Employers should expect to see a big wave of enforcement actions from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the next few months, as the commission ramps up its efforts ahead of its fiscal year-end on Sept. 30.
The EEOC traditionally brings a raft of cases toward the end of the fiscal year, as Congress considers the budget, says Christopher DeGroff, a partner in the Chicago-based law firm of Seyfarth & Shaw. He warns that companies need to take steps now so as not to be caught up in those actions, which can be both costly and damaging to a company’s reputation.
Indeed, last Wednesday, at an EEOC public meeting on developing a strategic plan for attacking employment discrimination, there were many calls for the commission to focus on both hiring discrimination and the harassment and abuse of immigrant employees.
“As our economy struggles to recover from recession and Americans slowly go back to work, it is important that the Commission continue to shine a light on employer policies and practices that exclude workers from consideration for employment,” said Fatima Goss Graves, a member of the employment task force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.