The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has approved an update to their Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for the years 2017 through 2021. The SEP identifies areas where the EEOC intends to focus their efforts. For this period the EEOC has identified the folloing substantive priorities:

  1. Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring.
  2. Protecting Vulnerable Workers, Including Immigrant and Migrant Workers, and Underserved Communities from Discrimination.Addressing Selected Emerging and Developing Issues.
  3. Qualification standards and inflexible leave policies that discriminate against individuals with disabilities;
    • Accommodating pregnancy-related limitations under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA);
    • Protecting lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination based on sex;
    • Clarifying the employment relationship and the application of workplace civil rights protections in light of the increasing complexity of employment relationships and structures, including temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy; and
    • Addressing discriminatory practices against those who are Muslim or Sikh, or persons of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, as well as persons perceived to be members of these groups, arising from backlash against them from tragic events in the United States and abroad.
  4. Ensuring Equal Pay Protections for All Workers.
  5. Preserving Access to the Legal System.
  6. Preventing Systemic Harassment.

Although this guidance doesn’t limit the ability of the EEOC to take enforcement action in other areas, it does provide insight into the issues where the EEOC has particular concern.

Click here to read the release from the EEOC.