E-RACE Goals and Objectives
The five main goals of E-RACE, to be achieved within a 5-year timeframe from FY 2008 to FY 2013, are to:
- Improve Data Collection and Data Analysis in order to Identify, Track, Investigate and Prosecute Allegations of Discrimination
- Improve Quality and Consistency in EEOC’s Charge Processing and Litigation Program, and Improve Federal Sector Systems
- Develop Strategies, Legal Theories, and Training Modules to Address Emerging Issues of Race and Color Discrimination
- Enhance Visibility of EEOC’s Enforcement Efforts in Eradicating Race and Color Discrimination
- Engage the Public, Employers, and Stakeholders to Promote Voluntary Compliance to Eradicate Race and Color Discrimination.
It is intended that many of these objectives will be aided by the use of technology. A description of the specific objectives of E-RACE follows.
1. Improve Data Collection and Data Analysis in order to Identify, Track, Investigate and Prosecute Allegations of Discrimination
(1 year and on-going)
- Collect Additional Data and Continue to Review Current Data Collection – The Office of Field Programs (OFP) will collect additional race and national origin demographic data regarding charging parties to provide additional information for EEOC statistical reports, trend identification, and analyses of race and color issues. In addition, OFP, Office of General Counsel (OGC), Office of Information Technology (OIT), Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), and Office of Research, Information, and Planning (ORIP) will review current charge data collection and, in consultation with the Office of the Chair (OCH), determine whether the EEOC should collect any other new data.
- Improve and Generate More Data Analysis – OFP and ORIP will continue to examine existing data to improve data collection, charge tracking, identification of problem employers and industries, and to determine how best to share appropriate data with the public. Also, EEOC will issue reports related to new or updated guidance or documents, based in part on collected data, regarding race and color discrimination.
- Enhance the EEOC’s Work with Other Federal Agencies – To address barriers that may have an adverse impact on federal government hiring of racial and ethnic minorities, the Office of Federal Operations (OFO) will conduct audits of and improve relationship management with agencies with the highest underrepresentation of racial minorities in the workforce, including the Senior Executive Service (SES) level. EEOC will continue to examine proposed federal regulations implicating race and color discrimination to assess potential disparate impact on protected groups, pursuant to Executive Order 12067.
2. Improve Quality and Consistency in EEOC’s Charge Processing and Litigation Program, and Improve Federal Sector Systems
(implemented and on-going)
- Examine Charge Intake Procedures and Processing – Using work groups composed of District Directors and a cross section of EEOC field staff, OCH will review charge intake, resolution procedures and conciliation standards to ascertain which procedures can be standardized and which need to be flexible to meet regional needs. Over time, EEOC will review other agency procedures to advance uniformity in the administrative enforcement and to identify best practices to improve the management and case development of charges. In addition, EEOC will review procedures related to federal employee complaints and adjudication for areas of improvement.
- Complement Systemic Enforcement and Litigation Initiative – Pursuant to the Systemic Enforcement and Litigation Initiative, field offices have created and will update systemic plans to further the agency’s strategic enforcement and prosecution efforts. In support of E-RACE, many of the systemic plans will focus on policies and procedures, employment actions, or practices in particular industries that may have a significant or adverse impact based on race and color.
- Maintain Consistent EEOC Positions – Through collaboration and communication between the Field and Headquarter units on policy and litigation positions affecting issues arising from race and color discrimination, OFO, OFP, OGC, and OLC will continue to maintain consistency and uniformity in the development, application, and analysis of legal theories.
3. Develop Strategies, Legal Theories, and Training Modules to Address Emerging Issues of Discrimination
(1 year and ongoing)
- Issue New Commission Guidance and Updates – OLC, in consultation with OCH, will develop new and updated materials on issues relating to race and color discrimination such as credit-based discrimination, written employment tests, and intersectional discrimination to promote public awareness and education. [1 year and ongoing]
- Explore Use of Matched-Pair Testing – OCH will convene an internal work group to explore and assess whether and how the Commission should use matched-pair testing to combat barriers to employment, including its use in assessing compliance with consent decrees and most effectively working in coordination with FEPAs or other partners. (2 years)
- Conduct Training for EEOC Employees – The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO), Office of Human Resources (OHR), OFO, OFP, OGC, and OLC will continue to train internal staff on emerging discrimination issues, including those based on race and color. Training topics will include disparate impact, cultural competency, innovative remedies, new research on the efficacy of diversity programs, and effectively using ORIP reports. Ongoing instruction concerning class action certification and administration also will be provided for attorneys and Administrative Judges addressing federal sector issues. (1 year and on-going)
- Create New Computer Applications for Self-Measuring – ORIP will explore the feasibility of creating computer-based tools that will allow employers and the public to compare the demographics of their workforces to those of other workforces and labor force availability in similar geographic areas and industries, as measured by an aggregation of confidential data reported on EEO-1 forms. (4 years)
- Develop Strategies for Addressing 21 st Century Manifestations of Discrimination – OFP and OGC will develop and implement investigative and litigation strategies to address selection criteria and methods that may foster discrimination based on race and other prohibited bases, such as credit and background checks, arrest and conviction records, employment tests, subjective decision making, and exclusions based on names, zip codes or geographic areas and other factors. Additionally, OGC is responsible for prosecuting cases raising race and color issues and will continue to examine its docket to assess whether the number of cases filed in each office’s region is reasonable when compared to the number of meritorious race and color charges (that have failed conciliation) in those regions. Finally, EEOC will continue to work with small and mid-sized companies to better educate them about anti-discrimination laws and the types of discrimination that may occur at smaller companies. (3 years)
4. Enhance the Visibility of EEOC’s Enforcement Efforts in Eradicating Race and Color Discrimination
- Improve Public Outreach and Education Strategies – To improve its public outreach and education strategies, the OFP will develop materials on race and color discrimination issues and the E-RACE Initiative, and field offices will maintain and update local resource lists of organizations, experts, and scholars that have an interest in issues related to race or color discrimination. (1 year and on-going)
- Enhance Our Website and Technological Capability – ORIP, in coordination with the Office of Communication and Legislative Affairs (OCLA), OGC, OFP, and OFO, will enhance the EEOC’s public website by updating the E-RACE Initiative webpage, which will contain links to guidance, technical assistance materials, lists of significant race and color cases, and relevant reports and statistical studies. To accomplish our E-RACE goals, EEOC also will make better use of teleconferencing, video conferencing and other electronic media. (1 year and on-going)
- Increase Media Publicity – OCLA will broaden its press efforts on race and color discrimination cases, including increasing its outreach to additional ethnic and language minority media and to publications with a federal employee audience. (1 year)
5. Engage the Public, Employers, and Stakeholders to Promote Voluntary Compliance to Eradicate Race and Color Discrimination
(1 year and ongoing)
- Increase Public Awareness of the Persistence of Race and Color Discrimination – During training sessions, Youth@Work presentations, TAPS meetings, EXCEL conferences, FEPA conferences, and other formal communications with the public and stakeholders, OCLA, OGC, OLC, and Field office staff will incorporate emerging issues related to race and color discrimination such as bi- or multi- racial discrimination, intersectional discrimination, hiring and selection criteria, and new workforce concerns.
- Hold a Series of Public Meetings – OCH will sponsor or co-sponsor a series of meetings on race and color discrimination covering topics including: hiring discrimination; implicit bias in employment; and employer best practices on diversity and inclusion. In May 2007, the series began with a meeting on the impact of written employment tests and other screening devices on racial groups.
- Collaborate with Business and Advocacy Communities to Increase Voluntary Compliance – OCH and OFP will strengthen collaboration with employer groups, human resource professionals, employee advocates, law firms, and other interested parties to address racial disparities in the workplace (e.g., glass ceilings, sticky floors, job steering, pay inequities); to promote inclusiveness and diversity; to encourage the adoption and enforcement of zero-tolerance or progressive discipline policies for unlawful discrimination; and to emphasize the importance of employers promoting dialogue about race, color, unconscious bias, and cultural issues at their workplaces.