Last Friday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it was seeking public comment of its draft principles for the Quality Control Plan (Plan) which will revise the criteria for measuring the quality of the agency’s investigations and conciliations. The Plan was developed by an internal work group of EEOC front-line staff and managers, and addresses the issues of timeliness and quality.

The EEOC stated the standard of review in assessing the quality of investigations and conciliations, nationally, will be “whether the actions taken were reasonable given the totality of circumstances, including available resources.” The Plan will not measure specific performance of any one staff person and, instead, that would be reserved for the performance review process. The EEOC also explained that the level of investigatory resources given to each Charge will be dependent upon its categorization under the Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP) and overall resources available.

According to the EEOC, the Plan defines a “quality investigation” as the EEOC performing the following:

  1. Ientify the bases, issues, and relevant allegations of the alleged unlawful employment action in a Charge.
  2. Conduct an investigation consistent with its PCHP.
  3. Apply the law to the facts to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that unlawful employment discrimination has occurred.
  4. Communicate with the Charging Party and the Respondent (or with their lawyers, if represented) to obtain sufficient information to make its determination.

The Plan defines “quality conciliation” as one in which the EEOC conducts the following:

  1. Seeks targeted, equitable relief.
  2. Informs the parties of the proposed categories of relief and how monetary terms were reached.
  3. Responds appropriately to reasonable offers made by the parties.

Comments to the draft Plan can be submitted to the EEOC through 5:00 p.m. EST, May 24, 2013, at or via mail at Executive Officer, Office of the Executive Secretariat, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507.