CHICAGO (December 31, 2019) -- Seyfarth has released its annual report on EEOC legal enforcement and court rulings, entitled EEOC-Initiated Litigation: FY 2019, the most definitive source of analysis that focuses exclusively on EEOC-related litigation. Authored by Seyfarth lawyers Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Christopher J. DeGroff, and Matthew J. Gagnon, this year’s report provides detailed analysis of the major case filings, policy directives, and all federal court rulings involving the EEOC in 2019.
This past year again demonstrated that the EEOC is not isolated from the turmoil in Washington, nor the broader shifting political climate nationally. Between a political stalemate surrounding the re-confirmation of a former Commissioner, the government shutdown, and a general political swirl of issues, the EEOC ran on less than a full complement of executive leadership for roughly one-third of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, the continuing acceleration of the #MeToo movement, and ongoing national discussions regarding race and national origin continue to impact the workplace. Despite these external challenges and the constraints the Commission experienced in 2019, it remained committed to pursuing the objectives of its 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan. This year’s report has been arranged into two main parts:
- Part I of this book is arranged to coincide with the EEOC’s six enforcement priorities as outlined in its Strategic Enforcement Plan. Each subsection highlights the most important judicial decisions and other litigation activity impacting EEOC-initiated litigation, as well as the agency rule-making and other legislative efforts and initiatives that were of particular importance to the EEOC’s pursuit of these priorities and objectives in FY 2019. This analysis reveals the areas and issues where employers should direct their attention while considering employment-related business decisions. Some key highlights include the following:
- Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring - A new focus on age discrimination: Artificial Intelligence and other forms of digital bias
- Protecting vulnerable workers - A potential new enforcement trend: Heightened awareness of national origin discrimination
- Addressing emerging issues - Supreme Court set to decide whether LGBT discrimination is prohibited by Title VII
- Ensuring equal pay protections - Changes to the collection of EEO-1 data
- Preserving access to the legal system - Recent EEOC amicus briefs highlight agency priorities
- Preventing systemic harassment - EEOC operating in the #MeToo era
- Part II is a compilation of every significant case that was decided in 2019 impacting EEOC-initiated litigation. In that section, critical procedural and evidentiary matters are outlined in detail to provide a comprehensive look at how companies might approach these issues when facing EEOC litigation, serving as a resource of recent case authority for these and other issues.
- Subpoena enforcement actions
- Procedural and jurisdictional attacks
- Discovery in EEOC cases
- Dispositive motions in EEOC pattern or practice and single plaintiff cases
- Remedies in EEOC litigation