaints from employees who are being harassed or discriminated against in the workplace. Representatives from the EEOC then work with these individuals to seek justice against their employers. Here’s a look back at some of the EEOC’s key efforts in 2017:
Becoming More Efficient
Many of the tens of thousands of complaints that are filed every year are legitimate. However, there are some complaints that are not. In 2017, the EEOC made an effort to weed out the illegitimate complaints in order to get help to actual victims more quickly. As a result of their efforts, the agency was able to resolve 99,000 claims, which is 16,000 more than they were able to resolve the year before.
Making the Process More Convenient For Employees
The agency also made the process of filing a complaint more convenient for victims by launching a new online portal. Victims are now able to file pre-charge inquiries, schedule meetings with the EEOC, submit required documentation, and check the status of their complaint online. The portal has made it much easier for victims of discrimination and harassment to initiate a complaint against their employer, which is a win for workers everywhere.
Recovering Millions in Compensation
In 2017, the EEOC collected nearly $400 million in compensation from employers in the private and public sectors. Most of this money—about $355.6 million—was paid through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. The remaining portion of the $400 million was awarded in lawsuits won by the EEOC. The fact that the EEOC recovered so much compensation sends a strong message to employers who are violating federal discrimination laws. Employers who violate these laws will have to face financial consequences.
Promoting Change in the Workplace
The EEOC also reports that 85.7% of the resolutions involved targeted equitable resolution (TER). TER is a resolution that requires the employer to address the discriminatory practices within their organization that led to the complaint. To fulfill this obligation, some employers work with the victim to remedy the situation. For example, if a victim was wrongfully terminated, the employer could give him his job back to remedy the situation. Other employers fulfill this obligation by establishing company policies that will prevent similar discriminatory practices in the future. Therefore, the EEOC’s efforts are leading to major changes in workplaces everywhere.
Have you been discriminated against at work? The employment law attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. are ready to help you seek justice against your employer. Call 918-582-2500, toll free (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.