EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



The Commission

The EEOC is a bipartisan Commission comprised of five presidentially-appointed members, including the Chair, Vice Chair, and three Commissioners. The Chair is responsible for the administration and implementation of policy and the financial management and organizational development of the Commission. The Commissioners participate equally in the development and approval of Commission policies, issue charges of discrimination where appropriate, and authorize the filing of some lawsuits. In addition to the Commissioners, the President appoints a General Counsel to support the Commission and provide direction, coordination, and supervision to the EEOC's litigation program.

EEOC Organization

EEOC Organizational Chart

When the Commission first opened its doors in 1965, it was charged with enforcing the employment provisions of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC's jurisdiction over employment discrimination issues has since grown and now includes the following areas:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII to clarify that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes sex discrimination and requires employers to treat pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical conditions as any other medical disability with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including health benefits.

Laws Enforced by the EEOC

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants' and employees' sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act This law amended Title VII to make it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) This law makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) This law protects people who are 40 or older from discrimination because of age. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the private sector and in state and local governments. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 Among other things, this law amends Title VII and the ADA to permit jury trials and compensatory and punitive damage awards in intentional discrimination cases.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the federal government. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Effective - November 21, 2009.

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members (i.e. an individual's family medical history). The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.