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Is the EEOC Closing Cases Without Investigating Them?

Is the EEOC Closing Cases Without Investigating Them?

The short answer is, yes, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is closing an increasing number of cases without investigation them. The reason why is growing in complexity.

At the most basic level, the EEOC does not have enough money to investigate every claim it receives. Although the American workforce has grown 50 percent since 1980, funding from Congress for the EEOC has remained flat because of inflation. And the EEOC has to compete with other compelling departments for funding, including the Department of Justice and NASA.

The more complex problem involves the EEOC’s massive backlog of unresolved cases that it hasn’t touched yet. Without additional resources, the only real way to work through that backlog is to close more cases than it takes in.

Since 2008, the EEOC has doubled the number of complaints it sends to its lowest-priority track, which almost guarantees that no one will investigate the claim. Last year alone, the EEOC categorized 30 percent of cases as low-priority. In 2018, the EEOC only closed 13 percent of cases with a settlement or other relief for the employee who filed a claim.

If the EEOC does not get rid of its backlog, Congress will not give it any more money. But if the EEOC is successful in reducing the backlog, apparently by any means necessary, Congress will not give them any more money because the department has demonstrated it can do the job without additional funding.