In a 4-1 vote, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved its FY 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The Commission enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Among other things, the Strategic Plan seeks to reduce the inventory of pending charges without reducing the quality of investigations or causing the premature closing of charges that may have merit. In 2011, nearly 100,000 charges alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation were filed with the Commission. A charge does not constitute a finding that an employer has engaged in conduct that has violated the law. The Commission is responsible to investigate and determine whether there is a reasonable cause to believe a law under its jurisdiction may have been violated.
In 2011, approximately 18,000 charges were administratively closed mostly because the charge did not allege a violation of a law under the Commission’s jurisdiction. About 78,300 charges were investigated. Of the total number of charges filed, only 4,300, or 4.3 percent, were found to have reasonable cause to believe that the employer violated the law. When reasonable cause is found, the charge can be settled or the aggrieved person can file a lawsuit.
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