The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established under the Civil Rights Act. Title VII is mainly a federal law that forbids employers from discriminating against employees, usually on the basis of gender, race, national origin, sex, religion, and color (U.S. EEOC n.p). It usually applies to employers who have employed at least 15 employees, including local, state, and federal governments. Besides, Title VII also applies to public and private universities, as well as colleges, labor organizations, and employment agencies. As such, Title VII forbids any form of work discrimination at the workplace, including remuneration plans, recruitment, and firing, transfer, layoff, recall, promotion, job advertisements, training programs, fringe benefits, or testing. If an employee has a Title VII claim, they should file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, but they have to do so in less than six months from the date of the discriminatory activity (U.S. EEOC n.p). The Congress has entrusted the Commission with a responsibility to enforce the U.S. employment and non-discriminatory laws. In fact, the laws enforced by the EEOC, reflect the vision of the Congress in implementing and ensuring justice is served in employment, as well as all workplaces across the nation.
The mission of EEOC is to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination while its vision is justice and equality in the workplace. Under the mission and vision, the agency has set various strategic objective. Firstly, the organization aims at combatting employment discrimination via strategic law enforcement. The second strategic objective is preventing employment discrimination via both outreach and education (U.S. EEOC n.p). Thirdly, the agency works towards delivering consistent and excellent service via a skilled and diverse workforce, as well as effective systems. The commission is also guided by various values that are paramount towards meeting the objectives. These include a commitment to justice, observing integrity as well as accountability.
The agency, just like other federal organizations has an organizational chart that clearly provides the various offices and individuals that work to ensure optimal operation of the commission. In essence, the EEOC is mainly bipartisan Commission that is made up of five presidentially-appointed members. They include the Chair, Vice Chair, and three other Commissioners (U.S. EEOC n.p). The Chair is responsible for the commissions administration as well as the implementation of policy. He is also responsible for managing the agencys finances and the development of the Commission. On the other hand, the Commissioners participate equally in the development and approval of the policies made by the Commission, as well as issuing charges of discrimination where appropriate. They also authorize the filing of some high-profile lawsuits. The president also assigns the General Counsel, who supports the Commission (U.S. EEOC n.p). The General Counsel is also responsible for providing coordination, direction, and supervision to the litigation program run by the Commission.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing various laws. These include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination basing on of sex, national origin, race, religion, and color. EEOC also enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which forbids instances of employment discrimination against people aged above 40 years. It also enforces the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which forbids discrimination based on sex in compensating the workers for equal work done under the same conditions. Besides, the Commission enforces Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that forbids discrimination at work against federal employees, as well as applicants with disabilities (U.S. EEOC n.p). The law ensures that employers accommodate known physical and mental limitations of a person who is qualified for a certain position, who is an applicant or an employee.
On the other hand, Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits instances of discrimination at work based on disability, particularly in the private sector, as well as local and state governments. Lastly, the Commission also enforces the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which forbids worker discrimination based on genetic information (U.S. EEOC n.p). The genetic information is inclusive of information about a persons genetic tests, tests of his or her family members, as well as information and data about disorders, diseases, or condition of an individual or any of his family member.
The laws are important because they make it retaliation illegal for a person who complained of discrimination, filed a charge, or involved in work discrimination. The EEOC enforces the law via private, as well as state and local governments sectors, which are the main enforcement mechanisms. The Federal government sector is also responsible for enforcing the laws, and it ensures that the federal employees are protected against discrimination (U.S. EEOC n.p). The education and outreach mechanism allows the EEOC to provide technical assistance, as well as conduct training endeavors regarding the laws and regulations enforced by the Commission (U.S. EEOC n.p). In conclusion, the EEOC ensures that unions, employment agencies, and employers better address and resolve issues associated with employment discrimination and create more inclusive workplaces across the U.S.
U.S. EEOC. Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 20122016 (2012). 1-41. Web. 29 Apr 2017.
U.S. EEOC. The Commission (n.d). Web. 29 Apr 2017.
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