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Legal Aid Testifies Before EEOC on Quality Improvement
Today, Wednesday, March 20th, Senior Staff Attorney Elizabeth Kristen testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about Legal Aid’s suggestions for the EEOC’s Quality Improvement Plan. In her testimony, Elizabeth described a number of ways in which the EEOC could improve its intake, investigation, and conciliation processes for low-wage, immigrant and underrepresented workers.
While acknowledging the critical role played by the EEOC in vigorously enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws, Elizabeth advised the EEOC to take the following actions:
- Shift and expand the geographic distribution of EEOC offices;
- Offer extended intake hours to accommodate those workers who are unable to go to the office during business hours;
- Bring staffing back up to previous levels and solve retention problems;
- Increase the availability of bilingual, culturally diverse investigators, especially those who speak Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Tagalog;
- Increase education and outreach to the LGBT community;
- Increase support for undocumented victims of employment discrimination;
- Streamline the investigation process by appropriately triaging cases, expand investigator expertise regarding certain kinds of claims, limit reassignment of cases, and better protect witnesses; and
- Make the conciliation process more effective by involving a neutral, seeking full value for cases, and speeding up the conciliation process.