March 7, 2007

EEOC CHAIR NAOMI EARP UNVEILS COMMISSION’S “E-RACE” INITIATIVE

Naomi C. Earp, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, unveiled a new initiative, E-RACE (Eradicating Racism and Colorism from Employment) during a public meeting at agency headquarters on February 28.

Invited participants at EEOC’s meeting included private attorneys, business consultants, and members of academia, as well as EEOC regional attorneys and victims from recent cases.

Speakers and panelists submitting prepared remarks included:

Robert A. Canino, Regional Attorney, Dallas District Office
John C. Hendrickson, Regional Attorney, Chicago District Office
William R. Tamayo, Regional Attorney, San Francisco District Office
Darrell S. Gay, Esq.
Weldon H. Latham, Esq., Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Frank H. Wu, Dean, Wayne State University Law School
Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity

Purpose of the E-RACE Initiative: The E-RACE Initiative is designed to improve EEOC’s efforts to ensure workplaces are free of race and color discrimination. The most frequently filed claims with the EEOC are allegations of race discrimination, racial harassment, or retaliation arising from opposition to race discrimination. In addition, color discrimination in employment is also on the rise with charge-filings increasing from 374 in FY 1992 to 1,241 in FY 2006.

Objectives of the E-RACE Initiative: The initiative will identify issues, criteria and barriers that contribute to race and color discrimination, explore strategies to improve the administrative processing and the litigation of race and color discrimination claims, and enhance public awareness of race and color discrimination in employment. Existing EEOC initiatives will be combined with the objectives of E-RACE, such as the agency’s Systemic Initiative, the Youth@Work Initiative and the LEAD Initiative.

Employer Groups: The Commission also intends to strengthen partnerships with employee advocates and state and local human rights commissions and increase its outreach to human resource professionals and employer groups to address race and color discrimination in the workplace.

The meeting transcript is expected to be released shortly, and DCI will provide an updated client alert to reflect the various perspectives of the speakers. A preliminary review of the prepared remarks of the above-referenced speakers indicates a wealth of interesting perspectives to share with clients.

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