Resource: The Impact of the AT&T-EEO Consent Decree

By: Herbert R. Northrup and John A. Larson

January 1, 1979

The consent decree agreed to in January 1973 by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice, and the Department of Labor was a milestone of EEOC enforcement. Large amounts of back pay were paid to women and minorities, and goals were set which, as interpreted, had to be met for the company to stay in compliance. This study attempts to determine the effects of this decree. The Bell System provided the information and the authors interviewed system officials and operating personnel in all areas of the country. The study begins by summarizing developments leading up to the decree and explaining the decree's terms. A projection is made of future trends and the effects these will have on the composition of the labor force in the Bell System. The study considered the implications of the decree on quality of the labor force, organizational structure, role of the supervisor, discipline of personnel, employee attitudes, and union relations. The changes in the race-sex composition of the AT&T labor force occurring since 1973 are examined at the national and regional levels. The final section assesses the overall results of the program and their implications for the major firms in American industry.

Resource Type(s):

Case Studies

Citation: (1979)

Related Cases:

EEOC, Hodgson, and U.S. v. AT&T