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A posed photo of two white women and a black man in a suit.
  1. Social Security and Retirement
  2. Retirement Age and Social Security
  3. Working at Home
  4. Longer Years of Retirement
  5. Employment trends
  6. Foreign workers in the United States
  7. Mexican Workers in the United States
  8. Workplace Safety Standards
  9. Work-related Injuries and Deaths
  10. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  11. Union Membership Across the United States
  12. Laws Regarding Working Women
  13. Labor Contracts in the United States
  14. Right-to-Work Laws
  15. Public worker unions in the United States
  16. Unemployment insurance
  17. Equal Opportunity Employment Laws
  18. Workers’ Compensation
  19. Minimum Age for Agricultural Employment
  20. Minors in the Workplace
  21. Minimum Wage
  22. Employment of Persons with Disabilities
  23. Major Equal Employment Legislation in the U.S.
  24. Employment in the Service Sector
  25. Unemployment
  26. State’s Unique Worker’s Compensation Laws
  27. Life on Unemployment
  28. Minimum Wage and Poverty
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Women speaking for equal pay at an outdoor rally
Eleanor Holmes-Norton speaking at an Equal Pay Day rally in Washington, DC.
Photo Courtesy of the National Organizational for Women.
Equal Opportunity Employment Laws
Over the last fifty years, the United States Congress passed a number of federal equal opportunity laws designed to end employment discrimination. Congress also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1964 to enforce these laws. Equal opportunity laws forbid discrimination against a person based on gender, race, ancestry, birthplace, culture, age, disability, religious practices, or language characteristics common to their ethnic group. These laws also prohibit sexual harassment, which includes requests for sexual favors or conditions “that create a hostile environment for persons of either gender.” In addition to federal laws, many states have enacted laws that outlaw employment discrimination and harassment based on marital status, political affiliation, and sexual orientation. Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of employment discrimination may file a charge with the EEOC. When a charge of discrimination is filed, the EEOC investigates the matter. If the EEOC finds that discrimination did occur, it will work with the employer to remedy the problem. Some of the “remedies” that the EEOC might insist on include hiring, back pay, reinstatement, or promotion. In some cases, individuals may also file a lawsuit in civil court if they have been harmed by discrimination.
Special Terms: Congress

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