Since 1965, EEOC has been charged with enforcing the Nation's civil rights employment laws, which protect individuals from discrimination in the workplace. Notwithstanding the changing legal and business landscapes, we continue to focus on our fundamental responsibility - seeking to correct the wrongs of employment discrimination and bringing justice and equal opportunity to the workplace.
To have a meaningful impact on discrimination, we must approach our enforcement activities more strategically, taking workplace trends, changing workforce dynamics, and shifting demographics into consideration. We must employ our resources in ways that will achieve maximum results, while still protecting the rights of the individual. Through focused and strategic enforcement efforts, we seek to broadly influence policies and practices in the American workplace and to bring justice and opportunity to all.
Through our Justice and Opportunity Strategic Objective, we strive to remedy and deter unlawful discrimination and increase public confidence in the fair and prompt resolution of employment discrimination disputes. These broad outcomes focus our measures and strategies on three points of our Five-Point Plan: Proficient Resolution, Promoting and Expanding Mediation/ADR and Strategic Enforcement and Litigation.
|Justice and Opportunity Performance Scorecard|
|Total FY 2004 Investment: $324.9 million|
|Total Measures||Targets Met||Targets Partially Met||Targets Not Met|
Timeliness and quality are key measures of our success in processing private sector charges. Measure 1.1.1 tracks our progress in resolving charges in 180 days or fewer. In FY 2004, we met our target to resolve 65% of charges within this time frame. We received 79,432 private sector charges, 2% less than the 81,293 received in FY 2003. Through administrative resolutions and mediation, we obtained more than $364.1 million in monetary benefits for victims of employment discrimination. Other achievements in the private sector program include:
Mediation is the centerpiece of our Five-Point Plan. It is an important tool for resolving private sector charges quickly, to the benefit of both employees and employers. The program has been very successful and has contributed to our ability over the past few years to reduce our inventory and resolve more charges in 180 days or fewer; meeting our earlier timeliness measure.
Taking on Age Discrimination
The Philadelphia District Office settled an ADEA lawsuit against Honeywell International, a global diversified technology company, alleging that the defendant discharged or demoted a class of sales managers and representatives during a company-wide reorganization because of age. The class will receive $2.15 million in monetary relief.
Since the private sector mediation program was launched in the early 1990s, we have resolved more than 43,192 charges through our private sector mediation program - the largest workplace mediation program in the country. Our program is both voluntary and confidential. Its goal is to encourage the earliest possible amicable resolution of charges by the parties themselves with the help of a neutral mediator.
In FY 2004, EEOC's National Mediation Program secured 8,086 resolutions - the highest number ever - and an increase over the previous year's 7,990. We secured more than $112.4 million in benefits for complainants from mediation resolutions.
Two measures under Promote and Expand Mediation/ADR (Measures 1.2.2, 1.2.3) highlight important aspects of our private sector mediation program - employer participation and the confidence that respondents and charging parties have in the program. Although participants almost uniformly view our mediation program favorably (see Measure 1.2.3.), the percentage of employers agreeing to mediate is considerably less than the percentage of charging parties agreeing to mediate. Beginning in FY 2004, we implemented a new performance measure, Measure 1.2.2, to increase the number of charges in which employers agree to mediate. Through expanded outreach and increased publicity efforts about our mediation program, we aim to increase employers' participation.
EEOC Mediation Program
On December 2, 2003, the Commission
held a meeting to promote greater employer understanding of and participation in the agency's acclaimed mediation program. Representatives of corporate America, the private bar, and professionals in dispute resolution and human resources all described the many workplace benefits of mediation and EEOC's program. Those attending the meeting cited the benefits of increased productivity, enhanced communications, positive employee relations, cost reductions, faster settlements of disputes, and avoidance of future disputes and claims.
We have continued to expand our use of Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAMs) with employers. UAMs save time and effort for employers and for EEOC. During FY 2004, we entered into 637 local agreements between employers and our District Offices. At the national level, 71 large corporations, including several Fortune 500 companies, have agreed to enter into regional or national agreements to mediate (NUAMs) charges filed with EEOC at any of our district offices across the country.
In addition, in 2003, we introduced the "Referral Back" Initiative. When charges are filed against the participating employer, EEOC will suspend charge processing for 60 days so that the parties can voluntarily participate in the employer-provided dispute resolution program. In FY 2004, we continued our efforts to expand this pilot to include more of our field offices.
Another expansion of our mediation program involves contracting with state and local FEPAs to mediate charges on our behalf. FY 2003 was the first time that state and local agencies were allowed to compete for mediation services. We continued with this pilot program in 2004, which involved nine participating FEPAs.
At the national level, EEOC provided outreach and training to national corporations both directly and through employer groups such as the Equal Employment Advisory Council and the Society for Human Resource Management through its monthly cyber chats. At the local level, our District Offices conducted substantial outreach to small and mid-sized businesses to expand employer participation in our mediation program.
Our enforcement efforts also rely on a strong litigation program. Effective litigation provides relief to many victims of discrimination, who may have no other recourse, and it encourages employers to settle cases earlier in EEOC's administrative enforcement process. Also, publicity for our high impact cases and other litigation increases employer compliance with the statutes we enforce.
A previous study of our litigation demonstrated that we achieved a 90% rate of success in the past with our litigation. We established a new measure, Measure 1.3.3 to maintain this high level of success. Throughout the entire period from FY 2004-2009, we expect to maintain at least the 90% level, using a six-year rolling average of successful lawsuits to account for minor year-to-year fluctuations that can result from a limited database of observations. For FY 2004, we met our target and achieved a success rate of 92.2% over a six-year period from FY 1999-2004.
Improving the Workplace
The Miami District Office settled a Title VII lawsuit against Airguide Corporation, a heating/air conditioner parts manufacturer, alleging that female employees were sexually harassed and disciplined and discharged in retaliation for complaining of the harassment, and that male employees were disciplined, harassed, suspended and discharged because they provided information in support of the women's sexual harassment claims or filed EEOC charges on their own behalf. The seven affected individuals will share $1 million in monetary relief.
EEOC field legal units filed 378 new lawsuits on the merits and
36 subpoena enforcement and other actions during
FY 2004. Legal staff resolved 344 lawsuits for a monetary recovery of more than $160 million dollars. Of the 344 resolutions, there were 262 Title VII settlements, 38 ADA settlements, 27 ADEA settlements, and 17 concurrent settlements. We also resolved 28 subpoena enforcement and other actions during the year. In terms of dollars recovered in direct and intervention lawsuits by statute, EEOC recovered $128,560,844 in Title VII settlements, $5,211,462 in ADEA settlements, $2,635,955 in ADA settlements, and $27,328,000 in concurrent settlements. In addition, the number of cases on our docket involving multiple aggrieved parties continued to rise, reaching 224 cases (or 42.3% of cases) in FY 2004.
FEPA charge receipts decreased by 8%, from 61,998 in FY 2003 to 57,318 in FY 2004. During the year, FEPAs transferred a net total of 4,692 charges into our workload. FEPAs resolved 56,882 charges, 8% less than during the previous year. The pending inventory decreased to 57,808 from 62,774 in FY 2003.
Like our Private Sector Program, timeliness and quality are important measures of success in serving the Federal sector community. We have made considerable gains in processing complaints filed against Federal agencies. In FY 2004, the Commission received 9,027 requests for hearings and 7,831 appeals. Measures 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 track our progress in the timely resolution of hearings and appeals. For FY 2004, our target was to resolve 35% of Federal sector hearings within 180 days. While we fell short of meeting this measure by only a few percentage points, we exceeded the target for Federal sector appeals, resolving 51.8% of cases received in FY 2004 within 180 days. Other accomplishments in processing the Federal sector caseload include:
We continue to pursue efforts to reform the Federal sector program to better serve the Federal sector community. Complainants and Federal agencies have long voiced concerns that the process is much too slow, too expensive and inherently unfair. In November 2002, we convened a Commission meeting to hear testimony from a cross-section of stakeholders concerning the Federal sector EEO complaint processing system. The meeting provided a forum for gathering facts, identifying issues, and considering recommendations for reform. In addition to the Commission meeting, we conducted a series of smaller roundtable sessions with various stakeholder groups and have received numerous written comments. The feedback and comments received from our stakeholders continue to inform our efforts to improve the Federal sector process.
Under our responsibilities as "Chief EEO Officer" for the Executive Branch, EEOC used a new approach in creating a barrier-free, level playing field throughout the Federal government, articulated in the new Management Directive (MD) 715. Issued October 1, 2003, MD 715 provides much needed policy guidance to Federal agencies regarding their obligations under Section 717 of Title VII and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, replacing existing MDs 712, 713, and 714. The new directive emphasizes the identification and elimination of unnecessary barriers to equality of opportunity and focuses on the design and implementation of agency programs. With this new approach, the Commission will be able to provide valuable assistance to agencies in the design of their programs to advance equal employment opportunity. We also delivered training programs and technical assistance to assist agencies in implementing MD 715.
EEOC has also incorporated relationship management techniques to better establish a customer-centered organization that can deliver relevant information, better service, and agency-specific solutions. The Commission also partnered with several Federal agencies this past year to provide them individualized EEO training and technical assistance.
With improved data analyses resulting from faster and more accurate web-based data submissions from Federal agencies (Form 462), the Commission issued more detailed annual reports on the Federal workforce, which included agency-specific profiles and tips for program improvements. The latest report can be found at www.eeoc.gov/federal/fsp2003/index.html.
This page was last modified on November 18, 2004
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