1965 July 2

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is Established


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on July 2, 1964. Under the terms of the law, the EEOC was established one year later, on this day.

On September 24, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson issued Executive Order 11264 establishing affirmative action in employment as national policy. It did not cover women, however. Women’s groups protested, and on October 13, 1967 Johnson issued Executive Order 11375 to correct this omission.

Among the EEOC’s first complainants were female flight attendants alleging sex discrimination in employment because of restriction on marital status and age. For some of the events on this issue, see April 17, 1963; September 14, 1965; and March 10, 1973.

In its first years the EEOC also wrestled with sex-segregated employment advertisements (e.g., men wanted). See the Supreme Court’s decision on that issue on June 21, 1973.

The EEOC celebrates 45 years: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-2-10.cfm1

Learn about the EEOC today: http://www.eeoc.gov/

Learn more about affirmative action from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: http://www.civilrights.org/resources/civilrights101/affirmaction.html

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