U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
For historical purposes, this is the original text of the law, without any subsequent amendments. For the current texts of the laws we enforce, as amended, see Laws Enforced by the EEOC.
On February 23, President Carter submitted to Congress Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 which would consolidate Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Activities. The text of the President's message and the terms of the plan follow. 124 Congressional Record H 1457 (H.Doc.No.95-295).
To the Congress of the United States:
I am submitting to you today Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978. This Plan makes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the principal Federal agency in fair employment enforcement. Together with actions I shall take by Executive Order, it consolidates Federal equal employment opportunity activities and lays, for the first time, the foundation of a unified, coherent Federal structure to combat job discrimination in all its forms.
In 1940 President Roosevelt issued the first Executive Order forbidding discrimination in employment by the Federal government. Since that time the Congress, the courts and the Executive Branch-spurred by the courage and sacrifice of many people and organizations--have taken historic steps to extend equal employment opportunity protection throughout the private as well as the public sector. But each new prohibition against discrimination unfortunately has brought with it a further dispersal of Federal equal employment opportunity responsibility. This fragmentation of authority among a number of Federal agencies has meant confusion and ineffective enforcement for employees, regulatory duplication and needless expense for employers.
Fair employment is too vital for haphazard enforcement. My Administration will aggressively enforce our civil rights laws. Although discrimination in any area has severe consequences, limiting economic opportunity affects access to education, housing and health care. I, therefore, ask you to join with me to reorganize administration of the civil rights laws and to begin that effort by reorganizing the enforcement of those laws which ensure an equal opportunity to a job.
Eighteen government units now exercise important responsibilities under statutes, Executive Orders and regulations relating to equal employment opportunity.
-The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans employment discrimination based on race, national origin, sex or religion. The EEOC acts on individual complaints and also initiates private sector cases involving a "pattern or practice" of discrimination.
-The Department of Labor and 11 other agencies enforce Executive Order 11246. This prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, national origin, sex, or religion and requires affirmative action by governmental contractors. While the Department now coordinates enforcement of this "contract compliance" program, it is actually administered by eleven other departments and agencies. The Department also administers those statutes requiring contractors to take affirmative action to employ handicapped people, disabled veterans and Vietnam veterans.
In addition, the Labor Department enforces the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits employers from paying unequal wages based on sex, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which forbids age discrimination against persons between the ages of 40 and 65.
-The Department of Justice litigates Title VII cases involving public sector employers - State and local governments. The Department also represents the Federal government in lawsuits against Federal contractors and grant recipients who are in violation of Federal nondiscrimination prohibitions.
-The Civil Service Commission (CSC) enforces Title VII and all other nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements for Federal employment. The CSC rules on complaints filed by individuals and monitors affirmative action plans submitted annually by other Federal agencies.
-The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council includes representatives from EEOC, Labor, Justice, CSC and the Civil Rights Commission. It is charged with coordinating the Federal equal employment opportunity enforcement effort and with eliminating overlap and inconsistent standards.
-In addition to these major government units, other agencies enforce various equal employment opportunity requirements which apply to specific grant programs. The Department of Treasury, for example, administers the anti-discrimination prohibitions applicable to recipients of revenue sharing funds.
These programs have had only limited success. Some of the past deficiencies include:
- inconsistent standards of compliance;
- duplicative, inconsistent paperwork requirements and investigative efforts;
- conflicts within agencies between their program responsibilities and their responsibility to enforce the civil rights laws;
- confusion on the part of workers about how and where to seek redress;
- lack of accountability.
I am proposing today a series of steps to bring coherence to the equal employment enforcement effort. These steps, to be accomplished by the Reorganization Plan and Executive Orders, constitute an important step toward consolidation of equal employment opportunity enforcement. They will be implemented over the next years, so that the agencies involved may continue their internal reform.
Its experience and broad scope make the EEOC suitable for the role of principal Federal agency in fair employment enforcement. Located in the Executive Branch and responsible to the President, the EEOC has developed considerable expertise in the field of employment discrimination since Congress created it by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Commission has played a pioneer role in defining both employment discrimination and its appropriate remedies.
While it has had management problems in past administrations, the EEOC's new leadership is making substantial progress in correcting them. In the last seven months the Commission has redesigned its internal structures and adopted proven management techniques. Early experience with these procedures indicates a high degree of success in reducing and expediting new cases. At my direction, the Office of Management and Budget is actively assisting the EEOC to ensure that these reforms continue.
The Reorganization Plan I am submitting will accomplish the following:
-On July 1, 1978, abolish the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council (42 U.S.C. 2000e-14) and transfer its duties to the EEOC (no positions or funds shifted).
-On October 1, 1978, shift enforcement of equal employment opportunity for Federal employees from the CSC to the EEOC (100 positions and $6.5 million shifted).
-On July 1, 1979, shift responsibility for enforcing both the Equal Pay Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act from the Labor Department to the EEOC (198 positions and $5.3 million shifted for Equal Pay; 119 positions and $3.5 million for Age Discrimination).
-Clarify the Attorney General's authority to initiate "pattern or practice" suits under Title VII in the public sector.
In addition, I will issue an Executive Order on October 1, 1978, to consolidate the contract compliance program-now the responsibility of Labor and eleven "compliance agencies" into the Labor Department (1,517 positions and $33.1 million shifted).
These proposed transfers and consolidation reduce from fifteen to three the number of Federal agencies having important equal employment opportunity responsibilities under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Federal contract compliance provisions.
Each element of my Plan is important to the success of the entire proposal.
By abolishing the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council and transferring its responsibilities to the EEOC, this plan places the Commission at the center of equal employment opportunity enforcement. With these new responsibilities, the EEOC can give coherence and direction to the government's efforts by developing strong uniform enforcement standards to apply throughout the government: standardized data collection procedures, joint training programs, programs to ensure the sharing of enforcement related data among agencies, and methods and priorities for complaint and compliance reviews. Such direction has been absent in the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council.
It should be stressed, however, that affected agencies will be consulted before EEOC takes any action. When the Plan has been approved, I intend to issue an Executive Order which will provide for consultation, as well as a procedure for reviewing major disputed issues within the Executive Office of the President. The Attorney General's responsibility to advise the Executive Branch on legal issues will also be preserved.
Transfer of the Civil Service Commission's equal employment opportunity responsibilities to EEOC is needed to ensure that: (1) Federal employees have the same rights and remedies as those in the private sector and in State and local government; (2) Federal agencies meet the same standards as are required of other employers; and (3) potential conflicts between an agency's equal employment opportunity and personnel management functions are minimized. The Federal government must not fall below the standard of performance it expects of private employers.
The Civil Service Commission has in the past been lethargic in enforcing fair employment requirements within the Federal government. While the Chairman and other Commissioners I have appointed have already demonstrated their personal commitment to expanding equal employment opportunity, responsibility for ensuring fair employment for Federal employees should rest ultimately with the EEOC.
We must ensure that the transfer in no way undermines the important objectives of the comprehensive civil service reorganization which will be submitted to Congress in the near future. When the two plans take effect, I will direct the EEOC and CSC to coordinate their procedures to prevent any duplication and overlap.
The Equal Pay Act, now administered by the Labor Department, prohibits employers from paying unequal wages based on sex. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which is enforced by EEOC, contains a broader ban on sex discrimination. The transfer of Equal Pay responsibility from the Labor Department to the EEOC will minimize overlap and centralize enforcement of statutory prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment.
The transfer will strengthen efforts to combat sex discrimination. Such efforts would be enhanced still further by passage of the legislation pending before you, which I support, that would prohibit employers from excluding women disabled by pregnancy from participating in disability programs.
There is now virtually complete overlap in the employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies covered by Title VII and by the Age and Discrimination in Employment Act. This overlap is burdensome to employers and confusing to victims of discrimination. The proposed transfer of the age discrimination program from the Labor Department to the EEOC will eliminate the duplication.
The Plan I am proposing will not affect the Attorney General's responsibility to enforce Title VII against State or local governments or to represent the Federal government in suits against Federal contractors and grant recipients. In 1972, the Congress determined that the Attorney General should be involved in suits against State and local governments. This proposal reinforces that judgment and clarifies the Attorney General's authority to initiate litigation against State or local governments engaged in a "pattern or practice" of discrimination. This in no way diminishes the EEOC's existing authority to investigate complaints filed against State or local governments and, where appropriate, to refer them to the Attorney General. The Justice Department and the EEOC will cooperate so that the Department sues on valid referrals, as well as on its own "pattern or practice" cases.
A critical element of my proposals will be accomplished by Executive Order rather than by the Reorganization Plan. This involves consolidation in the Labor Department of the responsibility to ensure that Federal contractors comply with Executive Order 11246. Consolidation will achieve the following: promote consistent standards, procedures, and reporting requirements; remove contractors from the jurisdiction of multiple agencies; prevent an agency's equal employment objectives from being outweighted by its procurement and construction objectives; and produce more effective law enforcement through unification of planning, training and sanctions. By 1981, after I have had an opportunity to review the manner in which both the EEOC and the Labor Department are exercising their new responsibilities, I will determine whether further action is appropriate.
Finally, the responsibility for enforcing grant-related equal employment provisions will remain with the agencies administering the grant programs. With the EEOC acting as coordinator of Federal equal employment programs, we will be able to bring overlap and duplication to a minimum. We will be able, for example, to see that a university's employment practices are not subject to duplicative investigations under both Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the contract compliance program. Because of the similarities between the Executive Order program and those statutes requiring Federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ handicapped individuals and disabled and Vietnam veterans, I have determined that enforcement of these statutes should remain in the Labor Department.
Each of the changes set forth in the Reorganization Plan accompanying this message is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in Section 901(a) of Title 5 of the United States Code. I have taken care to determine that all functions abolished by the Plan are done only under the statutory authority provided by Section 903(b) of Title 5 of the United States Code.
I do not anticipate that the reorganizations contained in this Plan will result in any significant change in expenditures. They will result in a more efficient and manageable enforcement program.
The Plan I am submitting is moderate and measured. It gives the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission an agency dedicated solely to this purpose the primary Federal responsibility in the area of job discrimination, but it is designed to give this agency sufficient time to absorb its new responsibilities. This reorganization will produce consistent agency standards, as well as increased accountability. Combined with the intense commitment of those charged with these responsibilities. It will become possible for us to accelerate this nation's progress in ensuring equal job opportunity for all our people.
Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress assembled, February 23, 1978, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 9 of Title 5 of the United States Code.
All functions related to enforcing or administering Section 6(d) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 206 "(d)" are hereby transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Such functions include, but shall not be limited to, the functions relating to equal pay administration and enforcement now vested in the Secretary of Labor, the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, and the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Sections 4(d) (1); 4(f); 9; 11 (a), (b) and (c); 16 (b) and (c) and 17 of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 204 (d) (1); 204 (f); 209; 211(a), (b) and (c); 216 (b) and (c) and 217) and Section 10(b) (1) of the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 259).
All functions vested in the Secretary of Labor or in the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Sections 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 621, 623, 626, 627, 628, 629, 630, 631, 632, 633, and 633a) are hereby transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. All functions related to age discrimination administration and enforcement pursuant to Section 6 and 16 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 625 and 634) are hereby transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
(a) All equal opportunity in Federal employment enforcement and related functions vested in the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Section 717(b) and (c) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2000e-16(b) and (c)), are hereby, transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
(b) The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may delegate to the Civil Service Commission or its successor the function of making a preliminary determination on the issue of discrimination whenever, as a part of a complaint or appeal before the Civil Service Commission on other grounds, a Federal employee alleges a violation of Section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2000e-16) provided that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission retains the function of making the final determination concerning such issue of discrimination.
All Federal employment of handicapped individuals enforcement functions and related functions vested in the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of l973 (29 U.S.C. 791) are hereby transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The function of being co-chairman of the Interagency Committee on Handicapped Employees now vested in the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Section 501 is hereby transferred to the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Any function of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concerning initiation of litigation with respect to State or local government, or political subdivisions under Section 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2000e-6) and all necessary functions related thereto, including investigation, findings, notice and an opportunity to resolve the matter without contested litigation, are hereby transferred to the Attorney General, to be exercised by him in accordance with procedures consistent with said Title VII. The Attorney General is authorized to delegate any function under Section 707 of said Title VII to any officer or employee of the Department of Justice.
All functions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council, which was established pursuant to Section 715 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2000e-14), are hereby transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council is hereby abolished.
Administrative proceedings including administrative appeals from the acts of an executive agency (as defined by Section 105 of Title 5 of the United States Code) commenced or being conducted by or against such executive agency will not abate by reason of the taking effect of this Plan. Consistent with the provisions of this Plan, all such proceedings shall continue before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission otherwise unaffected by the transfers provided by this Plan. Consistent with the provisions of this Plan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall accept appeals from those executive agency actions which occurred prior to the effective date of this Plan in accordance with law and regulations in effect on such effective date. Nothing herein shall affect any right of any person to judicial review under applicable law.
So much of the personnel, property, records and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations and other funds employed, used, held, available, or to be made available in connection with the functions transferred under this Plan, as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall determine, shall be transferred to the appropriate department, agency, or component at such time or times as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall provide, except that no such unexpended balances transferred shall be used for purposes other than those for which the appropriation was originally made. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall provide for terminating the affairs of the Council abolished herein and for such further measures and dispositions as such Director deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Reorganization Plan.
This Reorganization Plan shall become effective at such time or times, on or before October 1, 1979, as the President shall specify, but not sooner than the earliest time allowable under Section 906 of Title 5 of the United States Code.