Press Release 10-31-1997


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today the release of the Enforcement Guidance on Sex Discrimination in the Compensation of Sports Coaches in Educational Institutions. The guidance, which was approved by the bi-partisan Commission, clarifies how the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to sex-based differences in the compensation of sports coaches.

According to EEOC Legal Counsel, Ellen J. Vargyas, "Although Congress outlawed sex-discrimination in school-sponsored athletics programs over twenty-five years ago with the passage of Title IX, recent studies show that the overall pattern of the employment and compensation of coaches by educational institutions is still far from gender-neutral." Not only do these studies show that barely two percent of the coaches of men's teams are women, they also show that men's coaches, overall, substantially out-earn women's coaches in both salaries and benefits.

Vargyas further explained that, "Because jobs coaching male athletes appear to have been effectively limited to men, the pay disparities between coaches of men's and women's teams raise serious sex discrimination concerns under the employment discrimination laws." She continued, "The Commission has issued this guidance to assist both educational institutions and coaches in better understanding their rights and responsibilities under the laws."

The text of the policy statement will be available on EEOC's web site at shortly after the release of the document. You can also obtain a copy by writing to EEOC's Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs, 1801 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20507.

In addition to enforcing the Equal Pay Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against 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.