Nearly 50 years after its creation as part of the historic Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking stock of its objectives and the challenges that remain, Chair Jenny R. Yang told Texas attorneys Jan. 22 in Dallas.
Yang, speaking to about 300 attendees at the TexasBarCLE Advanced Employment Law Course, said the commission has made much progress since opening in July 1965 with the duty to enforce federal laws barring discrimination in hiring and employment. Still, some workers remain vulnerable to discrimination, including pregnant women, immigrants, and temporary workers, she said.
“We’re thinking about where we are today on some of these persistent issues that we’ve been addressing throughout the history of the agency,” said Yang, who was named chair by President Obama in September. She has served on the commission since 2013.
Current EEOC initiatives include a new task force to study the problem of workplace harassment and a push to educate the public about the laws that protect workers. The latter effort included a public meeting in Houston, where federal agencies provided educational materials in various languages.
“We heard so much appreciation from the community,” Yang said. “Many had never seen these materials in their language before. Many know nothing about our agency and the protections that exist. We’re trying to spread the word.”
Pictured: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jenny R. Yang, right, offered an overview of EEOC operations Jan. 22 during a keynote address at the TexasBarCLE Advanced Employment Law Course in Dallas. Also pictured is course director Kathy D. Boutchee, senior trial attorney for the EEOC in Houston.