Legal Reference

131 M St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20507
Phone (202) 663-4900

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the principal federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination in the federal government, including:

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and older;

• the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work under similar conditions;

• the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which among other things provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination;

• the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information; and

• the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government, including amendments to that act making the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applicable to federal employees.

Under PL 107-174, the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act, federal agencies must provide written notice to employees and applicants regarding their rights and remedies under anti-discrimination laws.

The Commission ensures that the federal departments and agencies maintain programs of equal employment opportunity required under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. The Commission also provides leadership and coordination to all federal agency programs enforcing statutes, executive orders, regulations and policies that require equal employment opportunity or which have equal employment opportunity implications.

The EEOC carries out its work at headquarters and in about 50 field offices.

Federal employee EEO complaints are processed under rules different from those applying to the private sector. Generally, federal employees must exhaust the administrative process before pursuing their complaints in court.