July 2, 2023

What are an equal opportunity employer and an equal employment opportunity


I will not argue if you tell me that every employer understands how they should treat their employees and what qualities a reasonable employer should have. But you will also agree that every employer should provide their employees equal opportunities for career growth, bonus distribution, working conditions, etc., for everything related to their work.


I propose to figure out in more detail what equal opportunity at work is and who the equal opportunity employer is.

What is equal employment opportunity?

Equal opportunity employer

As a brief historical note, I hasten to report that for the first time, the concept of equal employment opportunity (EEO) was formulated in the United States in 1964, just when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was formed.


According to this principle, every worker must have equal access to merit-based employment opportunities. Moreover, this equal access must be given without fear of harassment or discrimination of any kind. In other words, employers cannot use specific grounds to reject a candidate or fire or infringe on an employee.


Equal employment opportunities are backed by numerous laws that may vary from country to country. For example, there are laws on human rights, gender, age or racial discrimination, discrimination against the disabled, and so on. Such laws are one of the primary sources of employers’ obligations under the EEO.


Thus, there is an impressive list of grounds on which employers must not discriminate against their employees. They include the following:

  • skin color;
  • race;
  • gender;
  • religion;
  • ethnicity;
  • sexual orientation;
  • marital status, including family and guardianship responsibilities;
  • pregnancy;
  • all kinds of disabilities;
  • political views;
  • age.


In addition, employers must not fire their workers or take adverse action against them, like demotions, unauthorized pay cuts, or disciplinary proceedings, based on any factor covered by the anti-discrimination laws.

Ways of discriminating

Discrimination can manifest itself directly or indirectly.


An example of direct discrimination would be when an employer pays a particular female employee less compared to another employee in the same position as a man.


Indirect discrimination is not aimed at a specific worker but at a particular group of workers. For instance, a situation can be regarded as discriminatory when all company employees are forced to be vaccinated against influenza, regardless of whether they have health-related contradictions.

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What opportunities does the equal opportunity employer provide their workers with?

The equal opportunity employer tends to keep and implement all the EEO conditions in their organization and supply their workers with equal opportunity employment. Due to this, any potential employee, when making any decisions regarding equal employment, receives the right to equal employment opportunity, which includes the following points:

  • acceptance of job applications;
  • the recruitment process conditions;
  • compensation and salary scale;
  • bonuses and other incentives distribution;
  • promotion and demotion;
  • career prospects;
  • transfers;
  • disciplinary measures;
  • dress code;
  • attendance and vacation control;
  • insurance guarantees.


The employer’s statement of the equal employment opportunity

The equal opportunity employer observes the EEO principles and makes an “Equal opportunity statement” or an “Affirmative action statement”. This short paragraph reflects the company’s commitment to diversity and the inclusion of the principle of equal employment opportunity in its employment practices.


This statement, which communicates the company’s position on the issue of EEO, can usually be found by potential candidates in job descriptions and duty instructions on the company’s official website.

As a conclusion

An equal opportunity policy in the field of employment can substantially help promote diversity and minimize discrimination and bullying in the workplace. In addition, a well-formulated company’s policy regarding the EEO will ensure clear and consistent procedures in case of a complaint.


So, if your organization’s good reputation and prosperity are essential to you, try to acquire and maintain a well-founded reputation as an equal opportunity employer.