HR Policy Association

Senate Report Sharply Critical of EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Tactics

Published on: December 5, 2014

Authors: D. Mark Wilson

Topics: Employee Relations, Employment Law, Inclusion and Diversity

A new Republican staff report from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions says the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is increasingly demonstrating poor judgment and using questionable tactics in pursuit of cases that are not fulfilling the agency's objective of protecting employees from workplace discrimination.  The report finds the EEOC "is pursuing many questionable cases through sometimes overly aggressive means—and, as a result, has suffered significant court losses that are embarrassing to the agency and costly to taxpayers."  Recent court decisions have found the agency's litigation tactics to be so egregious they have ordered EEOC to pay defendants' attorney's fees in ten cases since 2011.  The report also notes that "several courts have openly criticized EEOC for its failure to satisfy pre-litigation requirements, such as attempting to resolve discrimination disputes out of court; yet, the general counsel is leading an effort to prevent court review of such requirements."  The report kicks off what is likely to be more aggressive Senate oversight of the EEOC next year when Republicans take control of the Committee.