(Archived messages from the former Chair and others)
Jenny R. Yang
Our country has made great strides in advancing equal opportunity for all. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been an integral part of that progress. Throughout its history, the five-member bipartisan Commission has engaged in a productive exchange of ideas to further the agency's mission and promote a shared vision of equality and justice for all.
Each November, the nation recognizes the rich history and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, the first Americans, who provided so much to the establishment and growth of the United States. National Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize that legacy and reaffirm our commitment to working together. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is proud to celebrate the contributions of Native Americans to the workforce and the nation as part of the rich fabric that makes up the American experience.
It is an honor to be here with all of you to celebrate the hiring of over 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government. Through our collective efforts, we have met the goal President Obama set for federal agencies in Executive Order 13548. It is a huge accomplishment, and there are many people to thank for making today possible. I especially wanted to recognize my colleague on the Commission - Chai Feldblum, who unfortunately had a conflict today. She has been a visionary leader who has spent her career advancing the rights of people with disabilities.
Durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, celebramos las contribuciones económicas, sociales, y culturales de la comunidad latina, una comunidad robusta, dinámica y diversa, de nuestra nación. La población latina esta creciendo más rapido que otros grupos minoritarios en los Estados Unidos, con una población de poco más de 56 millones. La experiencia latina consiste no sólo de angustia y dificultad, sino también de éxito extraordinario y capacidad para adaptarse. Iconos latinos como Sonía Sotomayor, juez asociada en la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, Junot Díaz, escritor dominicano-americano y ganador del premio Pulitzer, y Dolores Huerta, organizadora laboral mexicana-americana, ejemplifican los éxitos de esta comunidad diversa.
During Hispanic Heritage month, we celebrate the economic, social, and cultural contributions of our nation's robust, dynamic and diverse Latino community. Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, with a population of just over 56 million. The Latino experience consists not only of heartbreak and hardship, but also of remarkable success and resilience. Latino icons such as Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz, and Mexican-American labor organizer Dolores Huerta exemplify the successes of this diverse community.
Our hearts are with the families of those who lost their lives or who were injured in the horrific attack in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub on Latin Night. This senseless tragedy is an assault on all of us as Americans and on our national values of freedom and equality, for which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fights every day. We stand with the LGBT community, the Latino community, and all the people of Orlando as we unwaveringly continue our work to overcome hatred and intolerance.
Nuestros corazones están con las familias de los que perdieron sus vidas o fueron heridos en el horrible ataque en Orlando en la noche latina del club nocturno Pulse. Esta tragedia sin sentido es un ataque contra todos nosotros como estadounidenses y nuestros valores nacionales de libertad e igualdad, para los cuales la Comisión Para la Igualdad de Oportunidades en el Empleo lucha cada día. Estamos con la comunidad LGBT, la comunidad latina, y toda la gente de Orlando, y sin vacilar seguiremos trabajando para vencer al odio y la intolerancia.
During Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, our country celebrates the contributions of AAPIs to our nation’s history and culture. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were immigrants from China who came to this country in search of a better life.
Today marks "Equal Pay Day," the day when the average pay for women catches up to the average pay for men from the preceding year alone. In other words, a woman must work more than a year and three months to earn what a man earns in a year. This day serves to remind us that more than 50 years after pay discrimination became illegal with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, significant gaps in pay persist.
Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission celebrated Women's History Month with an inspiring presentation by Chief of Police Cathy Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department here in Washington, DC. In her remarks, Chief Lanier mentioned that when she became Chief in 2007, she was the first female head of the MDP-and at the time, the only woman to head a police department in any of the 65 major metropolitan areas.
As we wrap up African American History Month, we are reminded that as far as our nation has come, we still have important work to do to live up to the ideals of equality, fairness, and justice.
El Mes de la Herencia Hispana nos da un momento para celebrar y reflexionar sobre los aportes por la comunidad hispana a la cultura y economía de nuestro país. En la Comisión Para la Igualdad de Oportunidades en el Empleo (EEOC), es también un momento para considerar cómo podemos servir mejor a esta comunidad diversa, desde el trabajador agrícola en los campos, al gerente de la planta de producción, hasta el dueño de negocio que crea empleos.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with a time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of the Hispanic community to our country's culture and economy. At the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it's also a time to consider how we can best serve this diverse community-from the farmworker in the fields, to the manager on the shop floor, to the business owner creating jobs.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the nation can look back with pride at the progress we have made reducing racial discrimination in workplaces since the Commission opened its doors on July 2, 1965.
On July 26, 2015, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 25. Not long after the ADA went into effect, I began working at the Department of Justice's Disability Rights Section. I had the privilege of working as a paralegal on the first ADA case the department filed. That case ensured that deaf students have the right to appropriate aids, including sign-language interpreters, to help them prepare for the test to become a certified public accountant and launch their careers.
In this month when we proudly celebrate our family, friends and work colleagues who are members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues its commitment to equal treatment for LGBT individuals. The agency recently filed its third lawsuit alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity/transitioning/transgender status. The agency also issued a resource for workers and job applicants who may face discrimination for those reasons. I'm confident Frank Kameny would have applauded those actions.
The month of May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time when we celebrate the contributions of AAPI's to the fabric of our nation. To mark the occasion, EEOC hosted a performance entitled Justice Denied: Ward's Cove Packing Co v. Atonio. We were honored to welcome the Honorable Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and his wife Kathy Hirata Chin, a partner at Cadwalder, Wickersham & Taft LLP, whose artistic vision brought this historic employment discrimination case to life.
This Tuesday, April 14, we mark Equal Pay Day, an occasion to consider just how far into the new year a woman would have to work to earn the very same wage as a man did in the previous year.
According to the latest U.S. Census income data, women who work full-time, year-round make $39,157 on average, compared to men's average earnings of $50,033. That translates to just 78 cents on the dollar. And the pay gap for women of color is even more stark. According to data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation. And a new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research projects that the wage gap won't close until 2058. That is not soon enough.
Imagine if you had to worry about being fired from your job as soon as you got married, turned 32, had a child, or gained weight. Imagine being told that if a male was working on your shift, he would always be in charge. This discriminatory treatment was the reality for women flight attendants in the 1960's when Mary Pat Laffey courageously came forward to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to challenge sex discrimination in the seminal case of Laffey v. Northwest Airlines.
Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., an EEOC case involving a 17-year old Muslim woman whom Abercrombie & Fitch declined to hire for a position in an Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa, Oklahoma because she wore a hijab (a head scarf worn by some Muslim women) to her job interview. The question in the case is whether that action constituted prohibited discrimination on the basis of religion.
This year marks a historic time for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). As we prepare to celebrate our 50th Anniversary on July 2, 2015, the occasion provides a fitting moment to reflect on our role and progress in achieving the nation's goal of equal opportunity in the workplace. When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it established the EEOC to enforce our workplace anti-discrimination laws. Over time, Congress added the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to the agency's enforcement responsibilities.