The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 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 purpose of the EEOC is to enforce the various anti-discrimination laws passed by the federal government, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
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
What Offices Make Up the EEOC?
Below the commission, there are a number of offices:
- 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.
What is the 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.
Does EEOC Have a Call Center?
In 2007, the EEOC opened a national Contact 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 are hard of hearing is 800-669-6820. The EEOC is created the National Contact Center to provide the public with 24-hour access to EEOC and information about equal employment rights and concerns.
What Information Can I Obtain from the EEOC Call Center?
The National Contact Center will have customer service representatives from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, who can provide callers who can have information for you regarding the following:
- EEOC and the statutes EEOC enforces;
- EEOC training products and services;
- The investigative process and mediation process;
- Obtaining information under the Freedom of Information Act;
- Other file disclosure requests; and
- 24 hour access to general EEOC information.
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. A local employment attorney can help an employee navigate the complex bureaucracy surrounding anti-discrimination law.