Congress passes the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 501 prohibits the Federal Government as an employer from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. EEOC is now responsible for enforcement of Section 501. The Act proves to be the model for Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability by private employers.
In McDonnell Douglas Corp. v Green, the Supreme Court holds that a charging party can prove unlawful discrimination indirectly by showing, for example, in a hiring case that: (1) the charging party is a member of a Title VII protected group; (2) he or she applied and was qualified for the position sought; (3) the job was not offered to him or her; and (4) the employer continued to seek applicants with similar qualifications. If the plaintiff can prove these four elements, the employer must show a legitimate lawful reason why the individual was not hired. The employee still may prevail if he or she discredits the employer's asserted reason for not hiring him or her.
In Espinoza v. Farah Manufacturing Co., the Supreme Court holds that non-citizens are entitled to Title VII protection and states that a citizenship requirement may violate Title VII if it has the purpose or effect of discriminating on the basis of national origin.
EEOC, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice and AT&T, the nation's largest private employer, sign a landmark consent decree to eliminate discriminatory recruiting, hiring and promotion practices against women and minorities. The action began in 1970 when EEOC petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reject a substantial long distance telephone rate increase sought by AT&T. Under the decree filed in court, AT&T distributes $15 million to 13,000 women and 2,000 minority men. The company also provides approximately $30 million in immediate pay increases for 36,000 women and minorities whose advancement in the Bell system had been hampered by discrimination.
EEOC has a $43 million budget and 2,000 employees in 32 district offices, seven regional offices, and five litigation centers throughout the United States. Among the agency's top priorities is reducing a backlog of 80,000 charges awaiting investigation.
EEOC establishes the National Programs Division in Headquarters (D.C.) using a task force approach to investigate systemic patterns and practices of discrimination. National Programs begins investigating five Commissioner Charges lodged against four of the country's largest employers and an international labor union. This initiative later becomes the Office of Systemic Programs responsible for investigating broad allegations of discrimination against national employers.
EEOC requires EEO-4 reports of state and local governments with 100 or more employees, excluding school districts. The reports cover government function by race/ethnic category and gender for eight broad job categories.