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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a U.S. federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws against workplace discrimination. It ensures that employers do not discriminate against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. The EEOC also handles complaints of discrimination in workplace practices or policies.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is pronounced as “EE-kwuhl Em-ploi-muhnt Op-er-too-ni-tee Kuh-mish-uhn (EE-oh-see)”.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws to prevent any type of job discrimination. It protects employees against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and/or genetic information.
  2. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints, mediates disputes, and if necessary, sues companies that violate the law. It’s important for companies to stay informed and compliant with EEOC regulations to maintain a fair and balanced workplace.
  3. Education is also a significant part of the EEOC’s mandate. It provides training and education on understanding and preventing discrimination at work. This helps to create a more inclusive environment in workplaces all across the country.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a significant entity within the world of business and finance due to its role in enforcing federal laws that protect employees against workplace discrimination. The EEOC’s mission is crucial in promoting fair practices and ensuring that no individual is denied employment or mistreated at work because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

The organization maintains that workplaces are diverse, equitable, and inclusive, which significantly influences the ethical conduct of businesses, boosts employee morale, and ultimately enhances overall productivity and output. Moreover, adherence to the EEOC’s regulations can protect businesses from legal complications, reputational damage, and financial losses while fostering a positive and conducive work environment.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) serves a critical role in upholding fair employment practices in the United States. Its main purpose is to enforce federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. This means that the EEOC works diligently to protect both current employees and job applicants from facing discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, termination, promotions, training, wages, and benefits.

To ensure businesses comply with these laws, the EEOC investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual’s protected characteristics. Established initially under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC functions to promote equal opportunity and fair treatment in the workplace. Beyond investigating complaints and making regulatory enforcement actions, the EEOC also provides oversight, coordination, and public education on equal employment opportunity regulations. This makes it an indispensable tool for anyone looking to promote or ensure fair employment practices.


1. UPS Settlement: In 2009, the United States-based package delivery company, UPS, settled a dispute with the EEOC for $2 million. This was a result of the company’s alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by barring workers with disabilities from certain positions and not providing reasonable accommodations.

2. The Abercrombie & Fitch Case: In 2015, the EEOC successfully sued Abercrombie & Fitch over their ‘look policy.’ The EEOC claimed that the brand’s policy of employees wearing ‘a classic East Coast collegiate style of clothing’ was indirectly discriminating against religious and ethnic groups. The company had denied a Muslim woman employment because her headscarf conflicted with their policy. The Supreme Court sided with the EEOC, leading the clothing retailer to alter its policy.

3. Patterson-UTI Drilling Company Lawsuit: In 2020, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, one of the largest drilling contractors in the U.S., settled a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit with the EEOC for $1.2 million. The company had allegedly subjected minority employees to unequal terms and conditions of employment, harassment, and a hostile work environment.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency in the United States that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.

What laws does the EEOC enforce?

The EEOC enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.

What does EEOC stand for?

EEOC is an acronym for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

How does the EEOC help to enforce equal opportunity in the workplace?

The EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination, conducts hearings, and mediates disputes between employees and employers. If necessary, the EEOC may also file lawsuits to enforce the anti-discrimination laws.

How can one file a complaint with the EEOC?

An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC by visiting an EEOC office in person, sending a written letter, or by completing an online form available on the EEOC’s official website.

Do I have to pay fees to file a complaint with the EEOC?

No, there are no fees required to file a complaint with the EEOC.

Can the EEOC assist with issues related to workplace harassment?

Yes, the EEOC also handles cases of workplace harassment which is a form of discrimination. If you believe you have been harassed at work, you can file a complaint with the EEOC.

What is the time limit for filing a complaint with the EEOC?

A complaint, or charge of discrimination, needs to be filed with the EEOC within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation.

How can I contact the EEOC for assistance?

You can contact the EEOC through their official website, via telephone, or through mail. Details can be found on the ‘Contact Us’ section of their site.

Can the EEOC help businesses to prevent discrimination in the workplace?

Yes, the EEOC provides guidance to businesses, offers training programs, and releases resourceful materials on how to prevent workplace discrimination.

Related Finance Terms

  • Discrimination Lawsuit
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Workplace Equality
  • Protected Class
  • EEOC Complaint Process

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