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Following a down year in Fiscal Year 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity’s litigation enforcement activity is back to pre-pandemic levels, says a law firm’s report.
It means the agency is once again going to become a “litigation engine,” says one of the report’s co-authors.
The report in Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Workplace Class Action blog said for most of the last 25 years, the EEOC’s fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, ended with a surge in last-minute lawsuits, with August and September filings often eclipsing the entire rest of the year combined.
In fiscal year 2020, only 33 lawsuits were filed in September, but this year, the agency filed 59 lawsuits in September, in a “return to form,” the blog reported.
The EEOC filed a total of 114 cases in FY 2021, which is more than the 101 total in FY 2020, but still less than the 149 total in FY 2019 and 217 in FY 2018, the report said.
Gerald L. Maatman, a Seyfarth Shaw Chicago-based partner, who co-authored the report, said “If you’re an employer, the takeaway is that the EEOC is loaded for bear and back in business.”
He said, “Employers can expect the EEOC to be pushing the envelope as it did before the Trump years, in that it’s going to be a litigation engine for the foreseeable future because of its activism and its aggressiveness.”