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Milestones: 1990


President Bush signs the ADA
Signing of the ADA
In July, President George Bush signs into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) -- the world's first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment (Title I), in public services (Title II), in public accommodations (Title III) and in telecommunications (Title IV). EEOC is responsible for enforcing Title I's prohibition against discrimination against people with disabilities in employment. Title I does not become effective until two years after the President signs the bill (July 26, 1992). The ADA is described as the Emancipation Proclamation for the disability community.

arrowIn October, Congress passes the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) overruling the Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio v. Betts. Betts held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not forbid age discrimination in employee benefits except in rare circumstances. The OWBPA amends the ADEA to prohibit age discrimination in employee benefits and also establishes minimum standards for an employee's voluntary waiver of an ADEA claim.

arrowCongress passes the Age Discrimination Claims Assistance Amendments of 1990 (ADCAA II) providing Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) charging parties an additional 450 days in which to file their own private ADEA lawsuits. This Act permits EEOC to process the remaining backlog of age discrimination charges while preserving the rights of charging parties to later bring their own lawsuits.


Photo of Chairman Kemp
Chairman Evan J. Kemp, Jr.
President George Bush designates Commissioner Evan J. Kemp, Jr. as EEOC Chairman.

arrowEEOC celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary on July 2 by releasing an oral history on the Civil Rights Movement and the establishment of EEOC. The oral history is now kept in the National Archives.

arrowEEOC files 643 lawsuits, the most in its history. The most frequently alleged violations in EEOC lawsuits involve sex discrimination (29%), age discrimination (23%), retaliation (18%), race discrimination (16.7%), national origin (5%), religion (2%) and equal pay (3%).

Next: 1991

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