The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members wrote the following informal discussion letter in response to an inquiry from a member of the public. This letter is intended to provide an informal discussion of the noted issue and does not constitute an official opinion of the Commission.

Coverage of Americans Overseas

November 4, 2003


This is in response to your letter of October 10, 2003, to Chair Cari Dominguez regarding coverage under the federal employment discrimination laws. Chair Dominguez has requested that our office respond directly to you. Pursuant to your request, we have reviewed a passage that you drafted for an article regarding the application of the federal employment discrimination statutes to Americans employed overseas. Our informal comments are summarized below. We have also enclosed two policy documents that provide more detailed information on the coverage of Americans overseas under the federal employment discrimination laws.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal employment discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., which prohibits employment discrimination on the bases of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., which protects individuals age 40 and older from employment discrimination because of age; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., which bars employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability; and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), 29 U.S.C. § 206(d), which requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment.

We hope this information has been helpful. Please note that this letter does not constitute an opinion or interpretation of the EEOC within the meaning of section 713(b) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-12(b), or §10 of the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, incorporated in § 7(e) of the ADEA. If you have any questions, please call Ernest Haffner at (202)663-4644.


Dianna B. Johnston
Assistant Legal Counsel


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