What Else Did the EEOC Do in January 2021?
In addition to the opinion letter and the rules on conciliation procedures and wellness programs discussed elsewhere in this E-Update, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also engaged in the following actions of interest to employers this past month:
- It scheduled the opening of the EEO data collections following the pandemic-related postponements. Of relevance to private employers with 100 or more employees and government contractors and first tier contractors with 50 or more employees, the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 component 1 data collection (i.e. the traditional demographic workforce data) will open in April 2021.
- It unveiled a new Systemic Enforcement at the EEOC webpage to provide more information to employers about the administrative and litigation tools used to identify and address systemic discrimination practices.
- It approved a revised Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination. The manual was updated to include caselaw development on the issues of harassment and reasonable accommodations, and an expanded discussion of the defenses available to religious employers. This revision, however, was issued by a 3-2 vote of the Commissioners, and may be subject to further action given the change in administration.