What type of organizations are exempt from EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity) regulations?

I know that very small businesses are usually exempt. How about non-profit organizations? How about federally funded non-profits?

  • 1
    I provided a general answer about the EEOC. Exemptions are based on a particular law and not on the agency itself. If the answer I provided is insufficient then perhaps you could ask another question on a particular law covered by the EEOC.
    – Dave D
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website:

An employer must have a certain number of employees to be covered by the laws we enforce. This number varies depending on the type of employer (for example, whether the employer is a private company, a state or local government agency, a federal agency, an employment agency, or a labor union) and the kind of discrimination alleged (for example, discrimination based on a person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information).

All employers are covered, whether or not a particular regulation covers a particular employer is dependent on the number of employees. For example, age discrimination is covered by employers who have more than 20 employees and Equal Pay Act coverage is for virtually all employers.

From the same web site:

People who are not employed by the employer, such as independent contractors, are not covered by the anti-discrimination laws. Figuring out whether or not a person is an employee of an organization (as opposed to a contractor, for example) is complicated. If you aren't sure whether a person covered, you should contact one of our field offices as soon as possible so we can make that decision.

The EEOC has regulations covering:

The EEOC is an agency responsible for creating rules and regulations and enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. The regulations and enforcement actions are based on a large number of laws, any one of which may or may not apply to a particular employer.

Exemptions are based on a particular anti-discrimination law, not on the agency itself. Each anti-discrimination law has a different set of entities to which the law applies and different sets of exemptions.

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