When you hear the acronym EEOC, what comes to mind? The first thing I think about is the mind-numbing, complex flow chart in Joel Friedman's course textbook. You may immediately think of an EEOC charge you've received, or a case you helped defend. Others may imagine a dragon breathing fire, or you simply get a sour feeling in the pit of your stomach.
All professions have a full spectrum of employee and employer caliber. In our profession, one end holds the HR professionals who strive for best practice at all times and employers who model integrity by adhering to legal compliance. At the far end are clueless administrative workers who simply call themselves "HR" and employers who only care about the bottom line.
We are enrolled in this course of study because we strive for excellence. Therefore, we are likely to take EEOC charges as a personal punch in the gut, and our anxiety broods as we think of the EEOC as a weapon working against us.
The EEOC is aware of this, and they make efforts to change this perception. At a recent SHRM Louisiana conference, the EEOC traveled from Texas simply to reiterate their neutral position in EEO matters. They provided reassurance to the HR community that they are skilled at spotting frivolous allegations, but must give each case equal due diligence.
So the next time you receive an EEOC charge, the representatives suggest taking a deep breath while remembering that the EEOC may very well be in your corner. Statistically, very few complaints result in meritorious cases.
Image 1: EEOC seal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Employment_Opportunity_Commission
Image 2: EEO flowchart: https://www.archives.gov/eeo/policy/complaint-process-chart.html
Image 3: Screenshot of personal LinkedIn sharing a public post: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marina-guerra-6370511aa/