Saturday, June 17, 2006

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is falling behind in enforcing federal civil rights laws

Washington Post

With a shrinking workforce and a flagging budget, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is falling behind in enforcing federal civil rights laws in the workplace, labor union officials and civil rights advocates said yesterday. The EEOC is expected to have a backlog of 47,516 charges of employment discrimination next fiscal year, up from an estimated 39,061 this year and 33,562 in 2005, say officials with the American Federation of Government Employees, citing federal figures. The agency logged 75,428 complaints in 2005 and more than 79,000 the previous year.

Critics say the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cannot adequately enforce civil rights laws because of budget shortfalls and staffing declines. At the same time, President Bush's 2007 budget request for the agency is $323 million, $4 million less than it received this budget year. The agency's full-time staff, which numbers 2,343 employees, has shrunk by more than 19 percent since 2001, according to the Office of Personnel Management. A partial hiring freeze has kept the agency from filling many openings.

This isn't good news and I don't think this problem happened by accident. If conservatives can't openly attack equal rights protections, they can neglect them to the point where those rights become nothing more than lip service.

But as I learned in Sunday school, you can know who people are by the fruits of their labor. The war in Iraq is costing billions but the Republicans show no signs of concern for the cost on that effort because their cause is worthy. Which means that their silence on EEO and the lack of funding also reflect their beliefs even if they tell us they fully support EEO.

Some may believe that civil rights protections coddle lazy people who feel entitled to any job they want, but as a recent study showed with similar resumes, with and without African American sounding names, there is still systemic discrimination occurring even in corporations that openly support diversity.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:32 AM   2 comments links to this post


At June 19, 2006 11:29 PM, Blogger meh said...

Not just the EEOC... Today I called the Social Security Commission to check on the status of my appeal for reconsideration. I was informed by the representative that as of last week, ALL processing of reconsiderations has been suspended indefinitely. Only initial claims are being processed, and those are systematically denied by rubberstamp anyway.

I should add that I filed my appeal in July 2005, and only three weeks ago was it finally assigned to a processor.

At June 20, 2006 11:19 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

meh, I hadn't heard anything about this change. Not good.


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