The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency charged with the
task of enforcing federal employment discrimination laws. The laws include those that protect people
from discrimination in all areas of employment, such as discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, age, and disability. People who have filed a discrimination charge are also protected
against discrimination under the EEOC. Employers with at least fifteen employees (twenty for age
discrimination) are covered under the EEOC. This agency covers not only discrimination in hiring but also
discrimination in all types of work situations such as firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and
benefits. The EEOC has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination against employers. The
agency investigates the claims, makes a finding, and then tries to settle the charge. If they are
unsuccessful in settling the charge, the EEOC has the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the complainants.
The EEOC has headquarters in Washington, DC, with fifty-three field offices throughout the United
If a company has more than one hundred employees, a form called the EEO-1 must be filled out yearly.
This form confirms the demographics of an organization based on different job categories.  An
organization that employs more than fifty people and works for the federal government must also file an
EEO-1 yearly, with the deadline normally in September. In addition, organizations must post the EEOC
notice, which you have probably seen before, perhaps in the company break room. Finally, organizations
should keep on file records such as hiring statistics in the event of an EEOC investigation.
It is necessary to mention here that while there is a legal compliance concern, as discussed before, it is in
the company’s best interest to hire a diverse workforce. So while we can discuss the legal aspects,
remember that the purpose of having a diverse workforce is not just to meet EEOC requirements but to
create a better, more profitable workplace that better serves customers.