1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. EEOC Announces 'Freedom to Compete Award' Honoring Best Practices in the Workplace
Press Release 01-31-2005

EEOC Announces 'Freedom to Compete Award' Honoring Best Practices in the Workplace

WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the agency is accepting nominations for the first-ever "Freedom to Compete Award," which will be presented to employers, organizations, or other entities that have demonstrated results through best practices in promoting fair and open competition in the workplace.

"We want to showcase, recognize, and reward specific practices and concrete measures that produce results and reflect abiding commitment to access and inclusion in the workplace," said Chair Dominguez, who will present the award on June 14, 2005, to several recipients at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.  "This distinguished award will honor practitioners whose extraordinary efforts embody a key tenet of the Commission's goals: to ensure that all individuals have the freedom to compete and advance in the workplace on a level playing field."

In 2002, under the leadership of Chair Dominguez, the agency launched the "Freedom to Compete" Initiative, a national outreach, education and coalition-building campaign to provide free and unfettered access to employment opportunities for all individuals.  The central theme of the initiative is that every individual deserves the opportunity to compete and advance as far as his/her talent and ability allows - without regard to discriminatory barriers based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age or disability.  As part of the Freedom to Compete campaign, EEOC has been forging strategic alliances and partnerships with a cross-section of stakeholders to influence positive change in the workplace.  The Freedom to Compete Award, which is part of the coalition-building process, includes the following eligibility criteria for nominees:

  • The nominee must be a public or private employer, corporation, association, organization or other entity whose activities exemplify Freedom to Compete goals.
  • Nominees must have implemented a specific practice that has removed barriers that hinder free and fair workplace competition and has increased access, inclusion, and/or promotional opportunities for qualified workers.
  • Recipients of the Freedom to Compete Award will agree to participate in programs, meetings, or other collaborative efforts with the Commission to publicize the award-winning practice and share information to assist other entities seeking to replicate the practice.

Nominations may be made by the public or an entity may nominate itself.  The nomination submission requires an application essay of 1,000 words or less with the following information:

  • Profile of the organization, including its mission, size, number of employees, nature of work, and description of products or services;
  • Description of the specific practice, including what led to its implementation, the level and commitment and/or executive involvement, and tangible results;
  • Description of what made the practice effective and how it has positively affected the lives of employees; and
  • Description of potential joint activities the organization and EEOC can undertake to share the practice with other entities and promote Freedom to Compete principles.

Further information about the nomination submission criteria and procedures is available on the Commission's web site  or by calling the program contact listed above. Nomination packages must be received by EEOC no later than March 18, 2005, and may be sent by e-mail to, standard mail, or otherwise delivered to Jay Friedman, EEOC, Office of Research, Information and Planning, 1801 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20507.

    The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; 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 in state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Additional information about the Commission is available online at