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Press Release 02-13-1997


WASHINGTON -- U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas announced today the formation of three new Commissioner-led task forces. One of the task forces will survey innovative approaches used in the private sector to address workplace discrimination issues; the two other task forces will assess recent changes in the Commission's enforcement and litigation strategies.

At the request of Chairman Casellas, Commissioner Reginald E. Jones will chair the task force that will identify and examine "best" equal employment opportunity policies and practices in the private sector. In announcing this task force, Chairman Casellas continues to emphasize EEOC's role in facilitating voluntary compliance through education and training, outreach, and policy guidance. The task force will look at business practices that will be useful to employers in structuring liability-avoidance systems, and should be of critical assistance to smaller employers who are without professional personnel and legal staffs.

The two remaining task forces will take an in-depth look at the implementation of the changes in EEOC's administrative enforcement and litigation policies. These new task forces will not duplicate that work recommended in June 1995 by the Charge Processing Task Force, rather it will build upon its findings.

Vice-Chairman Igasaki, who headed the 1995 Task Force, will lead a task force to study the revisions made to the charge processing procedures and assess the effectiveness of those changes in real terms. In looking into the Commission's litigation strategy, Commissioner Paul Steven Miller will chair a task force charged with evaluating whether and how the Commission's goal of achieving an effective litigation program has been, or can be better, achieved. Commissioner Miller's task force will examine the effectiveness of the Commission's litigation program under the new policies and whether additional procedures should be established to ensure the effectiveness of the Commission's delegation of its litigation authority.

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; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.