The 1990s: New Laws, New Strategies
Early in the 1990s, Congress again expanded EEOC's authority and
jurisdiction by the passage of significant pieces of legislation
the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, the Older Workers
Benefit Protection Act of 1990, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
As a result of its expanded jurisdiction, EEOC witnessed the
largest increase in charge receipts in its history. While charges
continued to allege race and sex discrimination, EEOC also received
at record rates charges of discrimination based on age and
disability. However, the Commission received little additional
funding to handle the exploding charge workload.
Given the burgeoning backlog of charges, EEOC once again faced
criticism surrounding its perennial dilemma of providing effective
individual relief while still addressing systemic patterns of
discrimination. Thus, this decade is marked by EEOC's efforts to
develop creative enforcement and outreach strategies to reduce the
backlog of charges and attack systemic discrimination under all of
its statutes, while continuing to provide protection for individual
victims of discrimination. These new and innovative strategies have
become a hallmark of the Commission's flexibility to meet the
changing needs of the time.
Next: The Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990