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equal opportunity

1) n. a right supposedly guaranteed by both federal and many state laws against any discrimination in employment, education, housing or credit rights due to a person's race, color, sex (or sometimes sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age or handicap. A person who believes he/she has not been granted equal opportunity or has been outright sexually harassed or discriminated against may bring a lawsuit under federal and most state laws, or file a complaint with the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or a state equal opportunity agency. 2) adj. a term applied to employers, lenders and landlords, who advertise that they are "equal opportunity employers," subtly suggesting all others are not, even though they are required by law to be so.

See also: affirmative action 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications