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Ironic? Lone Star College Stops EEOC From Giving Rights Speech

It's not uncommon for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to give speeches on workplace rights across Houston.

So why was it, then, that the Lone Star College-North Harris cancelled a scheduled EEOC speech earlier this month, without giving notice to the EEOC or to its speaker?

According to The Houston Chronicle, a cancellation sign greeted Joe Bontkle when he arrived at the classroom to give his speech. He was invited by the teachers' union.

Bontkle is the outreach manager at the Houston office of the EEOC. For those unfamiliar with the EEOC, it’s a government agency charged with the task of enforcing equality in the workplace.

In most cases, the EEOC is the first stop in a discrimination claim. It is often required people start their case by filing a complaint with the EEOC.

So maybe it’s understandable why a college employer would want to keep the EEOC away from its teachers’ union.

The college said that such talks were the task of the college’s general counsel’s office. The school claims it has a policy in place whereby only the general counsel can make presentations on issues involving state and federal laws.

Furthermore, such requests for seminars may only come from the campus president.

Bontke claims that he’s done several presentations at other Lone Star campuses in the past. So the cancellation came as a surprise.

It came as a surprise not only to Bontke but also to the teachers’ union, who called it “ironic” that the EEOC would be prohibited from making a speech on employment rights, reports The Chronicle.

Should the school revisit it’s policy? Is it in violation of any employment laws? It’s hard to say.

Says Bontke, on this whole debacle: “I don’t investigate, litigate or mediate. All I do is educate.”

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