EEOC agency financial report for 2021 shows declining currency recoveries, but optimistic prospects for the future
Synopsis of Seyfarth: On November 16, 2021, the EEOC released its Agency Financial Report (“AFR”) for fiscal year 2021. AFR is a compilation of data relating to the financial health, initiatives and guiding principles of the EEOC. This year’s edition marks the third iteration of the publication, following the publication of the first AFR in fiscal 2019.
AFR is a “must read” for employers. This is an important guide to how the EEOC spent its budget in fiscal year 2021, thus providing a useful roadmap for the Commission’s strategic direction and implementation priorities. disputes during fiscal year 2022.
Decrease in monetary collections
As we previously reported here, fiscal 2021 represented a return to form for the EEOC after a year of transition, resulting from leadership changes and the COVID-19 pandemic. As complaint filings increased, particularly at the end of the fiscal year in September, EEOC monetary collections fell $ 51 million from a record $ 534.4 million for the ‘Fiscal 2020 to about $ 484 million for FY 2021. That was more like the $ 486 million recovered. during the 2019 financial year.
However, the amount recovered through mediations, conciliations and settlements increased from $ 333.2 million in fiscal 2020 to approximately $ 350.7 million in fiscal 2021, almost reflecting the total of $ 354 million recovered in fiscal year 2019. The total of $ 350.7 million was recovered on behalf of 11,067 victims of employment discrimination in the private sector and state governments and local. The EEOC also announced that more than $ 100 million has been recovered on behalf of 2,169 federal employees and candidates. AFR also noted that the EEOC recovered $ 34 million for 1,920 people following dispute resolutions, a sharp drop from the total of $ 106 million for fiscal 2020 and from 39.1 million dollars for fiscal 2019.
Priority to out-of-court dispute resolution
As the pandemic continues into fiscal 2021, the EEOC has continued its unwavering commitment to alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) programs, including virtual mediation and conciliation procedures. In FY2021, the EEOC successfully resolved 41.1% of its reconciliations, and 51.7% of those that were resolved included complaints relating to one or more priority areas of the strategic enforcement plan. . The EEOC conducted 6,644 private sector mediations, which generated $ 176.6 million in benefits for the parties in charge. This was a significant increase from the $ 156.6 million recovered from mediations in fiscal 2020. In addition, 639 federal sector mediations resulted in recoveries of $ 8.4 million for federal employees and applicants.
Other key developments and initiatives
After the backlog of outstanding charges from the EEOC was reduced in fiscal 2019 and 2020, the backlog experienced a slight increase of 2.0% in fiscal 2021, from 41,951 charges to 42,811 charges. Nonetheless, the Commission communicated frequently with the workforce during fiscal year 2021, handling over 383,500 calls from the public and over 52,000 emails, a 40% increase in volume over fiscal year. 2020. The EEOC reduced the inventory of federal sector hearings for the fourth consecutive time. year, as well as reducing the number of federal calls over 500 days old.
In line with the rapid technological change in the workforce, the EEOC made substantial technological improvements in the 2021 financial year. The Commission improved its tools for data collection and analysis, which, according to the EEOC, will facilitate data-driven decision making. Two new web-based tools were launched, including “EEOC Explore” and “Annual Report Dashboard”, which are designed to provide users with transparency on EEOC application data and statistics.
Finally, despite the pandemic-related restrictions for live events, the EEOC has been very active in the employment community. The Commission organized more than 2,325 awareness events for more than 254,830 people nationwide. These included 313 awareness events related to COVID-19, which affected 38,827 people. In addition, the EEOC organized 186 awareness raising events related to LGBTQ + issues, which brought together 19,208 participants. In partnership with organizations that work with vulnerable workers, the EEOC organized 649 awareness-raising events that reached 105,943 participants. The EEOC also held its first-ever virtual public hearing to explore the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil rights in the workplace, which 2,000 people attended.
Implications for employers
As the workforce adjusted to the pandemic, the EEOC made that transition by continuing to improve its virtual ADR program and the use of data-driven analytics to guide its processes. AFR data shows that while overall cash recoveries have declined in FY2021, the EEOC is getting back on track and gearing up for an active year 2022 and beyond.
We will continue to monitor trends and developments in the EEOC’s mission, including the types of cases that are filed and how the agency chooses to fight these lawsuits in court. As we do every year, we look forward to providing you with an in-depth look at these trends and developments in the months to come.
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