In March 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) submitted its Congressional Budget Justification for fiscal year 2023. The EEOC is the leading federal law enforcement agency dedicated to preventing and addressing employment discrimination. The budget for this year reflects an increase in dollars requested by about $60M from the FY 2022 budget. Part of the reason for this increase is a $31M allocation for state and local fair employment practice agencies and tribal employment rights organizations.
According to Charlotte Burrows, the Chair of the EEOC, the agency will focus on the following three areas: (1) racial justice and systemic discrimination on all protected bases, (2) pay equity, and (3) the civil rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in FY 2023.
According to this report, nearly one-third of all charges filed with the agency have alleged some form of racial discrimination. The EEOC plans to find ways to combat systemic discrimination, including working with employers who seek guidance on how to appropriately respond to questions about fairness in their own practices.
The report also notes that, today, women working full-time make 82 cents on the dollar when compared to white, non-Hispanic males. The agency plans to put more focus and resources towards addressing pay discrimination and unjustified wage gaps.
The EEOC plans to continue to provide resources to assist employers and employees in solving pandemic-related issues. The agency is prepared to address continued questions from stakeholders regarding re-entry to physical workplaces, vaccination policies, testing and masking requirements, and the future of work.
Employers should be aware of where the EEOC is focusing its resources for the upcoming fiscal year and continue to be diligent in conducting regular employee training in order to protect employees and foster healthy and inclusive work environments.