What exactly is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Title VII and how do they apply to you?
The EEOC was established to provide guidelines in order to help employers make fair, informed hiring decisions. They are responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee based on certain characteristics—such as those outlined in Title VII.
Title VII was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is a federal law that protects employees against discrimination based on certain specified characteristics, such as: race, color, national origin, sex, and religion.
Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.
These laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
Under the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are also banned from excluding potential hires based purely on past arrests or criminal records (unless directed otherwise by state or federal regulations) if the offense is not relevant to an applicants ability to perform their job.
Employers should also remember to pay heed to various states “ban the box” regulations which can forbid them from asking about criminal records until after serious hiring consideration.
You can find more information about EEOC and Title VII here.