Navigating New Horizons in Workplace Equality: Insights from the EEOC's 2024-2028 Strategic Enforcement Plan

In a significant move towards ensuring workplace equality and combatting discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently released its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2024-2028. This comprehensive plan outlines the EEOC's priorities and strategies in tackling employment discrimination issues over the next five years. Let's take a closer look at the key highlights from the EEOC's SEP and what it means for both employers and employees. 

The Strategic Enforcement Plan's priorities aim to cover wide-ranging concerns impacting vulnerable populations that are most effectively tackled through government intervention. Among the selected priorities are: 

1. Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring 

The EEOC will focus on discriminatory practices and policies in recruitment and hiring, such as those based on sex, race, national origin, color, religion, age, and disability. This includes addressing technologies like AI and machine learning that may unintentionally exclude or adversely impact protected groups. The EEOC will also target job advertisements that discourage certain groups from applying and policies that limit access to training or advancement opportunities. The underrepresentation of women and workers of color in certain industries is also an area of concern. 

2. Protecting Vulnerable Workers and Underserved Communities 

The EEOC aims to address issues affecting vulnerable workers, including immigrant workers, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, temporary workers, older workers, and more. Many of these workers may be unaware of their rights or face barriers in exercising them, making them vulnerable to discriminatory practices. District offices will focus on identifying and addressing issues within these communities.  

3. Addressing Emerging and Developing Issues 

The EEOC will prioritize emerging issues, including qualification standards that discriminate against individuals with disabilities, pregnancy-related discrimination, discrimination stemming from global events, discrimination related to COVID-19’s long-term effects, and technology-related employment discrimination.  

4. Advancing Equal Pay for All Workers 

The EEOC continues its focus on combating pay discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, disability, and age. The Commission addresses practices that hinder equal pay, such as secrecy policies and reliance on past salary history.  

5. Preserving Access to the Legal System 

The EEOC will combat policies and practices that limit individuals’ rights under employment discrimination statutes or obstruct the EEOC’s investigative efforts. This includes challenging overly broad waivers, mandatory arbitration provisions, data recordkeeping violations, and retaliatory practices.  

6. Preventing and Remedying Systematic Harassment 

The EEOC focuses on combating systemic harassment based on various protected characteristics. The agency emphasizes strong enforcement, monetary relief, and anti-harassment programs and practices.  


Employers must remain vigilant regarding these priorities and exercise caution to avoid discriminatory practices during recruitment, hiring, and wage determination processes. Additionally, employers should recognize that access to the legal system is being safeguarded and may extend to underserved communities. Hence, it is imperative for employers to adhere to federal laws and uphold anti-discrimination and anti-harassment measures. 

For assistance, BrownWinick boasts a highly skilled team of attorneys with expertise in guiding employers through the changing body of employment law. At BrownWinick, we offer ethical and practical solutions for businesses and eagerly anticipate engaging with you and your company.    

If you have any questions about your business or your employees, please contact me or your BrownWinick Employment & Labor attorney. Special thanks to summer associate Sarah Herz for her assistance with this blog.