I am pleased to present the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for fiscal year (FY) 2013. The EEOC is dedicated to the efficient and effective enforcement of the nation's equal employment laws through investigation, mediation, conciliation, litigation, education and outreach. The PAR highlights the agency's major achievements and progress toward advancing our mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination in FY 2013.
Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC enforces federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability and family medical history and genetic information. The EEOC's jurisdiction to enforce employment antidiscrimination laws and promote equal employment opportunity extends to private, state and local government, and federal sector employment. Because prevention of unlawful workplace discrimination is essential to effective enforcement, the agency also serves as a resource for all employers and provides training, technical assistance, and guidance concerning compliance with employment discrimination laws. The EEOC educates the public - particularly underserved communities and small businesses - concerning the requirements of the laws that we enforce. Indeed, the EEOC is the nation's premier champion of equal employment opportunity for all.
In FY 2013, the EEOC continued to implement its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 - 2016 and began implementing its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). Significant agency accomplishments in FY 2013 include:
The EEOC secured a record $372.1 million in monetary relief for victims of employment discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation and other administrative enforcement. The EEOC also secured $39 million in monetary relief for charging parties through litigation, $56.3 million in monetary relief for federal employees and applicants who requested hearings, and more than $11.3 million in monetary relief for federal employees and applicants through federal sector appellate orders. More importantly, in each of these categories, the agency obtained substantial equitable relief to remedy violations of equal employment opportunity laws and prevent future discriminatory conduct in the workplace.
The Commission also demonstrated good stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and received, for the tenth consecutive year, an unqualified opinion from independent auditors.
The EEOC's accomplishments are especially noteworthy in light of extraordinary fiscal constraints and operational challenges in FY 2013, including sequestration, a 40-hour furlough of the entire workforce, and threatened government shutdown. Following two years of significant budget reductions and hiring freezes, these challenges have endangered the hard won, but fragile progress reported in recent PARs and threatened the agency's ability to meet the demand for the services of the EEOC. As an example, the significant reductions in our private sector inventory gained in FY 2011 and FY 2012 could not be sustained in FY 2013 due to the decline in staffing and resources. Similarly, expenditures for enforcement programs, contract mediators, technology projects, professional service and administrative support contracts, and staff training have been significantly reduced or suspended due to the uncertain fiscal climate.
Despite these hurdles, the men and women of the EEOC remain committed to meeting the needs, addressing the challenges, and seizing upon the opportunities of the 21st century workforce. Ultimately, we hope to fulfill the dream of those who came to Washington, DC for the March for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 and those who commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington earlier this year. Their dream is also our vision: to achieve justice and equality in the nation's workplaces. As Chair of the Commission, it is a privilege and honor to work with my fellow Commissioners, the General Counsel, and our more than 2,100 agency colleagues, as well as with the Administration, Congress, our federal, state, and local government enforcement partners, and many employers, workers, advocates, and other agency stakeholders to fulfill our mission of stopping and remedying unlawful employment discrimination.
Jacqueline A. Berrien
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
December 16, 2013