Demystifying EEOC Compliance: Essential Insights for Employers

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces several federal laws and regulations that establish requirements for employers. Effectively managing EEOC compliance is essential, as non-compliance can lead to a dissatisfied workforce, reputational harm, and litigation.

But what does it take to comply? This is a source of confusion for many business owners and executives—which is understandable, as there are numerous aspects to EEOC compliance. To help demystify the process, here is a brief overview of what business owners and executives need to know to get started:

When Are Employers Subject to EEOC Compliance?

One of the most confusing aspects of EEOC compliance is that employers are subject to varying compliance obligations under varying circumstances. For example, the obligation to file an annual EEO-1 Report with the EEOC only applies to private-sector employers with 100 or more employees (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees). However, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which is one of several statutes the EEOC enforces—applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. When we represent employers with respect to EEOC compliance, we begin by ensuring that our clients have a clear understanding of the scope of their compliance obligations.

Which Federal Employment Laws Does the EEOC Enforce?

The EEOC enforces several federal employment laws. Along with Title VII, these include (but are not limited to) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Equal Pay Act (EPA). The EEOC has adopted regulations implementing these laws as well. While the scope of employers’ obligations can seem overwhelming, employers can manage EEOC compliance effectively with an informed and systematic approach.

What Does It Take to Effectively Manage EEOC Compliance?

Effectively managing EEOC compliance starts with understanding which statutes and regulations apply. With a clear understanding of their obligations, employers can then work with their counsel to develop and implement custom-tailored EEOC compliance policies and procedures. Internal compliance training is essential as well, and employers should conduct training programs that reflect individual employees’ roles in helping to maintain compliance.

Along with policies, procedures, and training, effectively managing EEOC compliance may require various additional steps as well. These may include submitting EEO-1 Reports, appropriately responding to employee complaints, and documenting the basis for employment-related decisions, among others.

How Can I Assess Whether My Business is EEOC-Compliant?

Beyond implementing EEOC compliance programs, employers must also periodically assess their compliance programs’ efficacy on an ongoing basis. This involves auditing their policies, procedures, and employment practices to determine whether additional steps are necessary. In addition to helping our clients establish EEOC compliance, we also help our clients maintain EEOC compliance by overseeing their internal audits and advising regarding any necessary compliance program updates, additions, or modifications.

Schedule an Appointment at Rendigs, Fry, Kiely & Dennis, LLP

If you need to know more about your business’s obligations or what it takes to manage an effective EEOC compliance program, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule an appointment with our experienced employment lawyers, please call 513-381-9200 or inquire online today.