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Seyfarth Shaw LLP has released its annual report on EEOC legal activities and court rulings, entitled EEOC-Initiated Litigation: Case Law Developments In 2016 And Trends To Watch For In 2017, 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 provides detailed analysis of the major case filings and all decisions involving the EEOC in 2016. The EEOC’s Fiscal Year 2016 was marked by continuity in policy directions and expansion of the Commission’s systemic litigation. Notably, FY 2016 was the last of the EEOC 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). However, it also saw the creation and implementation of a new SEP for FY 2017-2021 that articulated expanded enforcement priorities into the next four years. Although the EEOC faces the cross-roads of an uncertain future because of the new administration and Republican control of both houses of Congress, the authors fully expect that the new SEP will serve the same guiding role in FY 2017 and beyond.

This year, the report has been arranged in to three main parts:

• Part I of the book provides a broad overview of the substantive theories that the EEOC has focused on in FY 2016, including how those theories relate to the enforcement priorities identified in the SEPs. The “Industry-By-Industry” analysis collects the number and types of filings that affect particular industries, categorizes them by statute and discrimination type, and analyzes what this reveals about the particular enforcement challenges that are faced by each industry under the old and new SEPs. In FY 2016, the breakdown of filings by industry was Business Services (20); Hospitality (15); Manufacturing (15); Healthcare (13); Natural Resources & Construction (12); and Retail (10). Part I ends with an examination of important legislative and political developments, including potential changes under the Trump administration.

• Part II of this book is structured as a “Corporate Counsel’s Guide to the Stages of EEOC Litigation: Developments in FY 2016.” In this section, the authors address the important developments in FY 2016 as they relate to the various stages of an EEOC enforcement action, from the filing of a charge of discrimination through settlement or a determination on the merits.

• Part III of this book contains an analysis of each significant court decision regarding EEOC-initiated litigation in 2016. Those decisions are organized according to subject matter so employers can efficiently research how federal courts address the various aspects of an EEOC investigation or lawsuit.

One new feature of this year’s book is the categorization of developments and trends in EEOC Litigation by SEP Enforcement Priority. As the FY 2013-2016 SEP closes, the authors evaluate how the EEOC’s different substantive theories, case filings, guidance, rulemaking, and other initiatives fit within those strategic priorities. These priorities are now a part of the new SEP, and could become an important guide for where the EEOC will take its enforcement agenda over the next four years. In FY 2013-2016, the breakdown of filings by strategic priority was Eliminating Barriers (41); Emerging Issues (28); Legal Access (26); Preventing Harassment (23); Equal Pay (16); and Vulnerable Workers (15).

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.

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