What Your Managers Need to Know About Hiring, Diversity, Inclusion and EEOC Compliance

Ensuring diversity and compliance isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. To comply with the rules set by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers must evaluate candidates fairly and concisely.

It can seem daunting, but keeping up with EEO laws is necessary to avoid high fines and other penalties. In 2022 alone, the EEOC reported over $513 million collected in claims. Nonetheless, the work is worth it, as following EEO best practices helps avoid discriminating against applicants and creating a biased and toxic workplace.

What does it mean to be EEO-compliant?

Employers who comply with EEO rules ensure no candidate is turned down or otherwise harmed on the basis of:

  1. race, color and national origin
  2. citizenship
  3. sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity)
  4. religion
  5. age (over 40 years old)
  6. disabilities
  7. medical history
  8. veteran status

In short, building a truly diverse workforce and complying with the EEOC goes hand in hand.

What are the penalties for violating EEO laws?

The limit of damages for breaking EEO rules scales based on company size:

  • $50,000 for 15 to 100 employees
  • $100,000 for 101 to 200 employees
  • $200,000 for 201 to 500 employees
  • $300,000 for over 500 employees

These damages are assessed based on the nature of the discrimination and its effect on the victim. In addition, victims may be entitled to recover:

  • attorney’s fees
  • expert witness fees
  • court costs

Due to the high costs of EEO noncompliance, employers should consider using the right HR tech to help standardize their applicant tracking, background checks and overall regulatory process.

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