United States: Seyfarth Issues Annual EEOC Litigation Report, With New "Industry-By-Industry" Analysis Previewing Hot Spots For 2016

CHICAGO (December 30, 2015) – Seyfarth Shaw LLP has released its annual report on EEOC legal activities and court rulings, entitled EEOC-Initiated Litigation: Case Law Developments In 2015 And Trends To Watch For In 2016, the most definitive source of analysis that focuses exclusively on EEOC-related litigation.

Authored by Seyfarth lawyers Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Christopher J. DeGroff, and Matthew J. Gagnon, this year's report compiles, analyzes, and categorizes the major case filings and decisions involving the EEOC in 2015. The EEOC's Fiscal Year 2015 was another year of blockbuster decisions that significantly changed the landscape of EEOC-initiated litigation. Notably, FY2015 saw the EEOC nearing the end of its 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan ("SEP"). This year, the report has been arranged in to four main parts:

  • Part I of the book is structured as a "Corporate Counsel's Guide to EEOC Litigation: Developments in FY2015." In this section, the authors address the important developments in FY2015 as they relate to each stage of an EEOC enforcement action, from the filing of a charge of discrimination through settlement or a determination on the merits. The Guide includes a special section devoted to the pivotal Supreme Court ruling in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, which arguably changed the game with respect to the conciliation phase, a crucial phase of any EEOC matter.
  • Part II provides a broad overview of the substantive theories that the EEOC has focused on in FY2015, paying particular attention to how those theories relate to the enforcement priorities set out in the SEP. Again this year, the authors have analyzed the EEOC filings in FY2015 by statute and by discrimination type under Title VII. This year, the report takes a closer look at those trends as they relate to particular industries. The "Industry-By-Industry" section collects the number and types of filings that affect particular industries, and analyzes what this reveals about what particular industries must keep top of mind going into 2016. In FY2015, the breakdown of filings by industry was Hospitality (34); Healthcare (31); Business Services (25); Manufacturing (20); Retail (19); and Construction and Natural Resources (14).
  • Part III examines important legislative and political developments, and takes a look at what may be on the horizon for EEOC litigation. The EEOC has increasingly focused its energies on the strategic use of large, high-profile "systemic" cases to drive its mission. These are cases that address policies or patterns or practices that have a broad impact on a region, industry or entire classes of employees or job applicants.
  • Part IV contains every significant court decision that came down in 2015 regarding EEOC-initiated litigation. The decisions are categorized according to subject matter so as to provide practitioners with an easy reference manual for those decisions.

In addition to these key parts, the authors have analyzed significant rulings arising under the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Every year, ADA litigation comprises a significant portion of the EEOC's filings and the complexity of this statute often confounds employers. This year, in the "Spotlight On The Americans With Disabilities Act: An ADA Survival Guide," the authors analyze what certain filings and significant decisions mean for employers when responding to accommodation requests, and the often tricky prospect of dealing with EEOC charges that arise under the ADA.

Seyfarth's EEOC-Initiated Litigation report also contains a detailed legislative update, case studies and variety of charts, graphs and maps tracking key EEOC case categories and historical data. You can learn more about the report at Seyfarth's Workplace Class Action Blog and the complete edition is once again available for order as an eBook here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Authors
Gerald L. Maatman Jr.
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