DEFINITION of 'Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - EEOC'

The agency that is responsible for enforcing federal laws regarding discrimination against a job applicant or an employee in the United States. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was formed by the Congress to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


The EEOC is vested with the authority to investigate charges of discrimination against employers that are covered under the law. The EEOC also seeks to prevent discrimination before it can occur through education and technical assistance programs. The EEOC is headquartered in Washington, DC and has 53 field offices throughout the United States.

BREAKING DOWN 'Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - EEOC'

It is illegal to discriminate because of a person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. In addition, it is against the law to discriminate against a person who complains about discrimination, who has filed a charge of discrimination or who has participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Employers are generally covered by EEOC laws if they have at least 15 employees (or 20 employees in the case of age discrimination).

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