Equal employment opportunity

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President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Equal employment opportunity is equal opportunity to attain or maintain employment in a company, organization, or other institution. Examples of legislation to foster it or to protect it from eroding include the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to assist in the protection of United States employees from discrimination.[1] The law was the first federal law designed to protect most US employees from employment discrimination based on that employee's (or applicant's) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (Public Law 88-352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 253, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et. seq.).[2]

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that workplace discrimination is prohibited based on sexual orientation or transgender status. [3] Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. ___ (2020).

Employment discrimination entails areas such as firing, hiring, promotions, transfer, or wage practices and it is also illegal to discriminate in advertising, referral of job applicants, or classification. The Title is pertinent in companies affecting commerce that have fifteen or more employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is section 705 of the title.[4]

Equal employment opportunity was further enhanced when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 on September 24, 1965, created to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race, sex, creed, religion, color, or national origin.

Related statutes[edit]

Along with those protected classes, more recent statutes have listed other traits as "protected classes," including the following:

The executive order also required contractors to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace. Under federal regulations, affirmative action plans must consist of an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current workforce, identification of problem areas, the establishment of goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "US EEOC Home Page". Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  2. ^ "Federal Equal Employment Laws, Cases and Resources". Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  3. ^ "What You Should Know: The EEOC and Protections for LGBT Workers | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission". www.eeoc.gov. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  4. ^ Levine, Marvin J.; Montcalmo, Anthony J. (December 1, 1971). "The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Progress, Problems, Prospects". Labor Law Journal. 22 (12): 741–779. Retrieved 2015-09-25 – via EBSCOHost.
  5. ^ "Age Discrimination; EEOC". Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  6. ^ "Disability Discrimination; EEOC". Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Genetic Discrimination; EEOC". Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "Ending job discrimination for all Americans based on sexual orientation & gender identity". Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  9. ^ H.R. 3017: Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Further reading[edit]