independent agency charged with enforcing and administering laws that cover discrimination in employment. The EEOC works to prevent discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or genetic information, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, and other terms and conditions of employment. It issues rules, regulations, and guidelines and has the authority to conduct investigations, attempt conciliation in cases involving discrimination, and litigate matters in federal courts. The EEOC also coordinates all federal equal employment opportunity programs, including affirmative action plans, and has jurisdiction over federal employees' and applicants' complaints concerning employment discrimination. Its five commissioners, only three of whom may belong to the same political party, are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate for five-year terms.