If you’ve ever had a job, chances are the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has a statistic on you. This federal agency administers and enforces federal laws in the workplace that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Read a brief history of the EEOC here.

Early in the 60s, John F. Kennedy signed an executive order which required all government contractors to treat applicants and employees equal without regard to race creed color or national origin. Thus movement began for an equal opportunity workplace and the EEOC was officially established on July 2,1965 as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandated it.

During the 70s, the nation saw significant progress with the development of discrimination law and the elimination of many discriminatory practices. But a backlog of just under 95,000 unresolved charges by 1977 became a culminating problem as each year passed.

As part of the 1980s culture, the EEOC’s focus was age discrimination as corporations downsized and let older workers go in record numbers. Age discrimination had become the fastest growing area in need of enforcement.

By the 1990s, Congress again expanded EEOC’s authority and jurisdiction. As a result, EEOC witnessed the largest increase of charges in the history of the EEOC. However, the Commission received little additional funding to handle the exploding charge workload.

In February 2000, President Bill Clinton’s executive order prohibited federal departments and agencies from