On average, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes 69 days to process a discrimination claim.
The slowest office took 111 days while the fastest office took just 11, according to findings from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal watchdog.
While the EEOC effectively monitors the quality of its investigations, the GAO said, it does not monitor how long the intake process takes.
If claims don’t proceed in a timely manner, some people may not take the next step to file a discrimination charge. Tracking by office would allow the EEOC to target support and training efforts at the offices that need the most help, advised the GAO.
The scope of the GAO review included the EEOC’s pending charge inventory and investigation process, as well as the agency’s outreach efforts from fiscal years 2011 to 2021.
The EEOC’s pending charges decreased from 82,199 to 43,520 charges during this time, a 47% reduction.
Much of that could be attributed to a roughly 39% drop in new charge filings. However, the agency was able to close more charges than it received in nearly every year, according to the report.
The GAO review yielded one official recommendation — that the agency should monitor the length of the intake process at the field office level.
While the report also surfaced issues surrounding EEOC outreach efforts, such as lack of resources, no official recommendation was made.
The EEOC is already taking steps to address outreach challenges, the report said.