Federal Efforts to Eradicate Employment Discrimination in State and Local Governments: An Assessment of the U.S. Department of Justiceís Employment Litigation Section
Letter of Transmittal
The President of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Representatives
Pursuant to Public Law 103-419, the United States Commission on Civil Rights transmits this report, Federal Efforts to Eradicate Employment Discrimination in State and Local Governments: An Assessment of the U.S. Department of Justiceís Employment Litigation Section. With this report, the Commission evaluates the efforts of the Department of Justiceís Employment Litigation Section (ELS) in enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. In particular, the Commissionís report focuses on the extent to which ELS is fulfilling its mandate as the lead federal office charged with eliminating employment discrimination in the public sector.
The Commission undertakes this study to assess ELSí effectiveness over the past 20 years and to inform the public about its important role in eradicating employment discrimination in state and local governments. In its review of ELS, the Commission finds a highly competent and committed office with an impressive litigation record. It has met its responsibilities despite that its staff and budget allocations have not kept pace with its increased civil rights enforcement responsibilities.
The Commission urges that ELS be given resources sufficient to enable it to improve by developing an overall plan for its enforcement strategies; creating designated positions to handle the important function of investigations; expanding technical assistance and outreach activities; contracting out or developing other means of performing monitoring activities; and establishing an attorney referral program to assist in the increasing workload. The Commission also urges the expansion of ELSí authority to include subpoena power, without which its enforcement efficiency is hindered.
If employment discrimination in the public sector is to be eradicated, there needs to be unified efforts by federal, state and local governments, as well as private organizations and employers, to address the problems. One major step in this direction is to provide ELS with the resources and authority that it needs so that it can remain a strong and effective force in ensuring fair employment practices for all Americans.