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Republicans Scold EEOC For Massive Backlog Of Workplace Discrimination Cases

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Senate Republicans advanced a proposal to rein in a federal agency Thursday for allegedly causing a backlog of workplace discrimination cases by focusing too much on other work.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the main federal agency tasked with resolving workplace discrimination, but currently has a backlog of 76,000 discrimination complaints. Republicans say the backlog is happening because the agency is neglecting its duty, so Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander introduced a proposal that would compel the EEOC to focus on its original mission.

“The agency’s gone far afield of that critical task, allowing its massive backlog of unresolved cases to climb to more than 76,000, while pursuing cases where there is no complaint and proposing just last month to expand by 20-fold the data it collects from employers,” Alexander said in a statement Thursday. “Focusing on the backlog will force the agency to focus on its core mission.”

The proposal would direct agency funds and resources to resolving the backlog of cases, and open the cases for public comment. The EEOC introduced a proposed rule Jan. 29 that would increase twenty times the amount of data employers must submit about workers. Critics have denounced the proposal as a vast overreach of authority and an unnecessary burden on businesses.

Alexander added his proposal to the 2017 fiscal budget as an additional provision. He serves as chairman for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. In his role he has spoken out on numerous occasions against the EEOC and its alleged overreach of power.

The EEOC Reform Act for instance was introduced to force the agency to abide by its own proposed standard. The goal is to show the agency firsthand the type of burden its plans to put on private employers. The EEOC argues the new data would help it better address issues like pay discrimination.

The EEOC did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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