Civil Rights History

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), government agency established on July 2, 1965, by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “ensure equality of opportunity by vigorously enforcing federal legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment”—particularly discrimination on the basis of religion, race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.

The EEOC investigates claims of discrimination on the federal level and attempts mediation. If mediation is impossible, the EEOC will bring a suit against the offending company. The agency also works with some 90 fair employment practice agencies on the state and local level. In 1991 the EEOC further expanded to include several educational and technical assistance programs to further equal employment practices. The EEOC and its 50 field offices manage more than 80,000 claims of employment discrimination annually.

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