- EEOC has 380 employees, 13 offices, and a budget of approximately $6.5 million. The agency receives a record 15,058 charges. The Commission, through settlements and conciliation agreements, secures relief for 28,600 individuals, an increase of 238 percent more than 1967. However, after three years of operations the average time it takes to complete the processing of a charge is 16 months.
- The National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission) issues its report on race relations in the country. The report describes two separate Americas caused by racism. One America is white and affluent and the other is black and poor. The report recommends sweeping reforms in federal and local welfare, housing, education, and employment policies.
- EEOC holds a four-day public hearing on discrimination against minorities in white collar employment in New York City. Commissioners listen to testimony describing job bias in the finance, insurance, communications, advertising, printing, and
publishing industries as well as in 100 major national corporations with New York headquarters. One account of the hearings stated:
EEOC data revealed that in absolute terms a major problem of minority underutilization clearly existed. For example, of the 4,249 reporting establishments in New York City, 1,827 employed not a single Negro in white collar positions and 1,936 not a single Puerto Rican or other Spanish Surnamed American. It should be added that New York City was selected as the site not because the area was judged to be worse than others . . . . On the contrary, according to Commission findings, the New York SMSA ranked relatively high among major metropolitan areas in this regard.
- EEOC issues revised guidelines on sex discrimination, making it clear that the widespread practice of publishing "help wanted" advertisements that use "male" and "female" column headings violates Title VII.
- Although EEOC cannot file lawsuits directly against employers, the agency begins to submit amicus or "friend of the court" briefs in cases brought by private individuals. EEOC seeks to develop favorable legal precedents on key substantive and procedural issues. By now, the Commission has taken the position that employers cannot rely on state protective laws as a defense to sex discrimination claims. In Rosenfeld v. Southern Pacific and Weeks v. Southern Bell Telephone Co., two Federal Courts of Appeal adopt EEOC's amicus position striking down state laws limiting the jobs women can hold and specifically ruling that employers cannot rely on the stereotype that women are unable to lift weights of more than 30 pounds.