Congress passes the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protecting individuals who are between 40 and 65 years of age from discrimination in employment. The Department of Labor has enforcement responsibility. Three years earlier, Congress had voted down an amendment to Title VII to include age discrimination as an unlawful employment practice.
EEOC institutes EEO-3 reports, requiring local referral unions with 100 or more members to report every two years on membership/referral and applicants by race/ethnic group, gender and trade. These reports cover 1.2 million union members and applicants for union membership.
President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints and the Senate confirms Vincente T. Ximenes as a Commissioner. He is the first Hispanic American to serve on the Commission. President Johnson also appoints Ximenes to be Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican American Affairs, a federal task force established to ensure that Mexican Americans receive a fair share of Federal Government services and programs.
EEOC shifts the focus of its relationship with state and local Fair Employment Practice Agencies (FEPAs) from research to action oriented programs which are designed to strengthen FEPA compliance and enforcement efforts.
The Commission addresses the issue of whether employers can rely on state protective laws as a defense to claims of sex discrimination. State protective laws in 43 states restrict women from holding certain jobs, often prohibit women from working at night and in general restrict employment opportunities for women. The Commission declines to address the issue directly and directs charging parties to the courts for a determination. The Commission eventually determines "state protective laws by their very nature conflict with Title VII" and will not be considered a defense to a claim of sex discrimination.
EEOC begins conducting public hearings in selected cities throughout the country to publicize the existence of Title VII, make members of the public aware that they can complain to EEOC about employment discrimination and to focus attention on particularly acute discriminatory employment practices. Using EEO-1 data, EEOC documents the scope and intensity of discrimination and urges employers to take stronger action to overcome the historical exclusion of minorities and women in particular industries and jobs. Technical assistance is provided to employers.
EEOC's first public hearing is held in Charlotte, North Carolina and focuses on the textile industry, which has been one of the largest sources of individual charges to date. EEO-1 reports show that only 8.4 percent of all textile employees are African American, although nonwhites constitute 22 percent of the population in North Carolina and 30.5 percent in South Carolina. The EEO-1 Reports also show that 99 percent of the African American employees in the textile industry are blue collar and service workers and that African Americans are only 2.3 percent of craftsmen, foremen and similar positions.