July 13, 2022

Van Hollen, Murray Introduce Resolution Celebrating Anniversary of the EEOC, Push to Confirm Kalpana Kotagal Without Delay

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in marking the 57th anniversary of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with a resolution celebrating the agency’s critical mission protecting workers’ rights and enforcing our nation’s workplace harassment and discrimination laws.

The resolution commemorates the 57-year anniversary since the establishment of the EEOC in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1965, and recognizes the EEOC’s critical role in addressing inequities in our economy, as well as the significant work ahead to protect workers’ rights, close the pay gap, and hold employers accountable for workplace discrimination and harassment.

Senators Schumer, Casey, Lujan, Cantwell, Brown, Blumenthal, Wyden, Reed, Warren, Hassan, Klobuchar, Sanders, Baldwin, Merkley, Cardin, Duckworth, Markey, Carper, Whitehouse, Kaine, Padilla, Booker, Peters, Smith, Hickenlooper, King, Hirono, Durbin, Murphy, Feinstein, Coons, Rosen, and Cortez Masto joined Senators Van Hollen and Murray in introducing the resolution.

Full text of the resolution is available here and below.

Commemorating the 57th anniversary of the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recognizing the importance of the Commission in addressing inequities in our economy, and recognizing the tremendous amount of work left to further protect the rights of workers, hold employers accountable for workplace discrimination and harassment, and address the wage gap.

Whereas July 2, 2022, marks the 57th anniversary of the formation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Com- mission (referred to in this preamble as the ‘‘EEOC’’), established by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.);

Whereas the mission of the EEOC is to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace, including through education, outreach, investigations, and litigation;

Whereas the EEOC is responsible for enforcing Federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, including harassment and compensation discrimination, including—

(1) section 6(d) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (commonly known as the ‘‘Equal Pay Act of 1963’’) (29 U.S.C. 206(d)), which prohibits employment discrimi- nation on account of sex in the payment of wages by em- ployers;

(2) title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), which prohibits employment dis- crimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex, including gender identity and sexual ori- entation;

(3) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), which prohibits employ- ment discrimination on the basis of age;

(4) the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (Pub- lic Law 95-555), which prohibits employment discrimina- tion on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition;

(5) title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.) and sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791, 794a), which prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of disability; and

(6) title II of the Genetic Information Non- discrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq.), which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information;

Whereas, since 1965, the United States has made great progress in ensuring equal opportunity and fair treat- ment in the workplace for women, workers of color, work- ers with disabilities, older workers, and other workers;

Whereas title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 promises workers that they can earn a paycheck without facing discrimination or harassment in the workplace and with- out fear of retaliation;

Whereas the EEOC plays a vital role in making that promise a reality by investigating workplace discrimination and harassment, and by enforcing Federal anti-discrimination statutes;

Whereas, in fiscal year 2021, the EEOC resolved over 62,000 charges and recovered over $350,000,000 in remedies for violations of anti-discrimination laws, and between fiscal years 2018 and 2021, the EEOC received over 98,000 charges alleging harassment, of which, over 27,000 were related to sexual harassment;

Whereas, despite the progress that has been made toward eq- uity and fairness in the workplace, the gender wage gap persists, and according to the most recent data and up- dated methodology, women were paid just 73 cents for every dollar paid to men in 2020, with even greater dis- parities for women of color;

Whereas the EEOC’s own extensive study of sexual harass- ment in the workplace concluded that it is difficult to even know how many individuals experience sexual har- assment, a critical first step to addressing harassment and ensuring that workers feel safe; and

Whereas tipped workers (who are largely low wage, women, and immigrant workers) are more likely to experience workplace harassment and retaliation, and account for 14 percent of harassment charges to the EEOC, a high share of such harassment charges: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) recognizes the critical role the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘EEOC’’) plays in addressing longstanding issues including the wage gap, combating workplace harassment, and ensuring all workers, including LGBTQ+ workers, workers with disabilities, pregnant workers, and workers of color, are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace; and

(2) recognizes the work that still remains to be done to secure the rights and opportunities guaranteed by Federal anti-discrimination laws, which ensure all workers have a fair shot at success in the workplace.