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What Is the EEOC?
The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is an administrative agency, meaning it is part of the executive branch of the U.S. government. As such, EEOC leaders are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate.
The EEOC leadership consists of five commissioners, 2 of which are also named chair and vice-chair. Commissioners set EEOC policy, and vote on whether or not to file lawsuits. In addition, there is a general counsel, who acts as the chief attorney for the EEOC. The general counsel reviews all current lawsuits, and advises attorneys in regional offices on employment law.
The EEOC headquarters are located at: 131 M Street NE Washington, DC 20507.
Below the commission, there are a number of offices. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) works closely with the EEOC to ensure efficiency and accuracy. The OIG investigates, audits, and inspects all EEOC projects. The Office of Federal Operations (OFO) reviews EEOC equal employment opportunity policies, and is a legal resource for administrative judges and other agencies. The Office of Research, Information, and Planning (ORIP) look into how well the EEOC has been meeting its goals, and prepares the EEOC’s annual performance report. Other offices include Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs, Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Services, and many more.
EEOC Geographical Organization
The EEOC is organized by district office and field / local office. There are 15 districts in the U.S. For example, the San Francisco District covers Washington, Oregon, half of Nevada and California, Idaho, Alaska, and Montana. Within the San Francisco District, there is the Oakland Local Office, the San Jose Local Office, and the Seattle Field Office. The Seattle Field Office serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, while the local offices serve Northern California counties.
EEOC Call Center
In 2007, the EEOC opened a public call center which can route parties to the appropriate local center. The toll free number for the public is 800-669-4000. The number for parties with speech or hearing impediments is 800-669-6820.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Although the EEOC enforces the nation’s anti-discrimination laws and has the power to bring such cases to court, the EEOC does not represent employees. An experienced employment attorney can help an employee navigate the complex bureaucracy surrounding anti-discrimination law.
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Last Modified: 03-14-2013 12:17 PM PDT
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