Equal Opportunity:

Information on the Atlanta and Seattle EEOC District Offices

HRD-86-63FS: Published: Feb 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1986.

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Pursuant to congressional requests, GAO visited the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Atlanta and Seattle district offices to obtain management and staff views on the effect of new EEOC policies on: (1) the investigation of discrimination laws; (2) enforcement of antidiscrimination charges; (3) remedies to be sought for victims of discrimination; (4) procedures for conducting systemic investigations to identify patterns and practices of employment discrimination; and (5) monitoring the performance of state and local fair employment practices agencies that assist EEOC in investigating and resolving discrimination charges.

GAO found that: (1) the Atlanta staff did not believe that the new policies had significantly affected the quantity or quality of their work, but some believed that it may be difficult to conduct full investigations on each charge without increasing case-processing time; (2) the Seattle staff believed that the new policies had contributed to an increase in its pending inventory of charges, a decline in negotiated settlements, and an increase in no-cause findings; and (3) both offices had increases in the number of cases submitted to EEOC for litigation consideration in fiscal year 1985. The staff of both offices: (1) did not believe that the remedies policy had substantially changed the relief obtained for charging parties because it provided them with flexibility in applying the policy's five elements to each case; (2) believed that recent changes in the EEOC systemic program would improve efforts to identify patterns and practices of employment discrimination, however, both offices had cases returned by EEOC headquarters for additional work to identify victims of systemic discrimination; and (3) believed that state and local fair employment practices agencies had performed satisfactorily, but EEOC had not decided whether the agencies should comply with the new policies.

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