Thursday, February 12, 2009

Problems at the EEOC

Is any surprised by this headline from The Washington Post: EEOC Struggles With Huge Workload, Diminished Staff? I suspect that we have the same problem with our Indiana Civil Rights Commission (I see they are no longer hosting an Continuing Legal Education programs).

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charged with enforcing the nation's job discrimination laws, is facing its largest caseload in at least a quarter-century with sharply diminished staffing and resources, according to commission and union officials.
The 44-year-old commission has been dogged by budgetary and staffing problems before, but union officials say the Obama administration faces a tough challenge in overcoming morale problems and an overwhelmed workforce.

Some allegations of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age or disability are languishing for months because of inadequate staffing.

More than 95,400 charges of job bias in the private sector were filed
in fiscal year 2008, up 15.2 percent from the previous year and up 26
percent from 2006. But the size of the EEOC staff, which is responsible
for investigating the complaints, has steadily decreased in size and
now numbers 2,192, down from approximately 2,850 in 2000.

If I were still in-house counsel, I would be beyond annoyed at this news. For those who think less regulation is a good thing, please consider that businesses are waiting for completion of investigations. That uncertainty bodes no good for a business.