updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2021. The previous plan ran through 2012-2016. The new strategies continue to integrate all components of EEOC’s private, public, and federal sector enforcement, to have a sustainable impact in advancing equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination in the workplace. “This SEP builds on the EEOC’s progress in addressing persistent and developing issues by sharpening the agency’s areas of focus and updating the plan to recognize additional areas of emerging concern,” EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said about the new strategic plan, which will continue to prioritize the areas identified in its previous EEOC SEP for 2013-2016, too. The Commission makes the following changes in the SEP substantive area priorities:
- The Commission revises the priority on Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers to have district offices and the federal sector program identify vulnerable workers and underserved communities within their areas for focused attention.
- Under the Emerging and Developing Issues priority, the Commission narrows the issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act that fall within the category to qualification standards and inflexible leave policies that discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
- Under the Emerging and Developing Issues priority, the Commission adds two areas. The Commission adds a new priority to address issues related to complex employment relationships and structures in the 21st century workplace, focusing specifically on temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy. The Commission also adds a focus on backlash discrimination 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, as tragic events in the United States and abroad have increased the likelihood of discrimination against these communities.
- The Commission continues to focus on gender-based pay discrimination. In addition, in recognition of the pay disparities that persist based on race, ethnicity, and for individuals with disabilities and other protected groups, the Commission extends its equal pay priority to explicitly reach all workers.
- The Commission removes the term “retaliatory actions” from the access to the legal system priority as the term was undefined and resulted in inconsistent application.
- Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring
- Protecting Vulnerable Workers, Including Immigrant and Migrant Workers, and Underserved Communities from Discrimination
- Addressing Selected Emerging and Developing Issues
- Ensuring Equal Pay Protections for All Workers
- Preserving Access to the Legal System
- Preventing Systemic Harassment
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