The new compliance manual does nothing to change existing job discrimination laws, but only gives employers and lawyers a better idea of how to address the areas of racial discrimination that make up about one-third of the EEOC’s complaints, reports the Associated Press.
Fewer charges of discrimination against private employers were filed with the EEOC last year as part of a three-year downward trend the agency attributed in part to the economic slowdown. Race bias remained the largest category of complaints, accounting for 35.5% of all filings.
The new manual includes guidelines on discrimination against individuals in employment conditions, job responsibilities, and performance evaluations.
The manual also addresses harassment and retaliation, “glass ceilings” for groups based on stereotypes, as well as cases in which discrimination may involve a multiple set of categories – such as race, gender and disability – and involve bias laws with varying standards to win in court, the wire service reported.
“We want to educate people so they know to complain, go to the EEOC and vindicate their rights,” EEOC commissioner Stuart Ishimaru said at a Wednesday commission meeting, according to the news report.