The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   CONTACT: David Grinberg
Friday, May 21, 1999                             EEOC Headquarters
                                                 (202) 663-4900 (DC)
                                             TTY (202) 663-4494 
                                                 Larry Pincus
                                                 El San Juan Hotel
                                                 (787) 791-1000 (PR)



WASHINGTON – Ida L. Castro, Chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday, May 26 and Thursday, May 27 to speak at EEOC’s Technical Assistance Program Seminar (TAPS) and meet with representatives of the small business community and local government agencies.

Ms. Castro will deliver the keynote address at a TAPS sponsored by EEOC'’s New York District Office on May 26 at 12:30 p.m. at the El San Juan Hotel, 6063 Isla Verde Avenue. Following her speech, the Chairwoman will be available to meet with local media.

The TAPS, the largest EEOC-sponsored employment rights seminar of its kind in the Caribbean, provides practical how-to-do-it information and assistance to encourage voluntary compliance with the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Those attending the TAPS will include employment and labor attorneys, human resource managers, corporate officers, union officials, and small business owners. Among the topics to be covered are alternative dispute resolution, sexual harassment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ms. Castro will also make remarks at an EEOC-sponsored outreach forum for the small business community and local government agencies on Thursday morning, May 27, from 10:00-10:30 a.m. The forum, also at the El San Juan Hotel, is open to the media. Ms. Castro has made it a priority for EEOC to reach out to agency stakeholders, especially those in under-served communities, in order to better address their needs and concerns. These outreach efforts have been the focus of her monthly Commission Meetings in Washington and other cities.

In March, Chairwoman Castro launched a new customer service initiative for small and mid-sized employers to build a more cooperative and collaborative relationship between them and EEOC. A major focus of the Small Business Initiative is EEOC’s expanded national mediation program, which serves as a voluntary and confidential alternative to the agency’s traditional process of investigating and attempting to resolve workplace disputes.

Ms. Castro, nominated by President Clinton on April 2, 1998, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 21 as Chairwoman of the EEOC, is the first Latina to serve in this capacity. A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, she served as a city cabinet member in Carolina at the age of twenty. Ms. Castro received her M.A. and J.D. degrees from Rutgers University of New Jersey, where she was the first Hispanic woman to earn tenure as an Associate Professor at the University’s Institute for Management and Labor Relations.

From 1996 until she assumed leadership of the EEOC, Ms. Castro served as the Acting Director of the Women'’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). From 1994 -1996, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at DOL, where she managed a staff of 1,500 and a budget of over $8 billion.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers 40 and older; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting persons with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. More information about the Commission is available on the agency’s web site (

This page was last modified on May 25, 1999.

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