Testimony to Focus on Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities in the Workforce
WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will testify before the Canadian House of Commons's Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, April 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. She will be the first Chair of the EEOC to address the Parliament of Canada.
This trip marks Chair Dominguez's first visit to a foreign nation on behalf of EEOC. She has been invited to present information about EEOC's programs and initiatives to the Committee as it reviews the Canadian Employment Equity Act. She will offer brief remarks to be followed by questions from Committee Members.
"The United States and Canada share many issues of mutual concern with respect to the advancement of racial and ethnic minority group members, women, and people with disabilities in our workforces," said Chair Dominguez. "I am honored to have the privilege to address this Committee and hope that this invitation will be the first of many such opportunities to work together."
Chair Dominguez will speak about her Freedom to Compete initiative, which encourages fair and open workplace practices without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability; EEOC's role in President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative to help improve the access of people with disabilities to all aspects of mainstream American life; and EEOC's efforts to prevent potential September 11th backlash against vulnerable communities on the bases of their race, religion, or national origin.
While in Ottawa, Chair Dominguez also has been invited to meet with Canada's Minister of Labour, the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, to discuss equal employment opportunity issues common to the United States and Canada. The two countries have a longstanding relationship of exchanging information and ideas related to the enforcement of anti-discrimination workplace laws.
The EEOC also has a tradition of sharing experiences with other nations around the globe. For example, in 1996, Commissioner Paul Steven Miller met in London with members of the British Parliament to discuss issues surrounding the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That meeting was prompted by passage the previous year of the Disability Discrimination Act by the British Parliament. Under Chair Dominguez's leadership, the Commission will continue its practice of international cooperation on civil rights workplace issues.
Chair Dominguez was nominated to her post as head of the EEOC by President Bush on May 10, 2001, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 19, 2001. As Chair, she serves as the chief executive officer of a five-member Commission.
The EEOC is an independent U.S. agency with enforcement authority for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older; the Equal Pay Act, which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against people with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination. More information about the Commission is available on the Internet at www.eeoc.gov.