WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rarely meets outside of Washington, and has never done so to discuss equal pay in the workplace. However, it will meet in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 13, to hear outside-the-beltway testimony from individuals representing various EEOC constituency groups on the issue of equal-pay-for-equal- work. The meeting will take place at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Federal Reserve Bank, 10 Independence Mall.
Chairwoman Ida L. Castro and her fellow Commissioners will hear presentations from local officials of civil rights and other advocacy groups, members of the defense and plaintiffs bar, and academics. The agency also hopes to hear from people who have personally battled pay discrimination. The meeting will cover discrimination in pay based on gender as well as race and national origin.
"Resources permitting, we hope that this will be the first of several Commission Meetings outside the beltway," said Ms. Castro.
She continued: "Of the some 80,000 charges of workplace discrimination filed annually with EEOC nationwide, a relatively small percentage involve employees and businesses in the Washington, D.C. area. To be more responsive to our constituency and more customer oriented -- an overarching goal of the EEOC -- it is critical that we hear firsthand from individuals and entities from around the country who have a stake in the way we do business."
Approximately 6,200 charges of employment discrimination filed with EEOC last year included allegations of pay inequity, constituting almost eight percent of total EEOC charge receipts.
Yesterday, the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor adopted joint measures to improve coordination between the two agencies in enforcing anti-discrimination laws, especially those designed to rid pay discrimination from the workplace.
Individuals scheduled to make presentations at Tuesday's meeting include: Mark Dichter of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP; Pat Folino, 9to5; Diana Furchtgott-Roth, American Enterprise Institute; Janice Madden, University of Pennsylvania; Sara Rios, Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (New York); Susan Bianchi Sand, National Committee on Pay Equity; Robert Sorrell, National Urban League; and Judith Vladeck of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Englehard, P.C.
Since taking over as EEOC Chairwoman in October 1998, forging ties with EEOC stakeholders and getting their input on agency operations has been an ongoing priority. The Commission has conducted several meetings at which representatives of various groups have been invited to present their views and to make recommendations on how EEOC should proceed with its various priority initiatives.
As a result of this dialogue, a number of suggestions by stakeholders have been incorporated into the agency's implementation of programs to advance mediation, enhance outreach to small and mid-size businesses, and expand communication and information dissemination to under-served communities. Stakeholder groups have included those representing small employers, labor, and advocates for the rights of minorities, women, the disabled, and older workers.
In addition, key outreach goals under the agency's National Enforcement Plan are being met through complementary Local Enforcement Plans implemented at all 50 agency field offices across the country. "Getting information out about the rights and responsibilities under the laws we enforce is crucial for workers as well as employers who want to prevent discrimination from occurring in the first place," said Ms. Castro.
EEOC enforces the following federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and prohibitions for discriminating against people with disabilities in the federal government. Information about EEOC is available on the agency's web site (www.eeoc.gov).
On the same site beginning at 5 p.m., Ms. Castro will be joined by the Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia, Donna Cooper, as keynote speakers at a joint EEOC-Department of Labor conference. Following their remarks, Cornelia Moore, regional administrator of DOL's Women's Bureau, will lead a panel discussion. The conference will focus on local employment issues facing women and acquaint attendees with services available to assist them in their job pursuits and career advancement goals. Contact Edward McCaffrey at (215) 451-5732 for more information.
This page was last modified on April 8, 1999.
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