Laws Enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Since 1965, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken a leading role in preventing discrimination in the workplace. It is responsible for enforcing a number of federal laws for employment agencies, labor unions and companies with at least 15 employees and deals with practices related to hiring, firing, promoting, training, harassing and benefits. Whether you're a current employee or looking for work, you should understand the EEOC's role as you protect yourself from discrimination.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)

This law prevents an employer from using race, color, national origin, religion or sex to determine whether or not it hires, fires, promotes or trains applicants or current employees. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for religious practices.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

An amendment to Title VII, this law states that employers cannot discriminate against a woman because of her pregnancy, childbirth history or any medical condition that's related to pregnancy or childbirth.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

Because of this law, men and women must receive the same wages for equal work.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

People who are over 40 may not be discriminated against simply because of their age.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

In addition to federal employers, the ADA law applies to private sector, local government and state employers. A qualified person with a disability may not be discriminated against, and employers must provide reasonable accommodations for known physical or mental limitations.

Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

This law amends Title VII and the ADA and allows anyone in an intentional discrimination case to receive a jury trial, compensatory and punitive damage awards.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Qualified applicants and employees of the federal government may not be discriminated against because of their disability. Employers must also make reasonable accommodations for known physical and mental limitations that will not cause hardship to the business.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Because of this law, employers cannot use genetic information against an applicant, an employee or an individual's family members. Genetic information includes genetic tests, medical histories and information about any genetic disorder, condition or disease.

The EEOC enforces several laws that protect you from discrimination at work. In most cases, these laws also protect you from retaliation if you choose to complain about discrimination, file a discrimination charge or participate in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Know the laws as you protect yourself.
Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
Equal opportunity employment laws prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment. There are federal, state and local laws that ensure equal opportunities, and these laws apply to potential and current employees in companies with four or more employ...
Personal development pioneer Earl Nightingale once said, “You can measure opportunity with the same yardstick that measures the risk involved. They go together.” In other words, risk and opportunity are deeply interrelated, and learning to balance...
Because so few companies have inspired HR practices, those that do enjoy an enormous competitive advantage. Unfortunately, all too many businesses don't take advantage of this opportunity. Here's why: Cultivating great HR practices must be an...
Home-based businesses offer entrepreneurs significant cost savings, such as eliminating the expense of commercial space and commuting. However, when it comes to buying insurance, too many of these owners are short-changing themselves - and putting ...
While the year is still young, here are 15 resolutions that employers may want to make: Make sure your "independent contractors" are really independent contractors. "Independent contractors" are under scrutiny by the Internal Reve...