Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities

The mission of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, Commission or agency) is to ensure equality of opportunity in employment by vigorously enforcing six federal statutes. These statutes are: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin); the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended; Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (disability); and the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991. Effective November 21, 2009, the EEOC will enforce Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information.

The first item in this Regulatory Plan is titled "Regulations To Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act." On September 25, 2008, the President signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 ("ADA Amendments Act" or "Act"). The Act makes important changes to the definition of the term "disability" by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of EEOC's ADA regulations. The Act retains the ADA's basic definition of "disability" as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways.

The second item in this Regulatory Plan is titled "Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act". In March 2008, the EEOC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning disparate impact under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. 73 FR 16807 (March 31, 2008). In this NPRM, the Commission asked whether EEOC regulations should provide more information on the meaning of "reasonable factors other than age" (RFOA) and if so, what the regulations should say. After consideration of the public comments, and in light of the Supreme Court decisions in Smith v. City of Jackson, 544 U.S. 228 (2005), and Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab., 554 U.S. ___, 128 S. Ct. 2395 (2008), the Commission believes it is appropriate to issue a new NPRM to address the scope of the RFOA defense. Accordingly, before finalizing its regulations concerning disparate impact under the ADEA, the Commission intends to publish a new NPRM proposing to amend its regulations concerning RFOA.

Consistent with section 4(c) of Executive Order 12866, this statement was reviewed and approved by the Acting Chairman of the Agency. The statement has not been reviewed or approved by the other members of the Commission.