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Can EEOC New Document Stop Employers From Being Racists?

By Carolyn M. Brown,

When you have billionaire businessmen like Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump making inflammatory remarks about minorities and women, anti-LGBT laws disguised as religious freedom, and the ongoing gender wage gap, it’s worth it for business owners to brush up on employment rights.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new simplified, one-page fact sheet designed to help small business owners better understand their responsibilities under federal employment anti-discrimination laws.

The “Preventing Discrimination Is Good Business” fact sheet provides a shortened, user-friendly overview of the legal obligations of small businesses under anti-discrimination laws. It also provides information about other EEOC resources available for small business owners.

It is being made available in 30 different languages to respond to the large number of small busi­nesses across the country started by immigrants whose first language is not English. It is posted on EEOC’s public website at

The fact sheet is a product of EEOC’s Small Business Task Force led by Commissioner Constance S. Barker.

Commissioner Barker launched the task force in 2011 to address the need to provide small businesses ready access to plainly written, easily understood information, through the use of the Internet, social media, and other sources. It focuses on the needs of startups and companies that are too small to afford human resources professionals or lawyers.

The small business fact sheet is the first in a series of products the task force is in the process of developing. The task force is also working on producing a series of short YouTube videos designed to provide quick, easy answers to questions often asked by small business owners.

“I am pleased to work with Commissioner Barker and the Small Business Task Force to provide crucial information to small business owners to assist them in complying with our workplace anti-discrimination laws,” noted EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “The task force is working to ensure that small business owners have the tools they need to ensure equal employment opportunity in their workplaces.”

Commissioner Barker added in a statement, “Startups and other small businesses continue to play an integral role in the strength of our nation’s economy. It is our responsibility at EEOC to help businesses understand their legal obligations under the complex and ever-changing federal employment discrimination laws and regulations.

We want small businesses to be able to quickly and easily access the information they need to comply with the laws.

That way, they can focus their time and efforts on growing their businesses, and creating new jobs.”

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