Equal Opportunity:

Further Improvements Needed in EEOC Enforcement Activities

HRD-81-29: Published: Apr 9, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 1981.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The President's 1978 Reorganization Plan increased the authority and responsibility of EEOC and made it the principal agency for enforcing federal equal employment opportunity requirements. In 1976, GAO reported that EEOC management problems were thwarting its enforcement activities.

Since the previous GAO report, EEOC has made many changes to correct its problems in handling individual charges of employment discrimination and in developing and investigating self-initiated charges. However, many of these improvements represent only the potential for success because they are still relatively new and in their implementation stages. Additional matters need to be considered to help ensure that EEOC reforms fulfill their potential, such as: (1) not settling charges that lack reasonable cause under the rapid charge process; (2) authorizing EEOC to sue state and local governments under title VII; and (3) improving the collection of employment data from private employers and aggressively monitoring conciliation agreements and consent decrees.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: No bill has been introduced. Congressional staff members have indicated that they are reluctant to introduce any amendments to title VII now or in the near future.

    Matter: Congress should amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide that EEOC may initiate litigation on a charge against a state or local government if the Department of Justice decides not to sue within a specified time. Suggested legislative language for such an amendment is in appendix V.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should direct the Executive Director to discontinue negotiating settlements on charges lacking reasonable cause and to close them with a no-cause decision or advise charging parties to withdraw them.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should emphasize the importance of compliance monitoring and establish procedures to ensure that monitoring is performed promptly and that onsite visits are made to verify reports, as appropriate.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should direct the General Counsel to file suits more timely and adopt a standard that suits should be filed within a certain time, such as 90 days after a decision is made to litigate.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should direct the Executive Director to consider revising the criteria for contracting with state and local fair employment practices agencies to include agencies presently excluded.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: EEOC said that, based on its information, state and local agencies would not be willing to process charges on a nonreimbursable basis.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should direct the Executive Director to use alternatives to the present contracting procedures, such as contracting on a nonreimbursable basis.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: EEOC representatives said it is unlikely this recommendation will be implemented in the foreseeable future.

    Recommendation: The Acting Chairman of EEOC should expedite revising the EEO-1 report to provide improved data including employee wage and salary data.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: No action has been taken to implement this recommendation. Instead, EEOC and the Office of Federal Compliance Programs are attempting to address the problems identified by improving interagency coordination and revising their memorandum of understanding and regulations.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Management and Budget should advise the President that the contract compliance function under Executive Order 11246 should be transferred from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to EEOC.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

 

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