The EEOC E-Race Initiative
Specifically, the EEOC 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.
Why did the EEOC come up with the E-Race program? Well, according to their website:
Color discrimination in employment appears to be on the rise. In Fiscal Year 1992, EEOC received 374 charges alleging color-based discrimination. By Fiscal Year 2006, charge-filings alleging color discrimination increased to 1,241. A recent study conducted by a Vanderbilt University professor “found that those with lighter skin earn on average 8 to 15 percent more than immigrants with the darkest skin tone -- even when taking into account education and language proficiency. This trend continued even when comparing people of the same race or ethnicity.” Similarly, a 2006 University of Georgia survey revealed that a light-skinned Black male with only a Bachelor's degree and basic work experience would be preferred over a dark-skinned Black male with an MBA and past managerial positions. However, in the case of Black female applicants seeking a job, “the more qualified or experienced darker-skinned woman got it, but if the qualifications were identical, the lighter-skinned woman was preferred."
New forms of discrimination are emerging. With a growing number of interracial marriages and families and increased immigration, racial demographics of the workforce have changed and the issue of race discrimination in America is multi-dimensional. Over the years, EEOC has received an increasing number of race and color discrimination charges that allege multiple or intersecting prohibited bases such as age, disability, gender, national origin, and religion.
Meanwhile, overt forms of race and color discrimination have resurfaced. In the past decade, some of the American workforce have witnessed nooses, KKK propaganda, and other racist insignia in the workplace. Racial stereotypes and cultural distortions continue to influence some decisions regarding hiring, discipline, evaluations, and advancement.
Finally, some facially neutral employment criteria are significantly disadvantaging applicants and employees on the basis of race and color. Studies reveal that some employers make selection decisions based on names, arrest and conviction records, employment and personality tests, and credit scores, all of which may disparately impact people of color. Further, an employer’s reliance on new technology in job searches, such as video resumes, could lead to intentional race or color discrimination based on appearance or a disproportionate exclusion of applicants of color who may not have access to broadband-equipped computers or video cameras.
E-Race has a specific set of goals and objectives that are outlined from 2008 through 2013. These goals include:
Improving Data Collection and Data Analysis in order to Identify, Track, Investigate and Prosecute Allegations of Discrimination;
Improving Quality and Consistency in EEOC’s Charge Processing and Litigation Program, and Improve Federal Sector Systems;
Developing Strategies, Legal Theories, and Training Modules to Address Emerging Issues of Race and Color Discrimination;
Enhancing Visibility of EEOC’s Enforcement Efforts in Eradicating Race and Color Discrimination; and
Engaging the Public, Employers, and Stakeholders to Promote Voluntary Compliance to Eradicate Race and Color Discrimination.
To find out more about E-Race, visit the EEOC web site or click one of the links below:
Sources: http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/goals.html and http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/index.html and http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/why_e-race.html
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