The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has established the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA) to “provide [their] customers timely, accurate, and bias-free data and information to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination, and improve organizational performance.” EEOC Director and Chief Data Officer Samuel C. “Chris” Haffer leads the OEDA.

This is an exciting and forward-looking development. Jackson Lewis’ Data Analytics Group was invited to EEOC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. to attend a listening session about the new Office.

Employers have access to a wealth of data that, when paired with powerful analytical tools, can help them more effectively manage the workplace. In order to remain competitive, reduce workplace management costs, and mitigate workplace-related legal risk, among other things, it is critical for employers to leverage their own data in combination with external sources.

The launch of the OEDA should prompt employers to reconsider waiting to leverage data and analytics in managing their workplace. Using data and analytics in the workplace is not a passing fad.

With a vision to “build a 21st century data and analytics organization,” the EEOC said OEDA’s principal goal is to “use state of the art data and information science tools and techniques to collect, utilize and share data and information, efficiently leveraging data to reduce burden and costs while protecting individual and employer privacy, and promoting program transparency.” This initiative builds on EEOC’s October 2016 public meeting, “Big Data in the Workplace: Examining Implications for Equal Employment Opportunity Law,” by initiating a new and transformative force at the EEOC designed in part on serving valuable data and data products to the public.

OEDA is comprised of four divisions:

Business Operations and Organizational Performance Division – This Division will oversee business operations and, among other tasks, enhance the Office’s transparency and effectiveness. The Division will consist of a Business Operations Team and an Organizational Performance Team.

Data Development and Information Products Division – This Division’s tasks will include “develop[ing] information products” and being involved with data collection and survey methodology. It also will support EEOC charge-handling by linking EEOC charges with EEO-1 reports and providing analyses of EEOC charge data. The Division will consist of an Employer Data Team and an Information Products Team.

Information and Data Access Division – This Division is tasked with overseeing data governance and policy. It will provide research and information services in support of enforcement litigation efforts. The Division will consist of a Library and Information Services Team and a Data Policy and Access Team.

Data Analytics Division – This Division will provide systemic investigations analytical support and analytics on various data “to identify geographic, industry and other drivers of discrimination charges and emerging trends.” The Division will consist of an Investigative Analytics Team and an Enterprise Analytics Team.

The Office will take steps to assist employers by making valuable data and data-related products available to them. It also will equip agency investigators and enforcement officials with new data and analytical resources.

While access to new collections of data and data products from the EEOC will be of great value, employers should take note that these, and additional, resources also will be at the disposal of and potentially bolster enforcement efforts. Therefore, it is critical for employers to embrace the use of data to help analyze and manage the workplace and to better identify positive and negative trends.

The Jackson Lewis Data Analytics Group is available to answer any questions you may have about OEDA and help make sense of the data you already hold.

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Photo of Eric J. Felsberg Eric J. Felsberg

Eric J. Felsberg is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and the National Director of JL Data Analytics Group.

As the National Director of JL Data Analytics Group, Mr. Felsberg leads a team of multi-disciplinary lawyers…

Eric J. Felsberg is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and the National Director of JL Data Analytics Group.

As the National Director of JL Data Analytics Group, Mr. Felsberg leads a team of multi-disciplinary lawyers, statisticians, data scientists, and analysts with decades of experience managing the interplay of data analytics and the law. Under Mr. Felsberg’s leadership, the Data Analytics Group applies proprietary algorithms and state-of-the-art modeling techniques to help employers evaluate risk and drive legal strategy. In addition to other services, the team offers talent analytics for recruitment, workforce management and equity and policy assessments through predictive modeling, partners with employers in the design of data-driven solutions that comply with applicable workplace law, manages and synthesizes large data sets from myriad sources into analyzable formats, provides compliance assessment and litigation support services including damage calculations, risk assessments, and selection decision analyses, and offers strategic labor relations assistance including determination of long term costs of collective bargaining agreements, review of compliance with collectively bargained compensation plans and assessment of the efficacy of training programs. The JL Data Analytics Group designs its service delivery models to maximize the protections afforded by the attorney-client and other privileges.

Mr. Felsberg also provides training and daily counsel to employers in various industries on day-to-day employment issues and the range of federal, state, and local affirmative action compliance obligations. Mr. Felsberg works closely with employers to prepare affirmative action plans for submission to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) during which he analyzes and investigates personnel selection and compensation systems. Mr. Felsberg has successfully represented employers during OFCCP compliance reviews, OFCCP individual complaint investigations, and in matters involving OFCCP claims of class-based discrimination. He regularly evaluates and counsels employers regarding compensation systems both proactively as well as in response to complaints and enforcement actions.

Mr. Felsberg is an accomplished and recognized speaker on issues of workplace analytics and affirmative action compliance.

While at Hofstra University School of Law, Mr. Felsberg served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal.