Washington Beat Book

Written for reporters by reporters, the Washington Beat Book provides a crash course in government agencies for those assigned to cover the federal government. Paul Miller Fellows select and profile each agency, with relevant links and resources. Click an agency seal to browse the information compiled by our fellows, or navigate directly to an agency's website with the provided link.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Cases prosecuted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are almost always controversial, and stories about them usually get big headlines. They involve people who are claiming discrimination by employers due to their race, religion, gender, ethnicity, disability or age.

About the EEOC

The EEOC brings suit (or mediates) under six statutes, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

In fiscal 2008, the agency received more than 95,000 complaints against private sector employers. Out of those complaints, 290 cases were filed. These filings are public record. The trick for regional reporters is to find out which of the few hundred cases that the EEOC takes action on each year originate in their state.

That information could come out of the EEOC's Washington press office, if the case is considered to have national implications or interest. Check the EEOC web site for news releases posted about lawsuits first then call the press office for any additional information.

The EEOC has five commissioners and a general counsel appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. As of April 2009, the commissioners were:

 

The Commission:
 
Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair
Constance S. Barker, Commissioner
Chai Feldblum, Commissioner
Victoria A. Lipnic, Commissioner
One commissioner position is vacant as of July 2012.
 
The General Counsel:
P. David Lopez

Address

131 M Street, NE
Washington , DC 20507

Tips for Reporters

The EEOC's main website is a gateway for trend stories about EEOC actions in individual states. Under the "news" section, the website tracks the most recent EEOC stories. Many of these stories offer regional perspective and can be a great lead for any regional story.

Its “statistics” section shows the type of data the agency collects on filings and litigations within the last ten years. For example, the percentage of filings that are based on alleged racial discrimination. On the website, this data isn't broken down by state. But the EEOC can furnish state-by-state numbers and, with some statistics, county-by-county numbers. The EEOC also tracks, by state, the number of people working in various occupations.

Every year, the EEOC releases its statistics for the previous fiscal year. The Performance and Accountability report for FY 2008 is available online under annual reports. The report is usually released in November.

The Commission meetings are open to the public. Meetings are normally announced in the Federal Register or you can call 202-663-4191. Information about previous meetings is also available online.

The news web site, EEOnews.com, (which isn't connected to the EEOC,) also keeps track of employment law case headlines.

Here are some helpful links:

Link for finding field offices.

An update on latest EEOC events.

FAQs on employment discrimination.

Does this agency's information need updating? programs@nationalpress.org

Contact Information

  • 202-663-4191

Press Contacts

The Washington office can be a good source for news on decisions to prosecute and the outcome of prosecutions. Links to the regional offices and websites are available here.

David Grinberg, Senior Spokesman
202-663-4921 (w)
202-577-9269 (cell)
david.grinberg@eeoc.gov

James Ryan, Public Affairs Specialist 
tel: 202-663-4965
james.ryan@eeoc.gov

Christine Nazer, Public Affairs Specialist 
tel: 202-663-4911
christine.nazer@eeoc.gov

Justine Lisser, attorney in the Communications Office (can answer technical legal questions)  
tel:202-663-4773 
justine.lisser@eeoc.gov