Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a set of laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on certain protected characteristics (sometimes referred to as attributes), such as race, gender, age, religion etc. These laws are designed to ensure that all employees have an equal chance to succeed and be treated fairly, regardless of their background.

Impact on Hiring and Recruitment

One of the most significant ways that EEO affects the workplace is in hiring and recruitment. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants based on their protected characteristics, which means they cannot use these factors to decide who to hire. This applies not only to the initial hiring process but also to promotions, transfers, and other employment decisions.

For example, an employer cannot refuse to hire a qualified candidate because of their race, gender, or age. Additionally, employers are not allowed to create discriminatory job requirements, such as physical ability tests that disproportionately exclude certain groups of people. Employers must also ensure that their recruitment processes do not have a discriminatory effect, even if that was not the intent.

This means that employers must be proactive in ensuring that their recruitment and hiring practices are fair and non-discriminatory. This can include creating a diverse pool of job candidates, advertising job openings in diverse media outlets, and training hiring managers on EEO laws and best practices.

Impact on Employee Treatment and Retention

Another way that EEO affects the workplace is in employee treatment and retention. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their protected characteristics, which means that they cannot treat employees differently based on their race, gender, or other protected characteristic.

This applies to all aspects of the employment relationship, including pay, benefits, working conditions, and opportunities for advancement. For example, an employer cannot pay a female employee less than a male employee for doing the same job or deny a promotion to an employee because of their race or religion.

In addition, employers are prohibited from creating a hostile work environment, which can include tolerating or encouraging discriminatory behaviour or harassment by employees or supervisors. Employers have a legal obligation to take prompt and effective action to stop any discriminatory or harassing behaviour that comes to their attention.

Furthermore, employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who oppose discrimination or participate in an EEO complaint. This means that employers cannot take any action against an employee because they have filed a complaint or participated in an investigation.

Impact on Diversity and Inclusion

One of the most important ways that Equal Opportunity affects the workplace is by promoting diversity and inclusion. These laws are designed to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and with respect, regardless of their background. This helps create a more inclusive and equitable workplace where all employees can thrive.

When employees feel that they are being treated fairly, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This can lead to higher employee retention, improved performance, and a more positive and productive work environment. Additionally, a more diverse workforce can bring different perspectives and ideas to the table, leading to more creative and effective solutions.


In conclusion, EEO laws play an important role in creating a fair and inclusive workplace. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their hiring, recruitment, and retention practices are non-discriminatory and that all employees are treated with respect and dignity. By following these laws, employers can create a more positive, productive, and equitable work environment for all employees. Additionally, creating a diverse and inclusive culture within the organisation helps create a more innovative and engaging workforce.

If you are looking for a way to educate your workforce and make your workplace a safer place, contact Sentrient for a free demo today.