Created by the 1989 amendment to the New York City Charter, the Equal Employment Practices Commission (EEPC or Commission) is the independent monitor of the City of New York’s employment practices. The Commission monitors and evaluates the employment programs, practices, and procedures of city agencies to ensure that they maintain effective equal employment opportunity (EEO) programs for all who are employed by or seek employment with New York City government. City agencies which meet the following criteria are subject to the Commission’s evaluation:
- the majority of the board members are appointed by the Mayor;
- the majority of the board members serve by virtue of being city officers; or
- the agency is funded, in whole or in part, by the City treasury.
New York City Charter Chapter 36 authorizes the EEPC to ensure compliance with the City's Human Rights Law, state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and affirmative employment programs adopted by the City in order to promote effective equal employment opportunity in City employment.
The EEPC has a duty to:
- review the standards, procedures, and programs established by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to ensure a fair and effective affirmative employment plan of equal employment opportunity for city agencies;
- review the affirmative employment plan of each city agency and provide appropriate comments and suggestions;
- advise city agencies in their efforts to increase employment of minority group members and women who seek employment with city agencies;
- audit and evaluate the employment practices and procedures of each City agency at least once every four years and whenever requested by the Civil Service Commission or City Human Rights Commission, and recommend procedures, standards, and programs to be utilized to ensure fair and effective programs of equal employment opportunity;
- establish a compliance procedure to monitor the implementation of all audit recommendations;
- hold public and private hearings, compel the attendance of witnesses, and administer oaths for the purpose of ascertaining whether agencies are in compliance with equal employment opportunity requirements;
- establish advisory committees;
- serve as the city liaison to federal, state and local agencies responsible for compliance with equal employment opportunity for minority group members and women who are employed by or who seek to be employed by city agencies;
- publish a report to the Mayor on the effectiveness of each city agency's affirmative employment efforts and the efforts by the department of citywide administrative services to ensure equal employment opportunity ; and
- make policy, legislative and budgetary recommendations to the Mayor, City Council, and Department of Citywide Administrative Services necessary to ensure equal employment opportunity for minority group members;
Although the EEPC is not authorized to investigate individual complaints of employment discrimination, this Commission believes that without properly structured, efficiently administered Equal Employment Opportunity Programs that are in compliance with federal, state, and city equal employment opportunity requirements, the potential cost to the City for illegal employment discrimination will continue to be exorbitant. This Commission’s audits provide a mechanism to prevent errors in judgment or procedure from potentially becoming lawsuits.