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Summary of Year One Accomplishments under Executive Order 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government

Since Executive Order 13985 was signed on January 20, 2021, the EEOC has made its outreach more equitable and increased its focus on reaching traditionally underserved communities more effectively. For example:

  • In 2021, the EEOC actively participated in several interagency policy committees (IPCs), including the Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Persons IPC; the Gender Policy Council; and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Working Group.
  • In April 2021, the EEOC held a virtual hearing on workplace civil rights issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission received testimony from a diverse panel of experts on effective outreach to underserved communities during the pandemic as well as how the pandemic is further harming already vulnerable populations (e.g., people of color, women broadly, immigrant and migrant workers, caregivers, religious minorities, individuals with disabilities, and older workers). The hearing highlighted pandemic-related violence and discrimination targeting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) persons, job losses and salary reductions for people of color, and the lack of safety protections for essential workers of color.
  • In May 2021, the EEOC posted, in English and Spanish, a plain language “Know Your Rights” resource explaining how federal EEO laws protect workers during the pandemic.
  • In spring 2021, the EEOC issued two resolutions condemning the violence and growing acts of bias against AANHPIs and Jewish persons, respectively, in the United States. These resolutions reaffirm the agency’s commitment to combat racism, national origin and religion-based harassment, and all other forms of unlawful discrimination in our nation’s workplaces.
  • In June 2021, on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, the EEOC issued technical assistance summarizing Bostock and prior EEOC federal sector decisions related to LGBTQ+ issues in easily understandable terms.
  • In summer 2021, the EEOC began posting additional translated materials on its Spanish-language website to better communicate with Spanish-speaking individuals. The EEOC also translated key resources into seven additional languages (i.e., Arabic, simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese).
  • In September 2021, the EEOC renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the Mexican government to provide Mexican nationals in the United States with information, guidance, and access to education and training resources to help them understand and exercise their employment rights, particularly with regard to reducing violations against them under the laws and regulations that are administered and enforced by the EEOC. The EEOC plans to develop similar partnerships with other nations as well.
  • In October 2021, the EEOC launched an initiative to ensure that artificial intelligence and other emerging employment tools comply with federal civil rights laws and do not lead to, perpetuate, or exacerbate unlawful discrimination against people of color, women, people with disabilities, or other protected groups. As part of this initiative, the EEOC is collaborating with other administration partners, has created an internal working group, and is engaging in a series of listening sessions with key stakeholders, among other things.
  • In November 2021, the EEOC announced a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to address more effectively the significant problem of unlawful retaliation, which is an issue raised in approximately 56 percent of charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC, and often impacts vulnerable and immigrant workers.
  • In January 2022, the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched a Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE), which will help identify actionable strategies to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in hiring and recruitment. The launch event was a roundtable featuring the perspectives of employers, labor, and civil rights organizations and was viewed in real time by nearly 1,500 attendees.