U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Milestones: 1993

  • In St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks, the Supreme Court rules that the plaintiff in an employment discrimination case is not entitled to automatically win even if he establishes a prima facie case of discrimination and demonstrates that all of the reasons advanced by the employer for the "challenged action" are false. The Supreme Court's decision means that even if the plaintiff can prove the employer's asserted defense is pretextual, than a finding of unlawful discrimination is not mandatory. A fact finder may still conclude that the employer's action is not discriminatory. The Commission had filed a brief as amicus curiae arguing, unsuccessfully, that prior Supreme Court cases established that once the plaintiff had shown that all of the employers reasons for the adverse employment actions are pretextual, then the plaintiff should automatically win.
  • In Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., the Supreme Court rules that in a sexual harassment case, the plaintiff does not have to prove concrete psychological harm to establish a Title VII violation.
  • EEOC pilots an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program featuring mediation in four field offices (New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.). Contract and volunteer staff mediate 300 charges.
  • In the first EEOC trial under the Americans with Disabilities Act, EEOC and Wessell v. AIC Security Investigation, LTD., the agency successfully proves that the defendant discharged the charging party because he had brain cancer, even though he had continued to perform the essential functions of his job satisfactorily. EEOC secures $220,000 in back pay and compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the charging party.
  • The Commission and the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) General Counsel sign a Memorandum of Understanding providing for coordination of issues arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the National Labor Relations Act (e.g., the duty to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability versus an individual's seniority rights earned pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement).
  • In the first full year of enforcement of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), over 16,000 individuals file an ADA charge with EEOC. This is approximately eight times the number of Title VII charges filed in 1965, Title VII's first year in effect.
  • EEOC publishes proposed guidance on workplace harassment under all bases covered by Title VII, including harassment based on religion. Over 100,000 individuals contact the agency expressing opposition to the proposed guidelines. In 1994, both Houses of Congress pass measures restricting EEOC from issuing guidelines on harassment that include religion as a basis.
  • President Bill Clinton designates Commissioner Tony E. Gallegos as Acting Chairman of EEOC. Gallegos is the first Hispanic American to serve in this capacity.

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