Definitions

employment opportunity

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency charged with ending employment discrimination. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability and also investigates allegations of retaliation (e.g. demotion, discharge, discipline, harassment, etc...) for reporting and/or opposing a discriminatory practice. The EEOC is also tasked with filing suits on behalf of alleged victim(s) of discrimination against employers and as an adjudicatory for claims of discrimination brought against federal agencies.

The EEOC's mandate is specified under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was established on July 2, 1965, exactly one year after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, under the chairmanship of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., an appointee of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The Chair of the Commission is Naomi C. Earp, who was designated by President George W. Bush on August 29, 2006. Earp had previously served as Vice Chair of the commission since April 2003. Her five-year term as Chair is set to expire on July 1, 2010.

On March 27, 2006, President Bush announced his nomination of Ronald S. Cooper for the position of General Counsel.

Staffing, workload, and backlog

In 1975, when backlog reached more than 100,000 charges to be investigated, President Gerald Ford's full requested budget of $63 million was approved.

A "Backlog Unit" was created in 1978 in Philadelphia to resolve the thousands of federal equal employment complaints inherited from the Civil Service Commission.

EEOC, the Departments of Labor and Justice, the Civil Service Commission and the Office of Revenue Sharing adopted Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP).

As of December 2005, Full-time staffing of the EEOC has decreased from 2,899 in fiscal year 2001 to 2,343. The commission's budget has increased slightly in that period, from $317 million in fiscal year 2001 to $327 million in fiscal year 2006.

The agency logged over 79,000 complaints in fiscal year 2004 and more than 75,000 in fiscal year 2005. The backlog of complaints rose from 33,562 in 2005 to 39,061 in 2006 (as of June), and is projected to increase to 47,500 in fiscal year 2007.

Chairs of the EEOC

References

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