HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

What is the EEOC?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an organization responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant for a variety of factors. For example, this includes a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Furthermore, the EEOC covers most employers with at least 15 employees.

The EEOC investigates charges of discrimination and focuses on settling them when discrimination is found. If charges can’t come to an agreement, the EEOC may file lawsuits on the behalf of the individual, or the general public. 

In addition to investigating complaints and handling discrimination charges, the EEOC conducts outreach programs to prevent future cases.

The EEOC covers legislation, such as:

This legislation includes laws that prohibit discrimination, provide equal pay, and mandate equal access to employment for qualified individuals with disabilities, such as:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 501 & 505)
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

EEOC Enforcement and Oversight:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces all of these laws above and provides oversight and coordination of all federal regulations, practices, and policies.

Related Terms: Employment Laws, ADA, EPA

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