New Alliance to Promote Fair and Inclusive Workplaces for Nation's Youth
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Restaurant Association today joined forces in an important partnership effort to raise awareness about issues affecting young workers in the restaurant industry. The new EEOC-industry alliance is the first-ever under the agency's "Youth@Work" initiative, an unprecedented year-long national outreach and information campaign to educate teenagers about their employment rights and responsibilities.
"We commend the National Restaurant Association for taking a leadership role by partnering with us to promote fair and inclusive workplaces for our nation's young people," said EEOC Vice Chair Naomi C. Earp, who is leading the agency's Youth@Work initiative. "By working together, we are confident that the restaurant industry – a vital cog in the U.S. economic engine – will continue to foster positive early work experiences for our next generation of workers. The Commission is grateful for the Association's assistance in this effort, which will serve as a model for other businesses who employ teen workers."
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association's mission is to represent, educate and promote a rapidly growing industry that is comprised of 878,000 restaurant and food service outlets employing 12 million people. Further information about the Association is available on its web site at www.restaurant.org.
"The National Restaurant Association/National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation has long been committed to promoting the positive efforts of the restaurant-and-foodservice industry and its critical role in the development of young people's career paths," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association.
He added: "We are pleased to join with the EEOC in this important initiative to help educate the young workers in our industry on their employment rights and responsibilities, and how the restaurant industry can provide rewarding, positive and safe work experiences through resources, training and programs such as Youth@Work."
As part of its Youth@Work initiative, EEOC is building partnerships with business leaders, human resource groups, and industry trade associations to further explore the workplace trends and challenges affecting young workers. Among the activities EEOC and its Youth@Work partners hope to engage in are:
In addition to seeking partnerships with the private sector, the two other main components of the EEOC's Youth@Work initiative are: a new youth web site at http://youth.eeoc.gov dedicated to educating young workers about their equal employment opportunity rights and responsibilities; and a series of free national outreach events by EEOC Commissioners and field office staff for high school students, youth organizations, and small businesses who employ young workers. Employers or organizations interested in forming Youth@Work partnerships with the EEOC should e-mail the organization's name, address, telephone number, and email address to: Youth.AtWork@eeoc.gov.
EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits gender-based wage discrimination; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.