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2009 Performance and Accountability Report Highlights

Highlights of Management’s Discussion and Analysis & Performance Results


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, and genetic information. The agency began its work in 1965. More than 40 years later, the public continues to rely on the Commission to carry out its responsibility to bring justice and equal opportunity to the workplace.

The Commission receives, investigates, and resolves charges of employment discrimination filed against private sector employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and state and local governments. Where the Commission does not resolve these charges through conciliation or other informal methods, it may also file suit in court against private sector employers, employment agencies and labor unions (and against state and local governments in cases alleging age discrimination or equal pay violations). The EEOC also leads and coordinates equal employment opportunity efforts across the federal government, and conducts administrative hearings and issues appellate decisions on complaints of discrimination filed by federal employees and applicants for federal employment. Finally, the Commission engages in extensive communication and outreach, provides technical assistance, and promulgates regulations and written enforcement guidance to help employers and employees better understand their rights and responsibilities under the laws the EEOC enforces.

A more detailed explanation of the EEOC’s structure and the laws it enforces can be found in Appendix A.


The Performance and Accountability Report is based on the EEOC’s current modified Strategic Plan for FY 2007 through FY 2012. The agency’s Strategic Plan was first published on October 1, 2006 (FY 2007). Over several years, the agency made interim modifications resulting in the current version of its Strategic Plan, which was approved by the Commission on July 28, 2008. A description of the specific modifications is available on the agency’s website at

Because of the change of Administration and the pending confirmation of a new Chair of the Commission (as of the time of this report), the EEOC intends to issue a new and completely revised Strategic Plan before the end of FY 2010. However, the results reported in the PAR and these Highlights are linked to the performance measures contained in the agency’s current modified Strategic Plan which were in effect during FY 2009.

Overview of Strategic Plan and Performance Measures

The agency’s current strategic plan provides one strategic objective: Justice, Opportunity and Inclusive Workplaces. The plan contains nine performance measures under this Strategic Objective. These measures were used to drive results and accountability throughout the agency. The EEOC achieved or exceeded its targets for six measures and did not meet its targets for two measures. A multi-year measure did not require the agency to collect results data this year.

The agency’s nine performance measures are directly related to its three front-line enforcement operations—processing private sector charges, litigating private sector cases, and conducting hearings and appeals of federal sector cases—in order to achieve its strategic objective of ensuring that employment opportunities are not based on impermissible factors and encouraging inclusive workplaces nationwide.

EEOC FY 2009 Performance
Measures met
Targets Met or Exceeded
Targets Not Met
Agency Not Required to Report This FY





The EEOC’s current Strategic Plan incorporated three measures which were new to the Commission in FY 2007: an indicator of the yearly percentage increase in the number of individuals benefiting from agency enforcement activities, beyond the actual people who filed a charge of discrimination; an indicator to measure the efficiency the agency attained based upon the number of individuals receiving benefits, compared to the size of the agency’s total workforce; and, finally, a measure of the public’s confidence in the agency’s enforcement of federal employment discrimination laws.

The first two of these measures seek to identify the degree to which the agency’s enforcement programs enhance the workplace for other employees when it obtains relief for the people who originally claimed employment discrimination, as well as how efficient the Commission was in obtaining that broad relief. As noted in the table below and further described in the Performance Section of the PAR, the agency was extremely successful in achieving results for these two measures, when compared to the established targets. (The Commission did not have to report on the “public confidence” measure this fiscal year.)

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

Long-Term/Annual Measure 1

Percent increase of individuals benefited from enforcement programs


Baseline Established






Efficiency Measure

Percent increase of individuals benefited for each agency employee (in FTEs)


Baseline Established






Although both of these areas reflect important aspects of the agency’s work, the Commission will be reviewing these measures for their efficacy as it develops a new Strategic Plan in FY 2010.

The four remaining measures that the EEOC met or exceeded also reflect key aspects of the agency’s enforcement and litigation programs. They involve the agency’s success in:

  • Completing a high percentage of its federal sector appellate cases within 180 days or less;
  • Ensuring that the agency achieves a high level of quality in its investigations of private sector discrimination charges;
  • Continuing to ensure that charging parties and respondents who choose to participate in the Commission’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program are satisfied with the ADR process; and
  • Maintaining a high level of success in the Commission’s litigation program.

The results for these measures are summarized below and are more fully described in the Performance Section of the PAR.

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

2.3 Federal Sector Appellate Resolutions Measure

Percent of appellate resolutions completed within 180 days or less

Target 60.0% 62.0% 64.0%
Result 60.7% 63.3% 65.0%

2.4 Quality Measure

Percent of charge investigation files that meet quality criteria

Target 88.0% 90.0% 90.0%
Result 93.5% 97.0% 95.1%

2.5 ADR Measure

Percent of respondents and charging parties confident in ADR program

Target 90.0% 91.0% 92.0%
Result 95.8% 96.5% 96.0%

2.6 Litigation Measure

Percent of litigation successfully resolved

Target 90% or higher 90% or higher 90% or higher
Result 91.5% 91.2% 90.3%

EEOC’s final two measures involve the resolution of private sector charges and federal sector hearings within 180 days or less. It has become increasingly more difficult over the past years to meet the established targets for these two measures, and the Commission did not meets its targets for the measures in FY 2009. The agency will carefully evaluate these measures as it explores in FY 2010 the focus and approach for its new Strategic Plan.

The results for these measures are summarized below:

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009

2.1 Private Sector Charge Resolutions Measure

Percent of private sector charge resolutions completed within 180 days or less

Target 72.0% 48.0% 48.0%
Result 55.7% 48.5% 39.7%

2.2 Federal Sector Hearings Resolutions Measure

Percent of hearings resolutions completed within
180 days or less

Target 50.0% 50.0% 50.0%
Result 42.8% 38.6% 40.6%

Under annual measure 2.1, by FY 2012, the EEOC is to resolve 54 percent of its private sector charges within 180 days. To move the agency toward that final goal, the target under annual measure 2.1 for FY 2009 requires the agency to resolve 48 percent of private sector charges within 180 days. As of the end of FY 2009, the Commission had processed 39.7 percent of charges in 180 days or less. Thus, the EEOC has not met its target for FY 2009. The EEOC’s inability to meet this target was due to inadequate staff and increasing charge receipts. As described in greater detail in the PAR, the agency is focused intensely on reducing the time it takes to process private sector charges.

Under Annual Measure 2.2, by FY 2012, the EEOC is to resolve 54 percent of its federal sector hearings within 180 days. To reach this final goal, the target under Annual Measure 2.2 for FY 2009 requires the agency to resolve 50 percent of federal sector hearings within 180 days. As of the end of 2009, the Commission had processed 40.6 percent of federal sector hearings in 180 days or less. Thus, the EEOC has not met its target for FY 2009. The Commission’s efforts to achieve this goal have become more difficult because of increasing workloads, as well as greater attention being focused on enhancing the quality of hearings.


Rebuilding Resources

Fiscal Year 2009 was a time for the EEOC to regroup and rebuild. During the previous eight years of flat funding and hiring freezes, the Commission’s staff had declined by nearly 25 percent. This severely hindered its ability to carry out its critical enforcement functions. However, this past year, as a result of increased appropriations, the EEOC was able to begin replenishing its depleted ranks. During FY 2009, the agency set out to hire an additional 125 investigators, 22 trial attorneys, 50 support staff, 10 paralegals and five expert statisticians and labor economists to support the agency’s systemic enforcement and litigation programs. By the end of FY 2009, the Commission had brought on board 155 net new hires.

In addition, during FY 2009, the agency dedicated $2.5 million to train its investigators, attorneys, program analysts, and other employees. This training initiative was the largest the agency has conducted in at least a decade, and provided EEOC employees with critical skills and knowledge for investigating and litigating cases involving systemic discrimination. The effort also maximized the use of technology to carry out localized, low-cost training where appropriate.

Securing Unprecedented Relief through Administrative Enforcement

The EEOC secured, through its private sector administrative enforcement activities, more than $294.1 million in monetary benefits—the highest level of monetary relief obtained through administrative enforcement in the Commission’s history. Overall, the EEOC secured both monetary and non-monetary benefits for more than 17,491 people through charge processing.

In FY 2009, the EEOC received 93,277 private sector charges of discrimination, which was the second highest amount received in the past 20 years (second only to FY 2008). The agency also received 2,728 charges through net transfers from state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs).

The agency achieved 85,980 resolutions, with a merit factor resolution rate of 20.3 percent. (Merit factor resolutions include mediation and other settlements and cause findings, which, if not successfully conciliated, are considered for litigation.) In comparison, the merit factor resolution rate for FY 2008 was 21.4 percent.

Managing Private Sector Charge Inventory

The near-record number of receipts in FY 2009 left the Commission with a pending inventory at the end of the fiscal year of 85,768 charges, compared with the FY 2008 figure of 73,951 (an increase of 11,817 charges, or a 15.9 percent increase over the number of charges pending at the end of FY 2008). The agency took a number of steps in FY 2009 aimed at reducing this inventory, and these efforts will continue into FY 2010. These measures include aggressive hiring of front-line staff, reinvigorating the Commission’s Priority Charge Handling Procedures (including a significant agency-wide training initiative), renewing emphasis on pre-charge counseling, and identifying and implementing best practices in charge handling.

Mediating to Win-Win

In FY 2009, the EEOC’s private sector national mediation program secured 8,498 resolutions which, while 3.9 percent less than the 8,840 reported in FY 2008, was the third highest total in the history of the program. The EEOC obtained more than $121.6 million in monetary benefits for complainants from mediation resolutions, which is slightly below the $124 million in monetary benefits in FY 2008.

Litigating High Impact Cases

In FY 2009, EEOC field legal units filed 281 merits lawsuits and 32 subpoena enforcement and other actions. Of these new filings, 170 were individual suits and 111 were class suits. Legal staff resolved 319 merits lawsuits for a total monetary recovery of $80,628,935. Of these resolutions, 249 contained Title VII claims, 40 contained Americans with Disabilities Act claims, 38 contained Age Discrimination in Employment Act claims, and five contained Equal Pay Act claims.

Targeting Systemic Discrimination

In FY 2009, the agency continued its concerted effort to build a strong national systemic enforcement program. At the end of FY 2009, 39 Commissioners’ charges were under investigation, compared with only 15 Commissioners’ charges in investigation as of March 2006, when the initiative began. Systemic investigations based on charges filed by the public have also increased significantly. Further, in FY 2009, the Commission filed 19 new systemic cases, each of which is expected to benefit substantial numbers of victims of discrimination.

Promoting EEO in the Federal Sector

In FY 2009, the EEOC received a total of 7,277 requests for hearings, which is less than the 8,036 received in FY 2008. Additionally, the Commission’s hearings program resolved a total of 6,779 complaints and secured more than $44.5 million in relief for parties in these complaints. During FY 2009, the EEOC received 4,745 requests for appeals of final agency actions in the federal sector. The agency resolved 4,287 appeals—65 percent of which were resolved within 180 days of receipt.

Reaching, Training, and Educating Stakeholders

The agency’s outreach programs reached 238,017 persons in FY 2009. EEOC offices participated in 4,240 educational, training, and outreach events (a decrease in the number of events over the same period in FY 2008, when there were 5,360 events). In addition, in FY 2009 the EEOC Training Institute (formerly the Revolving Fund) trained over 20,000 individuals from the private sector, local, state, and federal governments at more than 500 events.

Drafting Regulations, Enforcement Guidance, and Technical Assistance

In FY 2009, the Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and later submitted a final regulation to the Office of Management and Budget under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which the EEOC began to enforce on November 21, 2009. This past fiscal year the EEOC also approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. Further, in FY 2009 the agency also issued several important technical assistance documents, which provide plain-language explanations of EEOC policy on discrete issues, including: Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities; a web-based document providing employers with information on ADA-Compliant Employer Preparedness for the H1N1 Flu Virus; and a Questions and Answers document on Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements.

Increasing Access to the EEOC

While the EEOC has continually initiated activities designed to better serve the public through its 53 field offices, including e-mail access and website enhancements, the agency has also become much more accessible through the establishment of the Intake Information Group (IIG), an in-house customer service operation. The full transition of this function from the former National Contact Center to the IIG began in FY 2008 with the hiring and training of EEOC staff and the acquisition of technology to support this program. The full transition was completed in February 2009.

Enforcing New Laws, Tackling New Challenges

This past fiscal year, the EEOC was given increased statutory authority through the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, both currently in effect. On November 21, 2009, the Commission also began to enforce Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. These additional statutory responsibilities likely will cause an increase in the number of charges the EEOC receives (indeed, the agency already has noticed an uptick in the number of charges filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act).

Special Commission Initiatives

In FY 2009, the EEOC continued to pursue various special initiatives it launched in previous fiscal years. These include the LEAD Initiative and Youth@Work.

Lead Logo

LEAD Initiative. In the federal sector, the EEOC continued to conduct its LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) Initiative. The over-arching goal of LEAD is to significantly increase the population of individuals with disabilities employed by the federal government—currently less than one percent. This national outreach and education campaign is designed to:

  • Increase the awareness of federal hiring officials about the declining numbers of people with disabilities in federal employment;
  • Reverse the trend of decreasing participation in federal employment;
  • Educate federal hiring officials about how to use special hiring authorities to bring people with disabilities on board, particularly those with severe disabilities;
  • Educate applicants with severe disabilities about how to apply using the special hiring authorities available; and
  • Provide information and resources on reasonable accommodation.


Youth@Work. The Commission’s Youth@Work Initiative seeks to educate teenage employees and their employers about workplace discrimination and harassment, and to equip them with the information they need to create positive first work experiences.


The EEOC’s management controls and financial management systems were sound during FY 2009, with the exception of 18 findings of financial non-conformances. Four financial non-conformances were carried over from FY 2008. The financial non-conformances were identified in several audit reports prepared by the Office of Inspector General: OIG Report No. 2007-09-FIN, January 16, 2008; OIG Report No. 2008-05-FIN, November 14, 2008; and OIG Report No. 2008-06-FIN, December 11, 2008.

In FY 2009, the agency identified 18 financial non-conformances, including four that carried over from the previous fiscal year. Of the 18 identified, the agency fully corrected eight financial non-conformances in FY 2009, including one that had carried over from FY 2008. Of the 10 remaining financial non-conformances, the agency has implemented corrective action plans to resolve the findings in FY 2010.

Based on the actions taken, and considering the agency’s controls environment as a whole, the agency concludes that during FY 2009, its financial and management controls systems were in compliance with the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA). Forty-four percent of the identified non-conformances were resolved during the fiscal year, and it has plans in place to resolve the remaining financial non-conformances in FY 2010. The controls systems were effective; agency resources were used consistent with the agency’s mission; the resources were used in compliance with laws and regulations; and, there was minimal potential for waste, fraud, and mismanagement of the resources.


Program evaluation is an important component of an agency’s effort to assure that a program is operating as intended and achieving results. A program evaluation is a thorough examination of program design or operational effectiveness that uses a rigorous methodology and statistical and analytical tools. It also uses expertise within and outside the program under review to enhance the analytical perspectives and to add credence to the evaluation and recommendations.

In FY 2008, the Commission initiated a nationwide program evaluation of the Priority Charge Handling Procedures, first adopted in 1995, to improve private sector charge process while simultaneously remaining cognizant of the workload demands of the charge inventory. This evaluation is proceeding, and the agency expects a final report with recommendations in FY 2010.

The EEOC currently has the following schedule of program evaluations for completion during the next several years. This schedule will be reviewed as permanent leadership arrives at the EEOC and the agency explores opportunities to conduct additional evaluations.

Program Evaluation Statement of Parameters of the Program Evaluation. Expected Initiation and Completion

Priority Charge Handling Procedures

Evaluate how well the Priority Charge Handling Procedures are working and ways to improve their implementation.

Initiate FY 2007

Complete FY 2010

Outreach/Technical Assistance

Evaluate the effectiveness of fee and non-fee based outreach/technical assistance efforts; for example, agency Technical Assistance Program Seminars (TAPS), Youth@Work activities, speakers at meetings, forums, panels or other activities designated as outreach or technical assistance.


EEOC External Communications

Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the EEOC’s external communications efforts, including publicity, the agency’s activities with the media, the external web site, and other public communications efforts.

Initiate FY 2010

Complete FY 2011

Effect of EEOC’s Federal Sector evaluations and assistance

Evaluate the results achieved from EEOC’s evaluation and assistance activities with federal agencies that changed policies, practices or procedures.

Initiate FY 2011

Complete FY 2012

Systemic Enforcement

Evaluate the effectiveness of the EEOC’s systemic enforcement initiative.

Initiate FY 2012

Complete FY 2013