EEOC Closes Fiscal Year with Lawsuit Barrage That May Signal New Aggressiveness
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed 32 discrimination suits against employers last week, a burst of activity that suggests the increase in aggressiveness that employment lawyers have long anticipated under the Biden administration is finally coming to fruition.
Blank Rome partner Mara Levin, who helps lead the firm’s labor and employment practice in New York, said the Biden administration paved the way for the EEOC to file more suits by repealing certain restrictions.
For example, in July 2021, a Biden joint resolution passed by Congress repealed a Trump-era EEOC rule requiring the agency during the settlement process to provide employers with the facts of the case and the identities of alleged victims.
While Republicans said the rule would encourage settlements by helping employers understand the merits of the case early on, Democrats said it would bog down cases and increase the risk of retaliation against workers filing complaints.
The takeaway for in-house counsel is clear, Levin said.
“General counsel needs to be focused on there being a lot more latitude now for the EEOC to bring cases in its own name,” Levin said. “Training becomes a lot more essential at every level, not only at the executive level, but at the managerial level as well.”
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"EEOC Closes Fiscal Year with Lawsuit Barrage That May Signal New Aggressiveness," by Greg Andrews and Hugo Guzman was published in Corporate Counsel on October 4, 2022.