What is the EEOC, and what are its responsibilities and powers?

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The EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is a federal agency that enforces laws against discrimination in the workplace. President Kennedy established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity in 1961, and it became its own agency in 1965 under President Johnson. Under EEOC laws, it is illegal to practice discrimination...

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The EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is a federal agency that enforces laws against discrimination in the workplace. President Kennedy established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity in 1961, and it became its own agency in 1965 under President Johnson. Under EEOC laws, it is illegal to practice discrimination against someone applying for a job or who is in a job based on the person's race, religion, color, sex (which extends to gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), age, nationality, disability or genetic status. The EEOC has the mandate to investigate charges of discrimination against employees in organizations that are covered (generally, those that have over 15 employees or 20 employees in age discrimination lawsuits), and they then present their findings. They can try to settle a claim if they find an employee has been discriminated against, and if they cannot settle, they can initiate a lawsuit. They also offer outreach to employers to try to prevent workplace discrimination and work with government agencies to make sure they also abide by EEOC rules. 

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