The EEOC’s Annual Report Features Strong ADR Performance

Posted By: Naomie Malumba CPR Speaks,

The US. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recently published 2023 Annual Performance Report has interesting and encouraging data about the use and effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution.


The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.


Mediation, according to the report, is at the core.


In fiscal year 2023 (running from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023), the EEOC reports that it secured “more than $665 million in monetary relief for more than 22,000 victims of employment discrimination, including more than $440.5 million for individuals in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation, and settlements, and more than $202 million for federal workers."


That compared to “just over $22.6 million for 968 in litigation." The private-sector ADR results covered 15,143 employment discrimination victims.


The EEOC has a formal conciliation program. "When the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe discrimination has occurred," the report explains, "the agency issues a determination and invites the parties to engage in informal efforts to resolve the charge, known as conciliation. Successful conciliation agreements routinely include relief for the aggrieved individuals, as well as targeted, equitable relief that explicitly addresses the discriminatory employment practices at issue in the case and is designed to prevent similar violations in the future."


The report notes that 46.7% of EEOC conciliations were successful; included in that percentage is more than 370 successful conciliations targeted at systemic discrimination.


A total of 7,471 mediations out of 10,404 in a variety of categories were successful, and returned $201.2 million in benefits for charging parties. Another 471 federal sector mediation resulted in $9.1 million for federal employees and applicants.


In June 2023, the EEOC conducted its yearly internal qualitative evaluation of mediation participants. The results revealed "near unanimity regarding participants’ willingness to participate in the mediation program in the future": 96% of participants, comprising 98.6% of employers and 92% of charging parties, expressed their willingness to engage once more in the EEC's mediation program if they were involved in an EEOC charge.

ADR, the report notes, 


is an effective and efficient tool to resolve charges of discrimination. The EEOC's ADR program provides an opportunity for those filing charges of discrimination and employers to convene and discuss their respective positions with a neutral mediator. Successful mediation resolves charges early in the process, benefiting both workers and employers.


This data has to be considered with consideration of the increase of suits filed by the EEOC on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination--50% more than 2022 filings. Workplace discrimination cases have increased, leading to the increase in ADR use for the resolution.


See the full EEOC annual report on this link.


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The author, a CPR Institute Spring 2024 intern, is a Master of Laws (LLM) in Dispute Resolution and Advocacy student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York.