January 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm #181435
David B. GrinbergParticipant
In case you missed it, last week the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance efficiency and enforcement of federal sector equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and address noncompliance by federal agencies.
“Renewing this important interagency agreement will increase efficiency and lessen duplication of efforts between our two agencies in joint enforcement efforts to further protect federal workers from employment discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien during a signing ceremony at the Commission’s headquarters.
“We are pleased to renew our collaborative relationship with the EEOC,” said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. “This agreement helps ensure that civil rights violations in the federal government don’t go unpunished.”
The MOU, which supersedes all prior ones, includes — but is not limited to — the following:
- EEOC shall refer to OSC for potential enforcement action cases in which the EEOC finds that an agency or an officer or employee thereof has discriminated against any employee or applicant for employment.
- EEOC shall refer to OSC for potential enforcement action cases in which an agency fails to comply with an EEOC order and any other case or matter that the EEOC believes warrants enforcement by OSC.
- If the EEOC has indicated that appropriate action has not and will not be taken by the employing agency, OSC may investigate the matter to the extent necessary to determine whether there is sufficient basis for initiating disciplinary action.
The EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO) and OSC’s Investigation and Prosecution Division are designated to coordinate and implement the MOU’s provisions.
* Follow EEOC/OFO on Twitter @EEOC_OFO #LearnEEO for news and info updates on Federal Sector EEO issues.
January 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm #181439
January 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm #181437
David B. GrinbergParticipant
Thanks for your reply, Henry.
To answer your question: NO, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) does NOT “mean that EEOC will leave all enforcement to OSC.”
However, it does mean that OSC and EEOC will continue to work collaboratively under various enforcement circumstances to ensure agencies comply with the rules and regulations that govern the Federal Sector EEO Process (29 CFR Part 1614).
To reiterate the verbatim language of the MOU:
- “This MOU promotes interagency coordination between the OSC and the EEOC in the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and provides for information sharing as appropriate and to the extent allowable under law.”
- “EEOC shall refer to OSC for potential enforcement action cases in which the agency fails to comply with the order of the EEOC and any other case or matter that the Commission believes warrants enforcement by OSC.”
- “EEOC shall inform OSC of the status of any action ordered or recommended to the employing agency by the EEOC, including particularly any reason the employing agency has provided for its failure or refusal to comply with the Commission’s order.”
- “If the EEOC has indicated that appropriate action has not and will not be taken by the employing agency, OSC may investigate the matter…”
- “The determination as to whether a matter has prosecutive merit and will be prosecuted before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) shall be within the sole discretion of OSC.”
I hope this answers your questions, Henry. If you have any follow up questions I will consult with an EEOC federal sector attorney to provide a further response. Thanks again for your interest.
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