Developments at the EEOC: On February 6, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register (80 Fed.Reg. 6,669-6,671). In the ANPRM, the EEOC requests public comment on all aspects of its federal-sector EEO complaints adjudication process, potentially contemplating a future revision of that process.
In the federal sector, the EEOC’s chief role is adjudication of federal employees’ EEO complaints, either at the trial level if the employee files a request for hearing, or else at the appellate level after a final agency decision.
An ANPRM allows a federal agency to publicly request stakeholder input on topics where the agency may plan to revise its regulations, rather than issuing a proposed rule of its own devising and awaiting comments at that phase, and allows the agency to seek substantively broader comments than might be received in response to an ordinary proposed rulemaking. Here, the EEOC is requesting comments on all aspects of its federal sector adjudicative process. The EEOC noted that elements of the federal sector complaints process date back to the early 1940s, that the EEOC essentially adopted the process in its present form when it took over the federal sector complaints process in 1979 from the former Civil Service Commission. The EEOC now wants to globally assess the federal sector complaints system–potentially including complete replacement of the complaints process, subject to a few minimum statutory constraints–and is asking stakeholders to weigh in on what changes, if any, need to be made.
Comments are due by April 7, 2015.