Created by the 1989 amendment to the New York City Charter, the Equal Employment Practices Commission (EEPC) is an independent, non-mayoral entity empowered to audit, evaluate, and monitor the City of New York’s employment programs, practices, policies, and procedures to ensure that municipal entities, and the City as an employer, maintain a properly structured and efficiently administered affirmative employment program of equal opportunity for minority group members and women employed by, or seeking employment with, City government. Agencies and entities within the EEPC’s jurisdiction are those that are funded in whole or in part by the City treasury, those in which the majority of the board members are appointed by the Mayor, and those in which the majority of the board members serve by virtue of being City officers.
Chapter 36 of the New York City Charter authorizes the EEPC to ensure compliance with city, state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and affirmative programs adopted by the City of New York to promote effective equal 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 fair and effective equal employment opportunity for City entities, and to review the affirmative employment plan of each municipal entity and provide recommendations for improvement. The EEPC audits, reviews, evaluates, and monitors City agencies’ and entities' employment practices, policies, procedures, and programs at least once every four years. The EEPC advises and assists municipal entities in their efforts to establish affirmative plans, measures, and programs to provide, and educate employees, about, equal employment opportunities; implement and maintain effective employment practices that are non-discriminatory; and utilize discrimination complaint investigation procedures that conform to federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. The EEPC is also empowered to conduct hearings, establish advisory committees, and make legislative, policy, and budgetary recommendations to the Mayor, the City Council, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and any other City agency or entity to ensure equal employment opportunities for those who are employed by, or seek employment with, New York City government.
The New York City Charter assigns an EEPC Board of five per diem Commissioners, who serve in staggered four-year terms. The EEPC Board of Commissioners is comprised of two appointees each from the Mayor and City Council, and a Chairperson who is appointed jointly by the Mayor and Speaker of the Council. This arrangement facilitates the EEPC's exercise of jurisdiction over the employment practices of mayoral and non-mayoral agencies, as well as the offices of elected officials and political appointees. EEPC Board members serve until the appointment of a successor.