Employers often discriminate against applicants and employees based upon their race, ethnicity, age, sex, and religion. Federal laws, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, have been enacted in order to stop discrimination by employers. However, without an agency to enforce these laws, this legislation would be useless.
In order to combat prejudice in the work
place, the federal government established the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission. The EEOC assumes the responsibility of investigating claims of
employment discrimination and ensuring that federal laws prohibiting these
practices are enforced. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
investigates a wide variety of cases, including age discrimination,
prejudice based on genetic information, and the discrimination of pregnant
women. What's more, the EEOC has the power to conduct thorough investigations
when claims of employment discrimination have been made.
If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reason to suspect that an employer is responsible for discrimination, it will collect evidence to support the case, and if the agency determines that an employer is responsible for any type of discrimination, it will generally attempt to settle the case out of court.
If the case cannot be settled, however, the EEOC has the ability to initiate a lawsuit against employers responsible for discriminatory practices. Not all discrimination claims will result in legal action. However, the EEOC will conduct a complete investigation in order to ensure that an employer does not breach the rights of an applicant, employee, or the public.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission understands that preventative measures are necessary in order to decrease or negate the occurrence of explicit discrimination. Therefore, the agency has developed educational programs focused on increasing public awareness about employment discrimination.
The EEOC has also established outreach and assistance programs, working closely with other federal agencies in order to ensure that equal employment opportunities are upheld. It seeks to assure that federal departments comply with employment discrimination regulations. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also provides assistance and advice to judicial authorities overseeing cases of employment discrimination.
In 2009, the EEOC filed over 90,000 charges against individuals who were believed to be responsible for employment discrimination. The most common type of discrimination addressed by the organization during this period was discrimination based on race, with sex discrimination also proving to be a widespread problem.
Age discrimination followed closely behind, though. The EEOC has developed a wide range of publications with the intention of informing the public about equal opportunity laws. The Commission offers a variety of internship and job opportunities to individuals interested in assisting with its cause. The work of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is invaluable. Without this federal agency discriminatory practices would be left unchecked and unpunished.