On January 31, Seyfarth Shaw LLP published its new White Paper entitled EEOC-Initiated Litigation: Case Law Developments In 2011 And Trends To Watch For In 2012, a special report that examines 79 major decisions on EEOC cases from 2011, and analyzes key trends in EEOC litigation and what employers can expect in 2012. The report can be downloaded here. On March 6, we will host an interactive webinar that will guide attendees through an analysis of these rulings and trends, and provide clients and friends of the firms with an opportunity to participate in a virtual dialogue with authors Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Christopher DeGroff, co-chairs of the firm’s Complex Discrimination Litigation group.
A preview of topics to be discussed include:
- The EEOC's commitment to pursue bigger, higher-profile cases. Large-scale cases were a major theme in 2011, which was the second straight year of a record number of class-like federal court filings. Indeed, for the past five years, the EEOC’s public strategy has been to further its agenda through prosecution of large-scale cases that will attract media attention, with the hope that this brand of class litigation will channel employers’ behavior.
- The "mixed bag" of judicial rulings in EEOC cases, range from the employer-friendly to those that sent chills through the employment community.
- More aggressive systemic investigations. It is virtually certain that employers will see even more aggressive systemic investigations (and related subpoena enforcement actions) in the coming year. With recent wins on the scope of the EEOC’s investigative power, we expect the EEOC to undertake broader and deeper investigations that will help avoid repeat performances of the sanctions the Commission absorbed in 2011 in cases where federal judges called the EEOC to task for not doing its homework. Furthermore, despite the EEOC’s questionable position that it serves as a "neutral" in the investigation stage, its 2012-2016 public strategic plan states that it will pursue "an integrated, holistic approach to enforcement from beginning to end, without separating the investigation and conciliation stage of the EEOC’s work from its litigation stage."
- New partnerships and alliances. We foresee the EEOC joining forces with other parties to achieve its objectives. As one example, in November 2011, the EEOC and the OFCCP promised to coordinate their enforcement efforts and share discrimination claim information. We also observed an unprecedented amount of coordination between the EEOC and the private plaintiffs’ class action bar in 2011, and expect that trend to continue into year ahead.
- The role of ADA claims in the EEOC's 2012 agenda. Employers also can expect disability discrimination claims to figure significantly in the EEOC’s 2012 agenda. The Commission has stated publicly that enforcing ADA claims is a key goal, and the number of ADA cases in 2011 demonstrates that goal is well on its way to becoming a reality.
To learn more, please join us for the webinar (a registration link is provided to the right), or download a copy of EEOC-Initiated Litigation: Case Law Developments In 2011 And Trends To Watch For In 2012 by clicking here.
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