This past year demonstrated once again that the EEOC will, regardless of the party in power at the White House, strive to be on the cutting-edge of law enforcement for anti-discrimination legislation, and a formidable adversary in litigation. Notably, the biggest story in EEOC litigation in FY 2018 was the surge in #MeToo cases. FY 2018 saw a drastic increase in sex-based discrimination filings, a large portion of which included claims for sexual harassment. Put into perspective, in the last two years, the EEOC has quadrupled its sexual harassment filings.
Despite predictions to the contrary, the change in administration has not, thus far, had a discernable dampening impact on the EEOC’s enforcement activities. Indeed, the EEOC’s Fiscal Year 2018 was marked by a ramp-up in enforcement and litigation activity – even compared to Fiscal Year 2017, which was also a year of significantly increased litigation activity. The EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”), which was revamped for FY 2017-2021, continues to guide the EEOC’s enforcement agenda. The SEP focuses on the same six enforcement priorities as the prior version of the plan, which guided enforcement activities since 2012. The SEP has proven to be a reliable guide for predicting the path of the EEOC’s enforcement agenda. Often, the cases the EEOC takes on align closely with these goals, and FY 2018 was no exception. This year, the report has been arranged in to two main parts:
- Part I of the book provides a broad overview of trends and developments within these six enforcement priorities:
- Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring
- Protecting vulnerable workers
- Addressing emerging issues
- Ensuring equal pay protections
- Preserving access to the legal system
- Preventing systemic harassment
While these priorities are broad, a detailed review of the case filings, guidance, rulemaking, and other initiatives by the EEOC yields a meaningful understanding of how the EEOC views each priority, and where it focuses its enforcement budget within each priority.
- Part II of the book contains summaries of all of the significant federal court decisions arising from EEOC litigation in 2018. The rulings are categorized by subject matter to allow for easy navigation to the topic of interest.
Given the changing political landscape, the EEOC’s enforcement agenda could alter in FY 2019 and beyond. Thus, it is more important now than ever for employers to keep abreast of the EEOC’s shifting priorities and trends. Seyfarth’s EEOC-Initiated Litigation report contains a detailed legislative update, case studies and variety of charts, graphs, and maps tracking key EEOC case categories and historical data. You can learn more about the report at Seyfarth’s Workplace Class Action Blog and the complete edition is once again available for order as an eBook here.