Equal employment opportunity refers to all individuals who are qualified for a given job having equal opportunity to be hired, regardless of gender, race, age, disability, or any other factor that has no bearing on potential job performance. The concept of equal employment opportunity is based on antidiscrimination laws and practices, which state that a person should not be treated differently because of a demographic characteristic. This entry reviews the history of equal employment and defines hiring discrimination; then, the entry discusses remedies for violations as well as continuing issues specifically with women’s equal employment opportunity.

History and Sociological Perspective

For much of modern history, employees have had very little power. It has been traditionally viewed as the employer’s prerogative to decide whom to hire and ...

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