With FY 2021 approaching quickly, we thought it would be best to reflect on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) discrimination allegations data for FY 2020 to gauge where the agency will be focusing its efforts.
In total, employers paid $439 million to resolve EEOC discrimination allegations for all of FY 2020. According to an EEOC press release, “The agency secured $439.2 million for victims of discrimination in the private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation.”
The agency resolved a total of 70,804 charges for FY 2020 of which nearly 60% of the discrimination claims were retaliation. Disability claims were the second most reported at 36.1%. Race and sex followed shortly after, making up 32.7% and 31.7% respectively.
According to the EEOC Fiscal Year 2020 Report, the agency “secured a record amount of recovery, more than $535 million, for victims of discrimination in the workplace.”
The EEOC also notes that it increased its merit factor resolution to 17.4%, up from 15.6% for FY 2019. According to an EEOC news release, “Merit resolutions refers to charges that are resolved in the agency’s administrative process (pre-litigation) in favor of the individual who filed the charge.” This indicates that the agency is becoming more efficient in its method for identifying and resolving claims brought forward.
The EEOC’s newest chair, Charlotte A. Burrows said in a press release that the “EEOC’s role is more critical now than ever when so many workers are overwhelmed with basic survival. The EEOC will continue to do what it always has – meet new challenges and overcome new obstacles to serve the American people.”
Burrows was appointed by Biden in January this year but has been a part of the EEOC since 2014. Burrows’ priorities for the EEOC focus on issues relating to systemic discrimination. While her strategy for how the agency will identify and correct discrimination in the workplaces has yet to be seen, many suspect we will see the return of EEO-1 Component 2 pay data reporting.
As a refresher for employers who may have forgotten, EEO-1 Component 2 pay data reporting requires employers to submit hours of service and W-2 data on employees as part of the annual EEO-1 snapshot report.
Burrows previously supported EEO-1 Component 2 pay data reporting, saying specifically that the data “would be very useful to the agency.” Burrows adds, “We don’t reveal specifics about [the data] but we do have the opportunity to take it and use it in ways that are helpful.”
Burrows’ position is but one of the many playing a crucial role in the transformative role we’re seeing taking shape across the U.S. The Biden administration is regularly introducing new legislation aimed at combating workplace discrimination. For example, Congress recently held a virtual hearing called, “Closing the Racial and Gender Wealth Gap Through Compensation Equity ” and following the event two bills were introduced.
Jenny Yang, former EEOC chair and key proponent of EEO-1 Component 2 pay data reporting was recently appointed as the new Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
States, such as California, Illinois, and Oregon are also introducing laws to further drive pay equity and workplace equity initiatives.
Bottom line, with the current political climate, the EEOC is poised to bring back EEO-1 Component 2 pay data reporting. Employers should take note of the recent EEOC FY 2020 discrimination allegations data and place it within the larger context of what is happening across the country. If you’re not up to speed with pay equity, diversity, and inclusion, your organization could be subject to monetary damages, poor public image, and legal scrutiny.