FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Claire E. Gonzales Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1994 Reginald A. Welch (202) 663-4900 TDD (202) 663-4494
WASHINGTON -- Three weeks into assuming the chairmanship of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Gilbert F. Casellas has set a fast pace in getting to know the people who make up the agency and how the agency operates, as well as seeking ways to make the Commission function better. He will be in Chicago Thursday to confer with the staff of the EEOC Chicago District Office and to meet with constituency and business groups.
At his Senate confirmation hearings last July, Chairman Casellas said that he would dedicate himself to finding ways to improve EEOC's enforcement operations. The effort, he said, will be "a collaborative one and will include (EEOC's) many constituent communities and Congress."
The Commission is faced with an increasing workload and an imposing pending inventory approaching 100,000 yet uninvestigated charges. EEOC's Chicago District Office ranks among the top one-third of agency offices across the country in the number of charges received by individuals claiming job discrimination and the number of such claims handled per EEOC investigator.
While in Chicago, Casellas will meet with members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC), which consists of corporate officials who monitor federal EEO programs and report on their effect within the business community. He will also visit the office of Women Employed Institute, a private organization that provides information and support to women experiencing discrimination and unfair treatment at work.
On September 30, the Senate unanimously confirmed Casellas, Paul M. Igasaki, who has been designated Vice Chairman of the Commission, and Paul Steven Miller -- all Democrats -- to seats on the five-member Commission. The new leadership has collectively expressed the need to establish a dialogue with the many communities that are affected by EEOC-enforced laws and, therefore, have a stake in EEOC's effectiveness in enforcing those laws.
EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government.
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