Areas the EEOC Will Focus on in the Future

HR Resource
February 8, 2013 — 2,212 views  
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The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) remained active in 2011 as issues such as domestic violence, LGBT rights, and social media passwords were investigated. HR and benefits professionals will have to keep a keen eye on some interesting and important employment trends going on in 2013, as a new SEP (Strategic Enforcement Plan) has been approved by the EEOC. Companies can avoid employment lawsuits and messy labor issues as the EEOC looks to eliminate barriers in workplaces.

Domestic Violence

The EEOC highlighted domestic discrimination as one of its main areas of focus due to the numerous mass shootings that occurred last year. Domestic violence has the potential to enter an individual’s workplace as seen in the shootings where the estranged wives of two gunmen faced their wrath at their workplace last year. Employers are faced with security concerns. However, the EEOC has warned against the discrimination of employees who are victimized by stalking or abuse.

According to the EEOC, companies must confirm that they possess concrete evidence before transferring or firing an employee. HR professionals must have proof that the individual’s presence causes concerns for the safety of other employees of the company.


Sexual discrimination at workplaces is another important area of focus for the EEOC. Discrimination against transgender individuals at workplaces was a major issue last year. Fortunately, an increasing number of companies have extended benefits to these employees as the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) report showed that over 200 companies provided benefits to their transgender workers in 2012, in comparison to the mere 85 from a year earlier. HR professionals are expected to take additional care when drafting health care policies for their employees and meet EEOC’s requirements.

Initiative for Young Workers

An increasing amount of emphasis has been laid on young workers over the past year as the EEOC looks to create a responsible working environment for teenagers. The organization launched an initiative called [email protected] in order to educate teenagers and students about their responsibilities and rights at workplaces. Teenagers were invited to the agency’s Denver field office where they engaged in dialogues to reduce the gap between the various wage levels.

Due to their lack of experience, many teenagers suffer at workplaces and the EEOC has warned companies against discrimination of younger employees.

Accommodation of Accents

This problem may not apply to each and every single employee, but there remains a troubling and interesting side effect of the American economy. There has been a 76 per cent increase in discrimination against employees of different national origins in the past fifteen years. It is understood that many companies, mainly the ones who employ truck drivers, often fire their employees because of their accent. A fine example of the trend is the case of Ismail Aliyev, a truck driver who was allegedly sacked by FedEx due to his Russian accent. HR professionals are advised to ensure that their recruits can communicate in English so that they are easily understood. The EEOC warns of severe action being in cases of discrimination of foreign nationals.         

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