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Commissioner Miller on the Importance of Equal Employment Opportunity (Transcript)

I think equal employment opportunity is important because....for two reasons; one, it's the morally right way to conduct oneself in the workplace and secondly, I think it makes business better. The way that I approach civil rights laws and employment civil rights laws, is I really think that they're all related. They're all civil rights laws, anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, whether anti-discrimination on the basis of race, or gender, or disability, or age, or religion, or national origin....they re all rooted in the same bedrock principle ... and that is, that people should be judged in the workplace, based upon their ability to do the job, and not based upon the fears, myths and stereotypes that one may have due to their race, or gender, or disability, or age, religion or national origin. And that's really the unifying aspect of all of the laws in which the EEOC implements and enforces, and I think that's really important that is both growing out of my own personal experience, and what I feel is right; that people should be judged based upon their ability to do the job... and that's really the very simple core of what we do. And if you sort of take that notion, that principle, one step further, or take it one step, it makes business better. To the extent that you're making employment decisions in the workplace, whether they be on the basis of hiring somebody for a job or promoting somebody for a job, or treating somebody on the job, you ground those workplace decisions in the ability of that individual to do the job, rather than on a stereotype, or a fear, or a myth, because that person is from a different race than you, or a different religion, or looks different, or is older, or doesn't walk, or moves around or communicates in a different way from you. If you base those workplace decisions, upon the ability of that individual to do the job, you will get the most qualified person. You won't let internal biases, or fears, or myths, or stereotypes get in the way of selecting the best qualified person.. And I think, therefore, it is in business best interest to strip away those stereotypes, those fears and those myths, in order to get at the best qualified person, because then, business will truly be better.


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