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PRESS RELEASE
11-10-15

EEOC, Ecuador Sign Partnership Agreement

Agreement Establishes Ongoing Collaborative Relationship to Fight Discrimination

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Republic of Ecuador today committed to work together to combat employment discrimination. In a ceremony at EEOC's Washington, D.C. headquarters, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang and Ecuadorian Ambassador Francisco Borja Cevallos signed a national Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) creating a partnership between local consulates and EEOC field offices nationwide.

The national MOU:

  • Specifies that EEOC will train consular staff on workers and employers' rights and responsibilities under the equal employment opportunity statutes that the agency enforces.
  • Encourages Ecuadorian consulates to assist EEOC with simple translations, outreach to Spanish-speaking media, and notification to the Hispanic community of EEOC activities.
  • Fosters consistency in joint efforts between EEOC office and local Ecuadorian consulates across the country.
  • Indicates the seriousness with which both entities take the education and enforcement activities under this partnership.

"We are pleased to establish this nationwide partnership with the government of Ecuador to help ensure workers and employers of Ecuadorian origin are protected under, and acting in accordance with, U.S. anti-discrimination laws." said Chair Yang.

Ambassador Borja said, "The protection of civil and human rights of citizens is a priority and a constitutional mandate of Ecuador, even more so for those who, for many reasons, are out of their country. Thus, working together with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is of great importance. This agreement will improve the defense and the effective exercise of those rights and raise the employment standard of many Ecuadorian citizens working in the United States."

EEOC's Washington Field Office is one of several agency field offices that have been working closely with local Ecuadorian consulates for years. In fact, the Washington Field Office and embassy of Ecuador signed a local MOU in August 2013. The local MOU came about because consulate staff heard regularly from their constituents about instances employment discrimination that ran counter to the laws EEOC enforces. Rather than simply renewing the local MOU when it expired, EEOC and the government of Ecuador agreed to establish a national partnership.

EEOC has entered into similar local agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. The agency also has reached out to other Latin American countries to indicate its willingness to partner with them.

EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wage and Hour Division, and Bureau of International Labor Affairs are all partners in the Labor Department's Consular Partnership Program (CPP) with embassies from several Latin American countries and the Philippines. The embassy of Ecuador has taken a leading role in the CPP, working to educate members of its community and to assist its federal partners in furthering their efforts.

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov in both English and Spanish or by calling the agency's toll-free number at 1-800-669-4000.