On September 22, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) completed the last of three public sessions it conducted to solicit input on a forthcoming Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). In the past, the SEP has established substantive area priorities for the EEOC and set out strategies to integrate components of the EEOC’s private, public, and federal sector enforcement. The EEOC utilizes SEPs to further its mission of sustainably advancing equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination in the workplace. The public feedback process helps the EEOC to identify necessary modifications to the SEP. Additionally, the process helps to spot areas that may require increased attention and EEOC resources, as well as areas that may not have sufficient impact and therefore warrant a reduction in resources.
The new SEP is expected to be released in late 2022 or early 2023 and will reveal the EEOC’s regulatory and educational plan for the fiscal years of 2022 to 2027. The public sessions conducted so far have provided the public with a view into the EEOC’s strategic priorities in the coming years. The first session was focused on racial and economic justice in the workplace. The second session brought light to the challenges of workers who are especially vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace, including immigrant migrant workers, transgender individuals, individuals with limited proficiency in English, and individuals with developmental disabilities. The final session garnered input from a range of stakeholders, including civil rights groups, management employees, and advocacy groups, to broadly discuss the priorities and goals of the new SEP.
The release of the SEP represents an important legal update, as it will detail the ways in which the EEOC will expand and improve enforcement of federal workplace discrimination laws. As such, Norton Rose Fulbright will be closely tracking both the formation and release of this document, and will provide a fulsome summary and comment on the SEP shortly after its release.
The authors wish to thank David Dyckerhoff for his contributions in preparing this blog post.