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Title 29 - Code of Fed Regs (All-in-One)
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29 CFR §1600.101 | CROSS-REFERENCE TO EMPLOYEE ETHICAL CONDUCT STANDARDS AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REGULATIONS

Employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are subject to the executive branch-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct at 5 CFR part 2635, the EEOC regulation at 5 CFR part 7201, which supplements the executive branch-wide standards, and the executive branch-wide financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634.
[61 FR 7067, Feb. 26, 1996]




29 CFR 1601.1 | PURPOSE

The regulations set forth in this part contain the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for carrying out its responsibilities in the administration and enforcement of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Section 107 of the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 207 of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act incorporate the powers, remedies and procedures set forth in sections 705, 706, 707, 709 and 710 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Based on its experience in the enforcement of title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and upon its evaluation of suggestions and petitions for amendments submitted by interested persons, the Commission may from time to time amend and revise these procedures.
[74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.2 | TERMS DEFINED IN TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT, THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, AND THE GENETIC INFORMATION NONDISCRIMINATION ACT

The terms person, employer, employment agency, labor organization, employee, commerce, industry affecting commerce, State and religion as used in this part shall have the meanings set forth in section 701 of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The term disability shall have the meaning set forth in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The term genetic information shall have the meaning set forth in section 201 of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
[74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.3 | OTHER DEFINITIONS

(a) For the purposes of this part, the term title VII shall mean title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the term ADA shall mean the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the term GINA shall mean the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008; the term Commission shall mean the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or any of its designated representatives; Washington Field Office shall mean the Commission's primary non-Headquarters office serving the District of Columbia and surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburban counties and jurisdictions; the term FEP agency shall mean a State or local agency which the Commission has determined satisfies the criteria stated in section 706(c) of title VII; and the term verified shall mean sworn to or affirmed before a notary public, designated representative of the Commission, or other person duly authorized by law to administer oaths and take acknowledgements, or supported by an unsworn declaration in writing under penalty of perjury.
(b) The delegations of authority in subpart B of this part are applicable to charges filed pursuant to either section 706 or section 707 of title VII.

29 CFR §1601.4 | VICE CHAIRMAN’S FUNCTIONS

The member of the Commission designated by the President to serve as Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman in the absence or disability of the Chairman or in the event of a vacancy in that office.

29 CFR §1601.5 | DISTRICT; AREA; SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY

The term “district” as used herein shall mean that part of the United States or any territory thereof fixed by the Commission as a particular district. The term “district director” shall refer to that person designated as the Commission's chief officer in each district. The term “Washington Field Office Director” shall refer to that person designated as the Commission's chief officer in the Washington Field Office. Any authority of, or delegation of authority to, District Directors shall be deemed to include the Director of the Washington Field Office. The term “field” shall mean that part of the United States within a district fixed by the Commission as a particular subunit of a district, except for the Washington Field Office which is not part of any district fixed by the Commission. The term “field director” shall refer to that person designated as the Commission's chief officer in each field. The term “area” shall mean that part of the United States within a district fixed by the Commission as a particular subunit of a district. The term “area director” shall refer to that person designated as the Commission's chief officer in each area. The term “local office” shall mean an EEOC office with responsibility over a part of the United States within a district fixed by the Commission as a particular subunit of a district. The term “local director” shall refer to that person designated as the Commission's chief officer for the local office. Each district office and the Washington Field Office will operate under the supervision of the Director, Office of Field Programs through the Director of Field Management Programs, and the General Counsel. Each field, area and local office, except for the Washington Field Office, will operate under the supervision of the district director. Any or all delegations, or actions taken, as provided by this part may be revoked and /or exercised by the supervisor in keeping with the supervisory structure described in this section.
[71 FR 26827, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.6 | SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION

(a) The Commission shall receive information concerning alleged violations of title VII, the ADA, or GINA from any person. Where the information discloses that a person is entitled to file a charge with the Commission, the appropriate office shall render assistance in the filing of a charge. Any person or organization may request the issuance of a Commissioner charge for an inquiry into individual or systematic discrimination. Such request, with any pertinent information, should be submitted to the nearest District, Field, Area, or Local office.
(b) A person who submits data or evidence to the Commission may retain or, on payment of lawfully prescribed costs, procure a copy of transcript thereof, except that a witness may for good cause be limited to inspection of the official transcript of his or her testimony.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 52 FR 26957, July 17, 1987; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.7 | CHARGES BY OR ON BEHALF OF PERSONS CLAIMING TO BE AGGRIEVED

(a) A charge that any person has engaged in or is engaging in an unlawful employment practice within the meaning of title VII, the ADA, or GINA may be made by or on behalf of any person claiming to be aggrieved. A charge on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved may be made by any person, agency, or organization. The written charge need not identify by name the person on whose behalf it is made. The person making the charge, however, must provide the Commission with the name, address and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the charge is made. During the Commission investigation, Commission personnel shall verify the authorization of such charge by the person on whose behalf the charge is made. Any such person may request that the Commission shall keep his or her identity confidential. However, such request for confidentiality shall not prevent the Commission from disclosing the identity to Federal, State or local agencies that have agreed to keep such information confidential. If this condition is violated by a recipient agency, the Commission may decline to honor subsequent requests for such information.
(b) The person claiming to be aggrieved has the responsibility to provide the Commission with notice of any change in address and with notice of any prolonged absence from that current address so that he or she can be located when necessary during the Commission's consideration of the charge.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.8 | WHERE TO MAKE A CHARGE

A charge may be made in person or by mail at any office of the Commission or with any designated representative of the Commission. The addresses of the Commission's offices appear in § 1610.4.
[44 FR 4668, Jan. 23, 1979, as amended at 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.9 | FORM OF CHARGE

A charge shall be in writing and signed and shall be verified.

29 CFR §1601.10 | WITHDRAWAL OF A CHARGE BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE AGGRIEVED

A charge filed by or on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved may be withdrawn only by the person claiming to be aggrieved and only with the consent of the Commission. The Commission hereby delegates authority to District Directors, Field Directors, Area Directors, Local Directors, the Director of the Office of Field Programs and the Director of Field Management Programs, or their designees, to grant consent to a request to withdraw a charge, other than a Commissioner charge, where the withdrawal of the charge will not defeat the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA.
[44 FR 4669, Jan. 23, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.11 | CHARGES BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION

(a) Any member of the Commission may file a charge with the Commission. Such charge shall be in writing and signed and shall be verified.
(b) A Commissioner who files a charge under paragraph (a) of this section may withdraw the charge with the consent of the Commission. The Commission may withdraw any charge filed under paragraph (a) of this section by a Commissioner who is no longer holding office when it determines that the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA are no longer served by processing the charge. Commissioner charges may not be withdrawn pursuant to this section after a determination as to reasonable cause has been made. This paragraph does not apply to a charge filed by a Commissioner which is on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved within the meaning of § 1601.7 unless such person submits a written request for withdrawal to the Commission.
[43 FR 30798, July 18, 1978, as amended at 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.12 | CONTENTS OF CHARGE; AMENDMENT OF CHARGE

(a) Each charge should contain the following:
(1) The full name, address and telephone number of the person making the charge except as provided in § 1601.7;
(2) The full name and address of the person against whom the charge is made, if known (hereinafter referred to as the respondent);
(3) A clear and concise statement of the facts, including pertinent dates, constituting the alleged unlawful employment practices: See § 1601.15(b);
(4) If known, the approximate number of employees of the respondent employer or the approximate number of members of the respondent labor organization, as the case may be; and
(5) A statement disclosing whether proceedings involving the alleged unlawful employment practice have been commenced before a State or local agency charged with the enforcement of fair employment practice laws and, if so, the date of such commencement and the name of the agency.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, a charge is sufficient when the Commission receives from the person making the charge a written statement sufficiently precise to identify the parties, and to describe generally the action or practices complained of. A charge may be amended to cure technical defects or omissions, including failure to verify the charge, or to clarify and amplify allegations made therein. Such amendments and amendments alleging additional acts which constitute unlawful employment practices related to or growing out of the subject matter of the original charge will relate back to the date the charge was first received. A charge that has been so amended shall not be required to be re-deferred.

29 CFR §1601.13 | FILING; DEFERRALS TO STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES

(a) Initial presentation of a charge to the Commission.
(1) Charges arising in jurisdictions having no FEP agency are filed with the Commission upon receipt. Such charges are timely filed if received by the Commission within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation.
(2) A jurisdiction having a FEP agency without subject matter jurisdiction over a charge (e.g., an agency which does not cover sex discrimination or does not cover nonprofit organizations) is equivalent to a jurisdiction having no FEP agency. Charges over which a FEP agency has no subject matter jurisdiction are filed with the Commission upon receipt and are timely filed if received by the Commission within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation.
(3) Charges arising in jurisdictions having a FEP agency with subject matter jurisdiction over the charges are to be processed in accordance with the Commission's deferral policy set forth below and the procedures in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(i) In order to give full weight to the policy of section 706(c) of title VII, which affords State and local fair employment practice agencies that come within the provisions of that section an opportunity to remedy alleged discrimination concurrently regulated by title VII, the ADA, or GINA and State or local law, the Commission adopts the following procedures with respect to allegations of discrimination filed with the Commission. It is the intent of the Commission to thereby encourage the maximum degree of effectiveness in the State and local agencies. The Commission shall endeavor to maintain close communication with the State and local agencies with respect to all matters forwarded to such agencies and shall provide such assistance to State and local agencies as is permitted by law and as is practicable.
(ii) Section 706(c) of title VII grants States and their political subdivisions the exclusive right to process allegations of discrimination filed by a person other than a Commissioner for a period of 60 days (or 120 days during the first year after the effective date of the qualifying State or local law). This right exists where, as set forth in § 1601.70, a State or local law prohibits the employment practice alleged to be unlawful and a State or local agency has been authorized to grant or seek relief. After the expiration of the exclusive processing period, the Commission may commence processing the allegation of discrimination.
(iii) A FEP agency may waive its right to the period of exclusive processing of charges provided under section 706(c) of title VII with respect to any charge or category of charges. Copies of all such charges will be forwarded to the appropriate FEP agency.

(4) The following procedures shall be followed with respect to charges which arise in jurisdictions having a FEP agency with subject matter jurisdiction over the charges:
(i) Where any document, whether or not verified, is received by the Commission as provided in § 1601.8 which may constitute a charge cognizable under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, and where the FEP agency has not waived its right to the period of exclusive processing with respect to that document, that document shall be deferred to the appropriate FEP agency as provided in the procedures set forth below:
(A) All such documents shall be dated and time stamped upon receipt.
(B) A copy of the original document, shall be transmitted by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the appropriate FEP agency, or, where the FEP agency has consented thereto, by certified mail, by regular mail or by hand delivery. State or local proceedings are deemed to have commenced on the date such document is mailed or hand delivered.
(C) The person claiming to be aggrieved and any person filing a charge on behalf of such person shall be notified, in writing, that the document which he or she sent to the Commission has been forwarded to the FEP agency pursuant to the provisions of section 706(c) of title VII.

(ii) Such charges are deemed to be filed with the Commission as follows:
(A) Where the document on its face constitutes a charge within a category of charges over which the FEP agency has waived its rights to the period of exclusive processing referred to in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the charge is deemed to be filed with the Commission upon receipt of the document. Such filing is timely if the charge is received within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.
(B) Where the document on its face constitutes a charge which is not within a category of charges over which the FEP agency has waived its right to the period of exclusive processing referred to in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the Commission shall process the document in accordance with paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section. The charge shall be deemed to be filing with the Commission upon expiration of 60 (or where appropriate, 120) days after deferral, or upon the termination of FEP agency proceedings, or upon waiver of the FEP agency's right to exclusively process the charge, whichever is earliest. Where the FEP agency earlier terminates its proceedings or waives its right to exclusive processing of a charge, the charge shall be deemed to be filed with the Commission on the date the FEP agency terminated its proceedings or the FEP agency waived its right to exclusive processing of the charge. Such filing is timely if effected within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.



(b) Initial presentation of a charge to a FEP agency.
(1) When a charge is initially presented to a FEP agency and the charging party requests that the charge be presented to the Commission, the charge will be deemed to be filed with the Commission upon expiration of 60 (or where appropriate, 120) days after a written and signed statement of facts upon which the charge is based was sent to the FEP agency by registered mail or was otherwise received by the FEP agency, or upon the termination of FEP agency proceedings, or upon waiver of the FEP agency's right to exclusively process the charge, whichever is earliest. Such filing is timely if effected within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.
(2) When a charge is initially presented to a FEP agency but the charging party does not request that the charge be presented to the Commission, the charging party may present the charge to the Commission as follows:
(i) If the FEP agency has refused to accept a charge, a subsequent submission of the charge to the Commission will be processed as if it were an initial presentation in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(ii) If the FEP agency proceedings have terminated, the charge may be timely filed with the Commission within 30 days of receipt of notice that the FEP agency proceedings have been terminated or within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation, whichever is earlier.
(iii) If the FEP agency proceedings have not been terminated, the charge may be presented to the Commission within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation. Once presented, such a charge will be deemed to be filed with the Commission upon expiration of 60 (or where appropriate, 120) days after a written and signed statement of facts upon which the charge is based was sent to the FEP agency by certified mail or was otherwise received by the FEP agency, or upon the termination of the FEP agency proceedings, or upon waiver of the FEP agency's right to exclusively process the charge, whichever is earliest. To be timely, however, such filing must be effected within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.


(c) Agreements with Fair Employment Practice agencies. Pursuant to section 705(g)(1) and section 706(b) of title VII, the Commission shall endeavor to enter into agreements with FEP agencies to establish effective and integrated resolution procedures. Such agreements may include, but need not be limited to, cooperative arrangements to provide for processing of certain charges by the Commission, rather than by the FEP agency during the period specified in section 706(c) and section 706(d) of title VII.
(d) Preliminary relief. When a charge is filed with the Commission, the Commission may make a preliminary investigation and commence judicial action for immediate, temporary or preliminary relief pursuant to section 706(f)(2) of title VII.
(e) Commissioner charges. A charge made by a member of the Commission shall be deemed filed upon receipt by the Commission office responsible for investigating the charge. The Commission will notify a FEP agency when an allegation of discrimination is made by a member of the Commission concerning an employment practice occurring within the jurisdiction of the FEP agency. The FEP agency will be entitled to process the charge exclusively for a period of not less than 60 days if the FEP agency makes a written request to the Commission within 10 days of receiving notice that the allegation has been filed. The 60-day period shall be extended to 120 days during the first year after the effective date of the qualifying State or local law.
[46 FR 43039, Aug. 26, 1981, as amended at 46 FR 48189, Oct. 1, 1981; 52 FR 10224, Mar. 31, 1987; 52 FR 18354, May 15, 1987; 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.14 | SERVICE OF CHARGE OR NOTICE OF CHARGE

(a) Within ten days after the filing of a charge in the appropriate Commission office, the Commission shall serve respondent a copy of the charge, by mail or in person, except when it is determined that providing a copy of the charge would impede the law enforcement functions of the Commission. Where a copy of the charge is not provided, the respondent will be served with a notice of the charge within ten days after the filing of the charge. The notice shall include the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice. Where appropriate, the notice may include the identity of the person or organization filing the charge.
(b) District Directors, Field Directors, Area Directors, Local Directors, the Director of the Office of Field Programs, and the Director of Field Management Programs, or their designees, are hereby delegated the authority to issue the notice described in paragraph (a) of this section.
[44 FR 4669, Jan. 23, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 49 FR 13874, Apr. 9, 1984; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.15 | INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITY

(a) The investigation of a charge shall be made by the Commission, its investigators, or any other representative designated by the Commission. During the course of such investigation, the Commission may utilize the services of State and local agencies which are charged with the administration of fair employment practice laws or appropriate Federal agencies, and may utilize the information gathered by such authorities or agencies. As part of each investigation, the Commission will accept any statement of position or evidence with respect to the allegations of the charge which the person claiming to be aggrieved, the person making the charge on behalf of such person, if any, or the respondent wishes to submit.
(b) As part of the Commission's investigation, the Commission may require the person claiming to be aggrieved to provide a statement which includes:
(1) A statement of each specific harm that the person has suffered and the date on which each harm occurred;
(2) For each harm, a statement specifying the act, policy or practice which is alleged to be unlawful;
(3) For each act, policy, or practice alleged to have harmed the person claiming to be aggrieved, a statement of the facts which lead the person claiming to be aggrieved to believe that the act, policy or practice is discriminatory.

(c) The Commission may require a fact-finding conference with the parties prior to a determination on a charge of discrimination. The conference is primarily an investigative forum intended to define the issues, to determine which elements are undisputed, to resolve those issues that can be resolved and to ascertain whether there is a basis for negotiated settlement of the charge.
(d) The Commission's authority to investigate a charge is not limited to the procedures outlined in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

29 CFR §1601.16 | ACCESS TO AND PRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE; TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES; PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) To effectuate the purposes of title VII, the ADA, and GINA, any member of the Commission shall have the authority to sign and issue a subpoena requiring:
(1) The attendance and testimony of witnesses;
(2) The production of evidence including, but not limited to, books, records, correspondence, or documents, in the possession or under the control of the person subpoenaed; and
(3) Access to evidence for the purposes of examination and the right to copy.
Any District Director, and the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs, or any representatives designated by the Commission, may sign and issue a subpoena on behalf of the Commission. The subpoena shall state the name and address of its issuer, identify the person or evidence subpoenaed, the person to whom and the place, date, and the time at which it is returnable or the nature of the evidence to be examined or copied, and the date and time when access is requested. A subpoena shall be returnable to a duly authorized investigator or other representative of the Commission. Neither the person claiming to be aggrieved, the person filing a charge on behalf of such person nor the respondent shall have the right to demand that a subpoena be issued.

(b)
(1) Any person served with a subpoena who intends not to comply shall petition the issuing Director or petition the General Counsel, if the subpoena is issued by a Commissioner, to seek its revocation or modification. Petitions must be mailed to the Director or General Counsel, as appropriate, within five days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Federal legal holidays) after service of the subpoena. Petitions to the General Counsel shall be mailed to 131 M Street, NE., Washington DC 20507. A copy of the petition shall also be served upon the issuing official.
(2) The petition shall separately identify each portion of the subpoena with which the petitioner does not intend to comply and shall state, with respect to each such portion, the basis for noncompliance with the subpoena. A copy of the subpoena shall be attached to the petition and shall be designated “Attachment A.” Within eight calendar days after receipt or as soon as practicable, the General Counsel or Director, as appropriate, shall either grant the petition to revoke or modify in its entirety or make a proposed determination on the petition, stating reasons, and submit the petition and proposed determination to the Commission for its review and final determination. A Commissioner who has issued a subpoena shall abstain from reviewing a petition concerning that subpoena. The Commission shall serve a copy of the final determination on the petitioner.

(c) Upon the failure of any person to comply with a subpoena issued under this section, the Commission may utilize the procedures of section 11(2) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 161(2), to compel enforcement of the subpoena.
(d) If a person who is served with a subpoena does not comply with the subpoena and does not petition for its revocation or modification pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the General Council or his or her designee may institute proceedings to enforce the subpoena in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section. Likewise, if a person who is served with a subpoena petitions for revocation or modification of the subpoena pursuant to paragraph (b), and the Commission issues a final determination upholding all or part of the subpoena, and the person does not comply with the subpoena, the General Council or his or her designee may institute proceedings to enforce the subpoena in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(e) Witnesses who are subpoenaed pursuant to § 1601.16(a) shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.
[43 FR 30798, July 18, 1978, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 51 FR 29098, Aug. 14, 1986; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 55 FR 14245, Apr. 17, 1990; 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.17 | WITNESSES FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS

(a) To effectuate the purposes of title VIII, the ADA, and GINA, any Commissioner, upon approval of the Commission, may demand in writing that a person appear at a stated time and place within the State in which such person resides, transacts business, or is served with the demand, for the purpose of testifying under oath before the Commission or its representative. If there be noncompliance with any such demand, the Commission may utilize the procedures of section 710 of title VII, the ADA, and GINA to compel such person to testify. A transcript of testimony may be made a part of the record of each investigation.
(b) Witnesses who testify as provided in paragraph (a) of this section shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.18 | DISMISSAL: PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) Where a charge on its face, or as amplified by the statements of the person claiming to be aggrieved discloses, or where after investigation the Commission determines, that the charge and every portion thereof is not timely filed, or otherwise fails to state a claim under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, the Commission shall dismiss the charge. A charge which raises a claim exclusively under section 717 of title VII or the Rehabilitation Act shall not be taken and persons seeking to raise such claims shall be referred to the appropriate Federal agency.
(b) Written notice of disposition, pursuant to this section, shall be issued to the person claiming to be aggrieved and to the person making the charge on behalf of such person, where applicable; in the case of a Commissioner charge, to all persons specified in § 1601.28(b)(2); and to the respondent. Appropriate notices of right to sue shall be issued pursuant to § 1601.28.
(c) The Commission hereby delegates authority to District Directors; the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs, as appropriate, to dismiss charges, as limited by § 1601.21(d). The Commission hereby delegates authority to Field Directors, Area Directors and Local Directors to dismiss charges pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section, as limited by § 1601.21(d). The authority of the Commission to reconsider decisions and determinations as set forth in § 1601.21 (b) and (d) shall be applicable to this section.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 19165, Apr. 28, 1983; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 52 FR 26957, July 17, 1987; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 55 FR 26684, June 29, 1990; 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 73 FR 3388, Jan. 18, 2008; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.19 | NO CAUSE DETERMINATIONS: PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) Where the Commission completes its investigation of a charge and finds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred or is occurring as to all issues addressed in the determination, the Commission shall issue a letter of determination to all parties to the charge indicating the finding. The Commission's letter of determination shall be the final determination of the Commission. The letter of determination shall inform the person claiming to be aggrieved or the person on whose behalf a charge was filed of the right to sue in Federal district court within 90 days of receipt of the letter of determination. The Commission hereby delegates authority to the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or upon delegation to the Director of Field Management Programs, and District Directors or upon delegation to Field Directors, Area Directors or Local Directors, except in those cases involving issues currently designated by the Commission for priority review, to issue no cause letters of determination.
(b) The Commission may on its own initiative reconsider a final determination of no reasonable cause and an issuing director may, on his or her own initiative reconsider his or her final determination of no reasonable cause. If the Commission or an issuing director decides to reconsider a final no cause determination, a notice of intent to reconsider shall promptly issue to all parties to the charge. If such notice of intent to reconsider is issued within 90 days of receipt of the final no cause determination, and the person claiming to be aggrieved or the person on whose behalf a charge was filed has not filed suit and did not request and receive a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a) (1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider shall vacate the letter of determination and shall revoke the charging party's right to bring suit within 90 days. If the 90 day suit period has expired, the charging party has filed suit, or the charging party had requested a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a) (1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider shall vacate the letter of determination, but shall not revoke the charging party's right to sue in 90 days. After reconsideration, the Commission or issuing director shall issue a new determination. In those circumstances where the charging party's right to bring suit in 90 days was revoked, the determination shall include notice that a new 90 day suit period shall begin upon the charging party's receipt of the determination. Where a member of the Commission has filed a Commissioner charge, he or she shall abstain from making a determination in that case.
[52 FR 26958, July 17, 1987, as amended at 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 56 FR 14470, Apr. 10, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.20 | NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT

(a) Prior to the issuance of a determination as to reasonable cause the Commission may encourage the parties to settle the charge on terms that are mutually agreeable. District Directors, Field Directors, Area Directors, Local Directors, the Director of the Office of Field Programs, the Director of Field Management Programs, or their designees, shall have the authority to sign any settlement agreement which is agreeable to both parties. When the Commission agrees in any negotiated settlement not to process that charge further, the Commission's agreement shall be in consideration for the promises made by the other parties to the agreement. Such an agreement shall not affect the processing of any other charge, including, but not limited to, a Commissioner charge or a charge, the allegations of which are like or related to the individual allegations settled.
(b) In the alternative, the Commission may facilitate a settlement between the person claiming to be aggrieved and the respondent by permitting withdrawal of the charge pursuant to § 1601.10.
[44 FR 4669, Jan. 23, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 49 FR 13874, Apr. 9, 1984; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.21 | REASONABLE CAUSE DETERMINATION: PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) After completing its investigation, where the Commission has not settled or dismissed a charge or made a no cause finding as to every allegation addressed in the determination under § 1601.19, the Commission shall issue a determination that reasonable cause exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred or is occurring under title VII, the ADA, or GINA. A determination finding reasonable cause is based on, and limited to, evidence obtained by the Commission and does not reflect any judgment on the merits of allegations not addressed in the determination.
(b) The Commission shall provide prompt notification of its determination under paragraph (a) of this section to the person claiming to be aggrieved, the person making the charge on behalf of such person, if any, and the respondent, or in the case of a Commissioner charge, the person named in the charge or identified by the Commission in the third party certificate, if any, and the respondent. The Commission may, however, on its own initiative reconsider its decision or the determination of any of its designated officers who have authority to issue Letters of Determination, Except that the Commission will not reconsider determinations of reasonable cause previously issued against a government, governmental entity or political subdivision after a failure of conciliation as set forth in § 1601.25.
(1) In cases where the Commission decides to reconsider a dismissal or a determination finding reasonable cause to believe a charge is true, a notice of intent to reconsider will promptly issue. If such notice of intent to reconsider is issued within 90 days from receipt of a notice of right to sue and the charging party has not filed suit and did not receive a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a)(1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider will vacate the dismissal or letter of determination and revoke the notice of right to sue. If the 90 day period has expired, the charging party has filed suit, or the charging party had requested a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a)(1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider will vacate the dismissal or letter of determination, but will not revoke the notice of right to sue. After reconsideration the Commission will issue a determination anew. In those circumstances where the notice of right to sue has been revoked, the Commission will, in accordance with § 1601.28, issue a notice of right to sue anew which will provide the charging party with 90 days within which to bring suit.
(2) The Commission shall provide prompt notification of its intent to reconsider, which is effective upon issuance, and its final decision after reconsideration to the person claiming to be aggrieved, the person making the charge on behalf of such person, if any, and the respondent, or in the case of a Commissioner charge, the person named in the charge or identified by the Commissioner in the third-party certificate, if any, and the respondent.

(c) Where a member of the Commission has filed a Commissioner charge, he or she shall abstain from making a determination in that case.
(d) The Commission hereby delegates to District Directors, or upon delegation, Field Directors, Area Directors or Local Directors; and the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs, the authority, except in those cases involving issues currently designated by the Commission for priority review, upon completion of an investigation, to make a determination finding reasonable cause, issue a cause letter of determination and serve a copy of the determination upon the parties. Each determination issued under this section is final when the letter of determination is issued. However, the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs; each District Director; each Field Director; each Area Director and each Local Director, for the determinations issued by his or her office, may on his or her own initiative reconsider such determinations, except that such directors may not reconsider determinations of reasonable cause previously issued against a government, governmental agency or political subdivision after a failure of conciliation as set forth in § 1601.25.
(1) In cases where the issuing Director decides to reconsider a dismissal or a determination finding reasonable cause to believe a charge is true, a notice of intent to reconsider will promptly issue. If such notice of intent to reconsider is issued within 90 days from receipt of a notice of right to sue and the charging party has not filed suit and did not request a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a)(1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider will vacate the dismissal or letter of determination and revoke the notice of right to sue. If the 90 day period has expired, the charging party has filed suit, or the charging party had received a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a)(1) or (2), the notice of intent to reconsider will vacate the dismissal or letter of determination, but will not revoke the notice of right to sue. After reconsideration the issuing Director will issue a determination anew. In those circumstances where the notice of right to sue has been revoked, the issuing Director will, in accordance with § 1601.28, issue a notice of right to sue anew which will provide the charging party with 90 days within which to bring suit.
(2) When the issuing Director does reconsider, he or she shall provide prompt notification of his or her intent to reconsider, which is effective upon issuance, and final decision after reconsideration to the person claiming to be aggrieved, the person making the charge on behalf of such person, if any, and the respondent, or in the charge or identified by the Commissioner in the third party certificate, if any, and the respondent.

(e) In making a determination as to whether reasonable cause exists, substantial weight shall be accorded final findings and orders made by designated FEP agencies to which the Commission defers charges pursuant to § 1601.13. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Final findings and orders” shall mean:
(i) The findings of fact and order incident thereto issued by a FEP agency on the merits of a charge; or
(ii) The consent order or consent decree entered into by the FEP agency on the merits of a charge.
Provided, however, That no findings and order of a FEP agency shall be considered final for purposes of this section unless the FEP agency shall have served a copy of such findings and order upon the Commission and upon the person claiming to be aggrieved and shall have informed such person of his or her rights of appeal or to request reconsideration, or rehearing or similar rights; and the time for such appeal, reconsideration, or rehearing request shall have expired or the issues of such appeal, reconsideration or rehearing shall have been determined.

(2) “Substantial weight” shall mean that such full and careful consideration shall be accorded to final findings and orders, as defined above, as is appropriate in light of the facts supporting them when they meet all of the prerequisites set forth below:
(i) The proceedings were fair and regular; and
(ii) The practices prohibited by the State or local law are comparable in scope to the practices prohibited by Federal law; and
(iii) The final findings and order serve the interest of the effective enforcement of title VII, the ADA, or GINA: Provided, That giving substantial weight to final findings and orders of a FEP agency does not include according weight, for purposes of applying Federal law, to such Agency's conclusions of law.


[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 45 FR 73036, Nov. 4, 1980; 48 FR 19165, Apr. 28, 1983; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 51 FR 18778, May 22, 1986; 52 FR 26959, July 17, 1987; 53 FR 3370, Feb. 7, 1988; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.22 | CONFIDENTIALITY

Neither a charge, nor information obtained during the investigation of a charge of employment discrimination under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, nor information obtained from records required to be kept or reports required to be filed pursuant to title VII, the ADA, or GINA, shall be made matters of public information by the Commission prior to the institution of any proceeding under title VII, the ADA, or GINA involving such charge or information. This provision does not apply to such earlier disclosures to charging parties, or their attorneys, respondents or their attorneys, or witnesses where disclosure is deemed necessary for securing appropriate relief. This provision also does not apply to such earlier disclosures to representatives of interested Federal, State, and local authorities as may be appropriate or necessary to the carrying out of the Commission's function under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, nor to the publication of data derived from such information in a form which does not reveal the identity of charging parties, respondents, or persons supplying the information.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, 63983, Dec. 7, 2009.]

29 CFR §1601.23 | PRELIMINARY OR TEMPORARY RELIEF

(a) In the interest of the expeditious procedure required by section 706(f)(2) of title VII, the Commission hereby delegates to the Director of the Office of Field Programs or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs and each District Director the authority, upon the basis of a preliminary investigation, to make the initial determination on its behalf that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act and recommend such action to the General Counsel. The Commission authorizes the General Counsel to institute an appropriate action on behalf of the Commission in such a case not involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision.
(b) In a case involving a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, any recommendation for preliminary or temporary relief shall be transmitted directly to the Attorney General by the Director of the Office of Field Programs or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs or the District Director.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit private individuals from exercising their rights to seek temporary or preliminary relief on their own motion.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006]

29 CFR §1601.24 | CONCILIATION: PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) Where the Commission determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred or is occurring, the Commission shall endeavor to eliminate such practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion. In conciliating a case in which a determination of reasonable cause has been made, the Commission shall attempt to achieve a just resolution of all violations found and to obtain agreement that the respondent will eliminate the unlawful employment practice and provide appropriate affirmative relief. Where such conciliation attempts are successful, the terms of the conciliation agreement shall be reduced to writing and shall be signed by the Commission's designated representative and the parties. A copy of the signed agreement shall be sent to the respondent and the person claiming to be aggrieved. Where a charge has been filed on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved, the conciliation agreement may be signed by the person filing the charge or by the person on whose behalf the charge was filed.
(b) District Directors; the Director of the Office of Field Programs or the Director of Field Management Programs; or their designees are hereby delegated authority to enter into informal conciliation efforts. District Directors or upon delegation, Field Directors, Area Directors, or Local Directors; the Director of the Office of Field Programs; or the Director of Field Management Programs are hereby delegated the authority to negotiate and sign conciliation agreements. When a suit brought by the Commission is in litigation, the General Counsel is hereby delegated the authority to negotiate and sign conciliation agreements where, pursuant to section 706(f)(1) of title VII, a court has stayed proceedings in the case pending further efforts of the Commission to obtain voluntary compliance.
(c) Proof of compliance with title VII, the ADA, or GINA in accordance with the terms of the agreement shall be obtained by the Commission before the case is closed. In those instances in which a person claiming to be aggrieved or a member of the class claimed to be aggrieved by the practices alleged in the charge is not a party to such an agreement, the agreement shall not extinguish or in any way prejudice the rights of such person to proceed in court under section 706(f)(1) of title VII, the ADA, or GINA.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 19165, Apr. 28, 1983; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 49 FR 13874, Apr. 9, 1984; 52 FR 26959, July 17, 1987; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26828, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.25 | FAILURE OF CONCILIATION; NOTICE

Where the Commission is unable to obtain voluntary compliance as provided by title VII, the ADA, or GINA and it determines that further efforts to do so would be futile or nonproductive, it shall, through the appropriate District Director, the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or Director of Field Management Programs, or their designees, so notify the respondent in writing.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26829, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.26 | CONFIDENTIALITY OF ENDEAVORS

(a) Nothing that is said or done during and as part of the informal endeavors of the Commission to eliminate unlawful employment practices by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion may be made a matter of public information by the Commission, its officers or employees, or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding without the written consent of the persons concerned. This provision does not apply to such disclosures to the representatives of Federal, State or local agencies as may be appropriate or necessary to the carrying out of the Commission's functions under title VII, the ADA, or GINA: Provided, however, That the Commission may refuse to make disclosures to any such agency which does not maintain the confidentiality of such endeavors in accord with this section or in any circumstances where the disclosures will not serve the purposes of the effective enforcement of title VII, the ADA, or GINA.
(b) Factual information obtained by the Commission during such informal endeavors, if such information is otherwise obtainable by the Commission under section 709 of title VII, for disclosure purposes will be considered by the Commission as obtained during the investigatory process.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.27 | PRELIMINARY OR TEMPORARY RELIEF

The Commission may bring a civil action against any respondent named in a charge not a government, governmental agency or political subdivision, after thirty (30) days from the date of the filing of a charge with the Commission unless a conciliation agreement acceptable to the Commission has been secured: Provided, however, That the Commission may seek preliminary or temporary relief pursuant to section 706(f)(2) of title VII, according to the procedures set forth in § 1601.23 of this part, at any time.

29 CFR §1601.28 | CONCILIATION: PROCEDURE AND AUTHORITY

(a) Issuance of notice of right to sue upon request.
(1) When a person claiming to be aggrieved requests, in writing, that a notice of right to sue be issued and the charge to which the request relates is filed against a respondent other than a government, governmental agency or political subdivision, the Commission shall promptly issue such notice as described in § 1601.28(e) to all parties, at any time after the expiration of one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of filing of the charge with the Commission, or in the case of a Commissioner charge 180 days after the filing of the charge or 180 days after the expiration of any period of reference under section 706(d) of title VII as appropriate.
(2) When a person claiming to be aggrieved requests, in writing, that a notice of right to sue be issued, and the charge to which the request relates is filed against a respondent other than a government, governmental agency or political subdivision, the Commission may issue such notice as described in § 1601.28(e) with copies to all parties, at any time prior to the expiration of 180 days from the date of filing of the charge with the Commission; provided that the District Director, the Field Director, the Area Director, the Local Director, the Director of the Office of Field Programs or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs has determined that it is probable that the Commission will be unable to complete its administrative processing of the charge within 180 days from the filing of the charge and has attached a written certificate to that effect.
(3) Issuance of a notice of right to sue shall terminate further proceeding of any charge that is not a Commissioner charge unless the District Director; Field Director; Area Director; Local Director; Director of the Office of Field Programs or upon delegation, the Director of Field Management Programs; or the General Counsel, determines at that time or at a later time that it would effectuate the purpose of title VII, the ADA, or GINA to further process the charge. Issuance of a notice of right to sue shall not terminate the processing of a Commissioner charge.
(4) The issuance of a notice of right to sue does not preclude the Commission from offering such assistance to a person issued such notice as the Commission deems necessary or appropriate.

(b) Issuance of notice of right to sue following Commission disposition of charge.
(1) Where the Commission has found reasonable cause to believe that title VII, the ADA, or GINA has been violated, has been unable to obtain voluntary compliance with title VII, the ADA, or GINA, and where the Commission has decided not to bring a civil action against the respondent, it will issue a notice of right to sue on the charge as described in § 1601.28(e) to:
(i) The person claiming to be aggrieved, or,
(ii) In the case of a Commissioner charge, to any member of the class who is named in the charge, identified by the Commissioner in a third-party certificate, or otherwise identified by the Commission as a member of the class and provide a copy thereof to all parties.

(2) Where the Commission has entered into a conciliation agreement to which the person claiming to be aggrieved is not a party, the Commission shall issue a notice of right to sue on the charge to the person claiming to be aggrieved.
(3) Where the Commission has dismissed a charge pursuant to § 1601.18, it shall issue a notice of right to sue as described in § 1601.28(e) to:
(i) The person claiming to be aggrieved, or,
(ii) In the case of a Commissioner charge, to any member of the class who is named in the charge, identified by the Commissioner in a third-party certificate, or otherwise identified by the Commission as a member of the class, and provide a copy thereof to all parties.

(4) The issuance of a notice of right to sue does not preclude the Commission from offering such assistance to a person issued such notice as the Commission deems necessary or appropriate.

(c) The Commission hereby delegates authority to District Directors, Field Directors, Area Directors, Local Directors, the Director of the Office of Field Programs, or Director of Field Management Programs or their designees, to issue notices of right to sue, in accordance with this section, on behalf of the Commission. Where a charge has been filed on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved, the notice of right to sue shall be issued in the name of the person or organization who filed the charge.1
(d) Notices of right-of-sue for charges against Governmental respondents. In all cases where the respondent is a government, governmental agency, or a political subdivision, the Commission will issue the notice of right to sue when there has been a dismissal of a charge. The notice of right to sue will be issued in accordance with § 1601.28(e). In all other cases where the respondent is a government, governmental agency, or political subdivision, the Attorney General will issue the notice of right to sue, including the following cases:
(1) When there has been a finding of reasonable cause by the Commission, there has been a failure of conciliation, and the Attorney General has decided not to file a civil action; and
(2) Where a charging party has requested a notice of right to sue pursuant to § 1601.28(a)(1) or (2). In cases where a charge of discrimination results in a finding of cause in part and no cause in part, the case will be treated as a “cause” determination and will be referred to the Attorney General.

(e) Content of notice of right to sue. The notice of right to sue shall include:
(1) Authorization to the aggrieved person to bring a civil action under title VII, the ADA, or GINA pursuant to section 706(f)(1) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207 of GINA within 90 days from receipt of such authorization;
(2) Advice concerning the institution of such civil action by the person claiming to be aggrieved, where appropriate;
(3) A copy of the charge;
(4) The Commission's decision, determination, or dismissal, as appropriate.

Footnotes:
1 Formal Ratification-Notice is hereby given that the EEOC at a Commission meeting on March 12, 1974, formally ratified the acts of the District Directors of EEOC District Offices in issuing notices of right to sue pursuant to Commission practice instituted on October 15, 1969, and continued through March 18, 1974. 39 FR 10178 (March 18, 1974).

[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 4669, Jan. 23, 1979; 45 FR 73037, Nov. 4, 1980; 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 48 FR 19165, Apr. 28, 1983; 49 FR 13024, Apr. 2, 1984; 49 FR 13874, Apr. 9, 1984; 52 FR 26959, July 17, 1987; 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 71 FR 26829, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.29 | FAILURE OF CONCILIATION; NOTICE

If the Commission is unable to obtain voluntary compliance in a charge involving a government, governmental agency or political subdivision, it shall inform the Attorney General of the appropriate facts in the case with recommendations for the institution of a civil action by him or her against such respondent or for intervention by him or her in a civil action previously instituted by the person claiming to be aggrieved.

29 CFR §1601.30 | CONFIDENTIALITY OF ENDEAVORS

(a) Every employer, employment agency, labor organization, and joint labor-management committee controlling an apprenticeship or other training program that has an obligation under title VII, the ADA, or GINA shall post and keep posted in conspicuous places upon its premises notices in an accessible format, to be prepared or approved by the Commission, describing the applicable provisions of title VII, the ADA, and GINA. Such notice must be posted in prominent and accessible places where notices to employees, applicants and members are customarily maintained.
(b) Section 711(b) of Title VII and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended, make failure to comply with this section punishable by a fine of not more than $569 for each separate offense.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 55 FR 2518, Jan. 25, 1990; 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 62 FR 26934, May 16, 1997; 74 FR 63982, 63983, Dec. 7, 2009; 79 FR 15221, Mar. 19, 2014; 81 FR 35270, June 2, 2016; 82 FR 8813, Jan. 31, 2017; 83 FR 2537, Jan. 18, 2018; 84 FR 10411, Mar. 21, 2019; 85 FR 15376, Mar. 18, 2020]

29 CFR §1601.34 | RULES TO BE LIBERALLY CONSTRUED

These rules and regulations shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose and provisions of title VII, the ADA, and GINA.
[44 FR 4670, Jan. 23, 1979. Redesignated and amended at 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.35 | PETITIONS

Any interested person may petition the Commission, in writing, for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule or regulation. Such petition shall be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington DC 20507, and shall state the rule or regulation proposed to be issued, amended, or repealed, together with a statement of grounds in support of such petition.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977, as amended at 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.36 | ACTION ON PETITION

Upon the filing of such petition, the Commission shall consider the same and may thereupon either grant or deny the petition in whole or in part, conduct an appropriate proceeding thereon, or make other disposition of the petition. Should the petition be denied in whole or in part, prompt notice shall be given of the denial, accompanied by a simple statement of the grounds unless the denial be self-explanatory.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

29 CFR §1601.70 | FEP AGENCY QUALIFICATIONS

(a) State and local fair employment practice agencies or authorities which qualify under section 706(c) of title VII and this section shall be designated as “FEP agencies.” The qualifications for designation under section 706(c) are as follows:
(1) That the State or political subdivision has a fair employment practice law which makes unlawful employment practices based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability; and
(2) That the State or political subdivision has either established a State or local authority or authorized an existing State or local authority that is empowered with respect to employment practices found to be unlawful, to do one of three things: To grant relief from the practice; to seek relief from the practice; or to institute criminal proceedings with respect to the practice.

(b) Any State or local agency or authority seeking FEP agency designation should submit a written request to the Chairman of the Commission. However, if the Commission is aware that an agency or authority meets the above criteria for FEP agency designation, the Commission shall defer charges to such agency or authority even though no request for FEP agency designation has been made.
(c) A request for FEP agency designation should include a copy of the agency's fair employment practices law and any rules, regulations and guidelines of general interpretation issued pursuant thereto. Submission of such data will allow the Commission to ascertain which employment practices are made unlawful and which bases are covered by the State or local entity. Agencies or authorities are requested, but not required, to provide the following helpful information:
(1) A chart of the organization of the agency or authority responsible for administering and enforcing said law;
(2) The amount of funds made available to or allocated by the agency or authority for fair employment purposes;
(3) The identity and telephone number of the agency (authority) representative whom the Commission may contact with reference to any legal or other questions that may arise regarding designation;
(4) A detailed statement as to how the agency or authority meets the qualifications of paragraph (a) (1) and (2) of § 1601.70.

(d) Where both State and local FEP agencies exist, the Commission reserves the right to defer to the State FEP agency only. However, where there exist agencies of concurrent jurisdiction, the Commission may defer to the FEP agency which would best serve the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA, or to both.
(e) The Chairman or his or her designee, will provide to the Attorney General of the concerned State (and corporation counsel of a concerned local government, if appropriate) an opportunity to comment upon aspects of State or local law which might affect the qualifications of any new agency in that State otherwise cognizable under this section.
[45 FR 33606, May 20, 1980, as amended at 47 FR 53733, Nov. 29, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 60 FR 46220, Sept. 6, 1995; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.71 | FEP AGENCY NOTIFICATION

(a) When the Commission determines that an agency or authority meets the criteria outlined in section 706(c) of title VII and § 1601.70, the Commission shall so notify the agency by letter and shall notify the public by publication in the Federal Register of an amendment to § 1601.74.
(b) Where the Commission determines that an agency or authority does not come within the definition of a FEP agency for purposes of a particular basis of discrimination or where the agency or authority applies for designation as a Notice Agency, the Commission shall notify that agency or authority of the filing of charges for which the agency or authority is not a FEP agency. For such purposes that State or local agency will be deemed a Notice Agency.
(c) Where the Chairman becomes aware of events which lead him or her to believe that a deferral Agency no longer meets the requirements of a FEP agency and should no longer be considered a FEP agency, the Chairman will so notify the affected agency and give it 15 days in which to respond to the preliminary findings. If the Chairman deems necessary, he or she may convene a hearing for the purpose of clarifying the matter. The Commission shall render a final determination regarding continuation of the agency as a FEP agency.
[45 FR 33606, May 20, 1980, as amended at 47 FR 53733, Nov. 29, 1982. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 60 FR 46220, Sept. 6, 1995]

29 CFR §1601.72 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1601.73 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1601.74 | DESIGNATED AND NOTICE AGENCIES

The Commission has made the following designations2:

(a) The designated FEP agencies are:

ALASKA COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
ALEXANDRIA (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE
ALLENTOWN (PA) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
ANCHORAGE (AK) EQUAL RIGHTS COMMISSION
ANDERSON (IN) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
ARIZONA CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
ARLINGTON COUNTY (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION 3
AUSTIN (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION 4
BALTIMORE (MD) COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION
BLOOMINGTON (IL) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
BLOOMINGTON (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
BROWARD COUNTY (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING
CHARLESTON (WV) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
CITY OF SALINA (KS) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT
CITY OF SPRINGFIELD (IL) DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
CLEARWATER (FL) OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
COLORADO STATE PERSONNEL BOARD 5
COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 6
CONNECTICUT COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITY
CORPUS CHRISTI (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
DADE COUNTY (FL) FAIR HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION
DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
DURHAM (NC) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
EAST CHICAGO (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
EVANSVILLE (IN) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
FAIRFAX COUNTY (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
FORT DODGE-WEBSTER COUNTY (IA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FORT WAYNE (IN) METROPOLITAN HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
FORT WORTH (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
GARY (IN) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
GEORGIA OFFICE OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 7
HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 8
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (FL) EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
HOWARD COUNTY (MD) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION 9
HUNTINGTON (WV) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
IDAHO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
INDIANA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
JACKSONVILLE (FL) EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
KANSAS CITY (KS) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
KANSAS CITY (MO) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
KANSAS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
KENTUCKY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
LEE COUNTY (FL) DEPARTMENT OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
LEXINGTON-FAYETTE (KY) URBAN COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
LINCOLN (NE) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 10
LOUISIANA (LA) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
LOUISVILLE AND JEFFERSON COUNTY (KY) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
MADISON (WI) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION
MAINE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
MARYLAND COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
MASON CITY (IA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
MICHIGAN CITY (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS
MINNEAPOLIS (MN) DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
MISSOURI COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
MONTANA HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION
MONTGOMERY COUNTY (MD) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
NEBRASKA EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
NEVADA COMMISSION ON EQUAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
NEW HAMPSHIRE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
NEW HANOVER (NC) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION 11
NEW HAVEN (CT) COMMISSION ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CIVIL RIGHTS, DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
NEW MEXICO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
NEW YORK CITY (NY) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
NEW YORK STATE DIVISION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
NORTH CAROLINA STATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
NORTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OHIO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
OKLAHOMA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
OMAHA (NE) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
ORANGE COUNTY (NC) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
OREGON BUREAU OF LABOR
ORLANDO (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
PADUCAH (KY) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
PALM BEACH COUNTY (FL) OFFICE OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
PHILADELPHIA (PA) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
PINELLAS COUNTY (FL) AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICE
PITTSBURGH (PA) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY (MD) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
READING (PA) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
RHODE ISLAND COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
RICHMOND COUNTY (GA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
ROCKVILLE (MD) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
ST. LOUIS (MO) CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
ST. PAUL (MN) DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ST. PETERSBURG (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS DIVISION 12
SEATTLE (WA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
SIOUX FALLS (SD) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
SOUTH BEND (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
SOUTH CAROLINA HUMAN AFFAIRS COMMISSION
SOUTH DAKOTA DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
SPRINGFIELD (OH) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
TACOMA (WA) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
TAMPA (FL) OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
TENNESSEE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
TEXAS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
TOPEKA (KS) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
UTAH INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, ANTI-DISCRIMINATION DIVISION
VERMONT ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
VERMONT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
VIRGIN ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
VIRGINIA COUNCIL ON HUMAN RIGHTS
WASHINGTON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WEST VIRGINIA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WHEELING (WV) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WICHITA FALLS (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
WISCONSIN EQUAL RIGHTS DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY, LABOR AND HUMAN RELATIONS
WISCONSIN STATE PERSONNEL COMMISSION 13
WYOMING FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES COMMISSION
YORK (PA) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
YOUNGSTOWN (OH) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION


(b) The designated Notice Agencies are:

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR'S COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES
OHIO DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
RALEIGH (NC) HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT, CIVIL RIGHTS UNIT

Footnotes:
2State and local laws may change and that can affect the timeliness of a claim. It is advisable for individuals to contact the FEP agency to confirm coverage, or otherwise determine that the above designation reflects the current status of the agency under state and local law.

3THE ARLINGTON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES EXCEPT CHARGES ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF TITLE VII BY A GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT AGENCY, OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. FOR THESE TYPES OF CHARGES IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).

4THE AUSTIN (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES EXCEPT CHARGES ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF TITLE VII BY A GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT AGENCY, OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF TEXAS. FOR THESE TYPES OF CHARGES IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY,” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).

5THE COLORADO STATE PERSONNEL BOARD HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ONLY THOSE CHARGES WHICH RELATE TO APPOINTMENTS, PROMOTIONS, AND OTHER PERSONNEL ACTIONS THAT TAKE PLACE IN THE STATE PERSONNEL SYSTEM. IN ADDITION, IT HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED CHARGES EXCEPT CHARGES WHICH ALLEGE A VIOLATION OF SECTION 704(A) OF TITLE VII. FOR THIS TYPE OF CHARGE IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).

6THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES EXCEPT CHARGES ALLEGING A “LABOR UNION” HAS VIOLATED TITLE VII; CHARGES ALLEGING AN “EMPLOYMENT AGENCY” HAS VIOLATED TITLE VII; AND CHARGES ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF TITLE VII BY AGENCIES OR INSTRUMENTALITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO WHEN THEY ARE NOT OPERATING AS PRIVATE BUSINESSES OR ENTERPRISES. FOR THESE TYPES OF CHARGES IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY,” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B). WITH RESPECT TO CHARGES ALLEGING RETALIATION UNDER SECTION 704(A) OF TITLE VII, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS A FEP AGENCY FOR CHARGES ALLEGING RETALIATION FOR HAVING OPPOSED UNLAWFUL SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR PARTICIPATED IN A STATUTORY SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEEDING AND A “NOTICE AGENCY” FOR ALL OTHER CHARGES ALLEGING VIOLATION OF SECTION 704(A) OF TITLE VII.

7THE GEORGIA OFFICE OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES COVERING THE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA ONLY.

8THE HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS HAS BEEN GRANTED FEP AGENCY DESIGNATION OF ALL CHARGES EXCEPT THOSE FILED AGAINST UNITS OF THE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, IN WHICH CASE IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY.”

9THE HOWARD COUNTY (MD) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HAS BEEN GRANTED DESIGNATION OF ALL CHARGES EXCEPT THOSE FILED AGAINST AGENCIES OF HOWARD COUNTY IN WHICH CASE IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY.”

10THE LINCOLN (NE) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES EXCEPT (1) A CHARGE BY AN “APPLICANT FOR MEMBERSHIP” ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 703(C)(2) OF TITLE VII (2) A CHARGE BY AN INDIVIDUAL ALLEGING THAT A “JOINT LABOR-MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE” HAS VIOLATED SECTION 704(A) OF TITLE VII; AND (3) A CHARGE BY AN INDIVIDUAL ALLEGING THAT A “JOINT LABOR-MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE” HAS VIOLATED SECTION 704(B) OF TITLE VII. FOR THOSE TYPES OF CHARGES, IT SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY,” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).

11THE NEW HANOVER HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION IS BEING DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR CHARGES COVERING EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES UNDER SECTION 706(C) OF TITLE VII AND CFR 1601.70 ET SEQ. (1980) WITHIN NEW HANOVER COUNTY AND “SUCH CITIES WITHIN THE COUNTY AS MAY BY RESOLUTION OF THEIR GOVERNING BOARDS, PERMIT THE ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF NEW HANOVER COUNTY ENTITLED ‘PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT’ TO BE APPLICABLE WITHIN SUCH CITIES.” THIS COVERS WILMINGTON CITY AND THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF NEW HANOVER COUNTY. AT THIS TIME WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, CAROLINA BEACH AND KURE BEACH ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS DESIGNATION. FOR CHARGES FROM THESE LATTER LOCALES THE NEW HANOVER HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION SHALL BE DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY,” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).

12ON JUNE 1, 1979, THE ST. PETERSBURG OFFICE OF HUMAN RELATIONS WAS DESIGNATED A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES EXCEPT THOSE CHARGES ALLEGING RETALIATION UNDER SECTION 704(A) OF TITLE VII. ACCORDINGLY, “FOR RETALIATION CHARGES” IT WAS DEEMED A “NOTICE AGENCY,” PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(C). SEE 44 FR 31638. ON MAY 23, 1979, AN ORDINANCE AMENDED THE ST. PETERSBURG, FL HUMAN RELATIONS LAW TO INCLUDE CHARGES OF RETALIATION. THEREFORE, RETALIATION CHARGES WILL BE DEFERRED TO THAT AGENCY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

13THE WISCONSIN STATE PERSONNEL COMMISSION IS BEING DESIGNATED AS A FEP AGENCY FOR ALL CHARGES COVERING THE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES OF THE AGENCIES OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN EXCEPT THOSE CHARGES ALLEGING RETALIATION UNDER 704(A) OF TITLE VII. ACCORDINGLY, FOR RETALIATION CHARGES, IT SHALL BE DEEMED A NOTICE AGENCY PURSUANT TO 29 CFR 1601.71(B).


(Sec. 713(a) 78 Stat. 265 (42 U.S.C. 2000e—12(a)))
[46 FR 33030, June 26, 1981. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

Editorial Notes

For Federal Register citations affecting § 1601.74, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

29 CFR §1601.75 | CERTIFICATION OF DESIGNATED FEP AGENCIES

(a) The Commission may certify designated FEP agencies based upon the past, satisfactory performance of those agencies. The effect of such certification is that the Commission shall accept the findings and resolutions of designated FEP agencies in regard to cases processed under contracts with those agencies without individual, case-by-case substantial weight review by the Commission except as provided in §§ 1601.76 and 1601.77 of this part.
(b) Eligibility criteria for certification of a designated FEP agency are as follows:
(1) That the State or local agency has been a designated FEP agency for 4 years;
(2) That the State or local designated FEP agency's work product has been evaluated within the past 12 months by the Systemic Investigations and Individual Compliance Programs, Office of Program Operations, and found to be in conformance with the Commission's Substantial Weight Review Procedures (EEOC Order 916); and
(3) That the State or local designated FEP agency's findings and resolutions pursuant to its contract with the Commission, as provided in section 709(b) of title VII, have been accepted by the Commission in at least 95% of the cases processed by the FEP agency in the past 12 months.

(c) Upon Commission approval of a designated FEP agency for certification, it shall notify the agency of its certification and shall effect such certification by issuance and publication of an amendment to § 1601.80 of this part.
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981, as amended at 54 FR 32061, Aug. 4, 1989. Redesignated and amended at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

29 CFR §1601.76 | RIGHT OF A PARTY TO REQUEST REVIEW

The Commission shall notify the parties whose cases are to be processed by the designated, certified FEP agency of their right, if aggrieved by the agency's final action, to request review by the Commission within 15 days of that action. The Commission, on receipt of a request for review, shall conduct such review in accord with the procedures set forth in the Substantial Weight Review Procedures.
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 85 FR 65219, Oct. 15, 2020]

29 CFR §1601.77 | REVIEW BY THE COMMISSION

After a designated FEP agency has been certified, the Commission shall accept the findings and resolutions of that agency as final in regard to all cases processed under contract with the Commission, as provided in section 709(b) of title VII, except that the Commission shall review charges closed by the certified FEP agency for lack of jurisdiction, as a result of unsuccessful conciliation, or where the charge involves an issue currently designated by the Commission for priority review.
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981, as amended at 51 FR 18778, May 22, 1986. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

29 CFR §1601.78 | EVALUATION OF DESIGNATED FEP AGENCIES CERTIFIED BY THE COMMISSION

To assure that designated FEP agencies certified by the Commission, as provided in § 1601.75 of this part, continue to maintain performance consistent with the Commission's Substantial Weight Review Procedures (EEOC Order 916), the Commission shall provide for the evaluation of such agencies as follows:
(a) Each designated FEP agency certified by the Commission shall be evaluated at least once every 3 years; and
(b) Each designated FEP agency certified by the Commission shall be evaluated when, as a result of a substantial weight review requested as provided in § 1601.76 of this part or required in regard to cases closed as a result of unsuccessful conciliation or for lack of jurisdiction as provided in § 1601.77 of this part, the Commission rejects more than 5% of a designated FEP agency's findings at the end of the year or 20% or more of its findings for two consecutive quarters. When the Commission rejects 20% or more of a designated FEP agency's findings during any quarter, the Commission shall initiate an inquiry and may conduct an evaluation.
(c) The Commission may, on its own motion, require an evaluation at any time.
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

29 CFR §1601.79 | REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATION

Certification of a designated FEP agency is discretionary with the Commission and the Commission may, upon its own motion, withdraw such certification as a result of an evaluation conducted pursuant to § 1601.78 or for any reason which leads the Commission to believe that such certification no longer serves the interest of effective enforcement of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. The Commission will accept comments from any individual or organization concerning the efficacy of the certification of any designated FEP agency. The revocation shall be effected by the issuance and publication of an amendment to § 1601.80 of this part.
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981. Redesignated and amended at 56 FR 9624, 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 63982, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.80 | CERTIFIED DESIGNATED FEP AGENCIES

The designated FEP agencies receiving certification by the Commission are as follows:

ALASKA COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
ALEXANDRIA (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE
ANCHORAGE (AK) EQUAL RIGHTS COMMISSION
ARIZONA CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
ARLINGTON COUNTY (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
AUSTIN HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
BALTIMORE (MD) COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION
BROWARD COUNTY (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING
CITY OF TAMPA OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
CLEARWATER (FL) OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
CONNECTICUT COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITY
CORPUS CHRISTI (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
DADE COUNTY (FL) FAIR HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION
DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
EAST CHICAGO (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FAIRFAX COUNTY (VA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
FORT WAYNE (IN) METROPOLITAN HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
FORT WORTH (TX) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
GARY (IN) HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
GEORGIA COMMISSION ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
HOWARD COUNTY (MD) OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
IDAHO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
INDIANA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
JACKSONVILLE (FL) EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
KANSAS COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS
LEE COUNTY OFFICE OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
LEXINGTON-FAYETTE (KY) URBAN COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
LOUISVILLE AND JEFFERSON COUNTY HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
MADISON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
MAINE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
MARYLAND COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS
MINNEAPOLIS (MN) DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
MISSOURI COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS
MONTANA HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION
NEBRASKA EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
NEVADA COMMISSION ON EQUAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
NEW HAMPSHIRE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
NEW HANOVER HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
NEW JERSEY DIVISION ON CIVIL RIGHTS
NEW MEXICO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
NEW YORK CITY (NY) COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
NEW YORK STATE DIVISION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
NORTH CAROLINA CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
NORTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OHIO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
OKLAHOMA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
OMAHA (NE) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
OREGON BUREAU OF LABOR
ORLANDO (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
PALM BEACH COUNTY OFFICE OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
PHILADELPHIA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
PITTSBURGH COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES
RHODE ISLAND COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
ST. LOUIS (MO) CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
ST. PAUL DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ST. PETERSBURG (FL) HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
SEATTLE (WA) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
SOUTH BEND (IN) HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
SOUTH CAROLINA HUMAN AFFAIRS COMMISSION
SOUTH DAKOTA DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
TACOMA (WA) HUMAN RELATIONS DIVISION
TENNESSEE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
TEXAS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
UTAH INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, ANTI-DISCRIMINATION DIVISION
VERMONT ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
VIRGIN ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
WASHINGTON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WEST VIRGINIA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WISCONSIN EQUAL RIGHTS DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY, LABOR AND HUMAN RELATIONS
WYOMING FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES COMMISSION

(42 U.S.C. 2000e—12(a))
[46 FR 50367, Oct. 13, 1981. Redesignated at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

Editorial Notes

For Federal Register citations affecting § 1601.80, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

29 CFR §1601.91 | REQUEST FOR TITLE VII INTERPRETATION OR OPINION

Any interested person desiring a written title VII interpretation or opinion from the Commission may make such a request. However, issuance of title VII interpretations or opinions is discretionary.
[56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991]

29 CFR §1601.92 | CONTENTS OF REQUEST; WHERE TO FILE

A request for an “opinion letter” shall be in writing, signed by the person making the request, addressed to the Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507 and shall contain:
(a) The names and addresses of the person making the request and of other interested persons.
(b) A statement of all known relevant facts.
(c) A statement of reasons why the title VII interpretation or opinion should be issued.
[42 FR 55388, Oct. 14, 1977. Redesignated and amended at 56 FR 9625, Mar. 7, 1991; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1601.93 | OPINIONS — TITLE VII

Only the following may be relied upon as a “written interpretation or opinion of the Commission” within the meaning of section 713 of title VII:
(a) A letter entitled “opinion letter” and signed by the Legal Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission, or, if issued in the conduct of litigation, by the General Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission, or
(b) Matter published and specifically designated as such in the Federal Register, including the Commission's Guidelines on Affirmative Action, or
(c) A Commission determination of no reasonable cause, issued, under the circumstances described in § 1608.10 (a) or (b) of the Commission's Guidelines on Affirmative Action, 29 CFR part 1608, when such determination contains a statement that it is a “written interpretation or opinion of the Commission.”
[49 FR 31411, Aug. 7, 1984. Redesignated at 56 FR 9626, Mar. 7, 1991]




29 CFR §1602.1 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

Section 709 of title VII (42 U.S.C. 2000e), section 107 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C. 12117), and section 207(a) of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (42 U.S.C. 2000ff-6) require the Commission to establish regulations pursuant to which employers, labor organizations, joint labor-management committees, and employment agencies subject to those Acts shall make and preserve certain records and shall furnish specified information to aid in the administration and enforcement of the Acts.
[74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.2 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1602.3 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1602.4 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1602.5 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1602.6 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1602.7 | REQUIREMENT FOR FILING OF REPORT

On or before September 30 of each year, every employer that is subject to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and that has 100 or more employees shall file with the Commission or its delegate executed copies of Standard Form 100, as revised (otherwise known as “Employer Information Report EEO-1”) in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions. Notwithstanding the provisions of §1602.14, every such employer shall retain at all times at each reporting unit, or at company or divisional headquarters, a copy of the most recent report filed for each such unit and shall make the same available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under the authority of section 710 of title VII. Appropriate copies of Standard Form 100 in blank will be supplied to every employer known to the Commission to be subject to the reporting requirements, but it is the responsibility of all such employers to obtain necessary supplies of the form from the Commission or its delegate prior to the filing date. [37 FR 9219, May 6, 1972, as amended at 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991]

29 CFR §1602.8 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORT

The making of willfully false statements on Report EEO-1 is a violation of the United States Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or imprisonment as set forth therein. [31 FR 2833, Feb. 17, 1966]

29 CFR §1602.9 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR EMPLOYER’S FAILURE TO FILE REPORT

Any employer failing or refusing to file Report EEO-1 when required to do so may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. District Court, upon application of the Commission. [31 FR 2833, Feb. 17, 1966]

29 CFR §1602.10 | EMPLOYER’S EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If an employer claims that the preparation or filing of the report would create undue hardship, the employer may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in this part, according to instruction 5. If an employer is engaged in activities for which the reporting unit criteria described in section 5 of the instructions are not readily adaptable, special reporting procedures may be required. If an employer seeks to change the date for filing its Standard Form 100 or seeks to change the period for which data are reported, an alternative reporting date or period may be permitted. In such instances, the employer should so advise the Commission by submitting to the Commission or its delegate a specific written proposal for an alternative reporting system prior to the date on which the report is due. [56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991]

29 CFR §1602.11 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as the Employer Information Report EEO-1, about the employment practices of individual employers or groups of employers whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for the requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA and as otherwise prescribed by law. [31 FR 2833, Feb. 17, 1966, as amended at 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.12 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

The Commission has not adopted any requirement, generally applicable to employers, that records be made or kept. It reserves the right to impose recordkeeping requirements upon individual employers or groups of employers subject to its jurisdiction whenever, in its judgment, such records (a) are necessary for the effective operation of the EEO-1 reporting system or of any special or supplemental reporting system as described above; or (b) are further required to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Such record-keeping requirements will be adopted in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA, and otherwise prescribed by law.



(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[31 FR 2833, Feb. 17, 1966, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.13 | RECORDS AS TO RACIAL OR ETHNIC IDENTITY OF EMPLOYEES

Employers may acquire the information necessary for completion of items 5 and 6 of Report EEO-1 either by visual surveys of the work force, or at their option, by the maintenance of post-employment records as to the identity of employees where the same is permitted by State law. In the latter case, however, the Commission recommends the maintenance of a permanent record as to the racial or ethnic identity of an individual for purpose of completing the report form only where the employer keeps such records separately from the employee's basic personnel form or other records available to those responsible for personnel decisions, e.g., as part of an automatic data processing system in the payroll department. [31 FR 2833, Feb. 17, 1966]

29 CFR §1602.14 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

Any personnel or employment record made or kept by an employer (including but not necessarily limited to requests for reasonable accommodation, application forms submitted by applicants and other records having to do with hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship) shall be preserved by the employer for a period of one year from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later. In the case of involuntary termination of an employee, the personnel records of the individual terminated shall be kept for a period of one year from the date of termination. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or an action brought by the Commission or the Attorney General, against an employer under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, the respondent employer shall preserve all personnel records relevant to the charge or action until final disposition of the charge or the action. The term “personnel records relevant to the charge,” for example, would include personnel or employment records relating to the aggrieved person and to all other employees holding positions similar to that held or sought by the aggrieved person and application forms or test papers completed by an unsuccessful applicant and by all other candidates for the same position as that for which the aggrieved person applied and was rejected. The date of final disposition of the charge or the action means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which the aggrieved person may bring an action in a U.S. District Court or, where an action is brought against an employer either by the aggrieved person, the Commission, or by the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated.



(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[37 FR 9219, May 6, 1972, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 77 FR 5398, Feb. 3, 2012]

29 CFR §1602.15 | REQUIREMENT FOR FILING AND PRESERVING COPY OF REPORT

On or before September 30, 1967, and annually thereafter, certain joint labor-management committees subject to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which control apprenticeship programs shall file with the Commission, or its delegate, executed copies of Apprenticeship Information Report EEO-2 in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions. The committees covered by this regulation are those which (a) have five or more apprentices enrolled in the program at any time during August and September of the reporting year, and (b) represent at least one employer sponsor and at least one labor organization sponsor which are themselves subject to title VII. Every such committee shall retain at all times among the records maintained in the ordinary course of its affairs a copy of the most recent report filed, and shall make the same available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under the authority of section 710 of title VII. It is the responsibility of all such committees to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary supplies of the form. [37 FR 9220, May 6, 1972]

29 CFR §1602.16 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORT

The making of willfully false statements on Report EEO-2 is a violation of the U.S. Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or imprisonment as set forth therein. [32 FR 10650, July 20, 1967]

29 CFR §1602.17 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR FAILURE TO FILE REPORT

Any person failing or refusing to file Report EEO-2 when required to do so may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. District Court, upon application of the Commission, under authority of section 709(c) of title VII. [37 FR 9220, May 6, 1972]

29 CFR §1602.18 | EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If it is claimed that the preparation or filing of Report EEO-2 would create undue hardship, the committee may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in this part. [32 FR 10650, July 20, 1967]

29 CFR §1602.19 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as Report EEO-2, about apprenticeship procedures of joint labor-management committees, employers, and labor organizations whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purpose of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for the requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA and as otherwise prescribed by law. [32 FR 10650, July 20, 1967, as amended at 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.20 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

(a) Every person required to file Report EEO-2 shall make or keep such records as are necessary for its completion under the conditions and circumstances set forth in the instructions accompanying the report, which are specifically incorporated herein by reference and have the same force and effect as other sections of this part.
(b) Every employer, labor organization, and joint labor-management committee subject to title VII which controls an apprenticeship program (regardless of any joint or individual obligation to file a report) shall beginning August 1, 1967, maintain a list in chronological order containing the names and addresses of all persons who have applied to participate in the apprenticeship program, including the dates on which such applications were received. (See section 709(c), title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964.) Such list shall, contain a notation of the sex of the applicant and of the applicant's identification as “White,” “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Asian or Pacific Islander” or “American Indian or Alaskan Native.” The methods of making such identification are set forth in the instruction accompanying Report EEO-2. The words “applied,” “applicant” and “application” as used in this section refer to situations involving actual applications only. An applicant is considered to be a person who files a formal application, or in some informal way indicates a specific intention to be considered for admission to the apprenticeship program. A person who casually appears to make an informal inquiry about the program, or about apprenticeship in general, is not considered to be an applicant. The term “apprenticeship program” as used herein refers to programs described in the instructions accompanying Report EEO-2.
(c) In lieu of maintaining the chronological list referred to in §1602.20(b), persons required to compile the list may maintain on file written applications for participation in the apprenticeship program, provided that the application form contains a notation of the date the form was received, the address of the applicant, and a notation of the sex, and the race, color, or national origin of the applicant as described above.
[32 FR 10650, July 20, 1967, as amended at 33 FR 282, Jan. 9, 1968; 42 FR 33557, Aug. 10, 1977]

29 CFR §1602.21 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1602.14, every person subject to §1602.20 (b) or (c) shall preserve the list of applicants or application forms, as the case may be, for a period of 2 years from the date the application was received, except that in those instances where an annual report is required by the Commission calling for statistics as to the sex, and the race, color, or national origin of apprentices, the person required to file the report shall preserve the list and forms for a period of 2 years or the period of a successful applicant's apprenticeship, whichever is longer. Persons required to file Report EEO-2, or other reports calling for information about the operation of an apprenticeship program similar to that required on Report EEO-2, shall preserve any other record made solely for the purpose of completing such reports for a period of 1 year from the due date thereof.
(b) Other records: Except to the extent inconsistent with the law or regulation of any State or local fair employment practices agency, or of any other Federal or State agency involved in the enforcement of an antidiscrimination program in apprenticeship, other records relating to apprenticeship made or kept by a person required to file Report EEO-2, including but not necessarily limited to requests for reasonable accommodation, test papers completed by applicants for apprenticeship and records of interviews with applicants, shall be kept for a period of 2 years from the date of the making of the record. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or an action brought by the Attorney General under title VII, the ADA, or GINA the respondent shall preserve all records relevant to the charge or action until final disposion of the charge or the action. The term “records relevant to the charge,” for example, would include applications, forms or test papers completed by an unsuccessful applicant and by all other candidates for the same position as that for which the charging party applied and was rejected. The date of “final disposition of the charge or the action” means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which a charging party may bring an action in a U.S. District Court or, where an action is brought either by a charging party or by the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated.
[32 FR 10660, July 20, 1967, as amended at 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 77 FR 5398, Feb. 3, 2012]

29 CFR §1602.22 | REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING AND PRESERVING COPY OF REPORT

On or before December 31, 1986, and biennially thereafter, every labor organization subject to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, shall file with the Commission or its delegate an executed copy of Local Union Report EEO-3 in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions, provided that the labor organization has 100 or more members at any time during the 12 months preceding the due date of the report, and is a “local union” (as that term is commonly understood) or an independent or unaffiliated union. Labor organizations required to report are those which perform, in a specific jurisdiction, the functions ordinarily performed by a local union, whether or not they are so designated. Every local union or a labor organization acting in its behalf, shall retain at all times among the records maintained in the ordinary course of its affairs a copy of the most recent report filed, and shall make the same available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under the authority of section 709 of title VII. It is the responsibility of all persons required to file to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary supplies of the form.



(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0006)

[51 FR 11018, Apr. 1, 1986]

29 CFR §1602.23 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORTS

The making of willfully false statements on Report EEO-3 is a violation of the United States Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or imprisonment as set forth herein. [32 FR 10651, July 20, 1967]

29 CFR §1602.24 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR FAILURE TO FILE REPORT

Any person failing or refusing to file Report EEO-3 when required to do so may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. District Court, upon application of the Commission, under authority of section 709(c) of title VII. [37 FR 9220, May 6, 1972]

29 CFR §1602.25 | EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If it is claimed that the preparation or filing of Report EEO-3 would create undue hardship, the labor organization may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in this part. [32 FR 10651, July 20, 1967]

29 CFR §1602.26 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as Report EEO-3, about the membership or referral practices or other procedures of labor organizations, whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA, and as otherwise prescribed by law. [32 FR 10651, July 20, 1967, as amended at 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.27 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

Those portions of Report EEO-3 calling for information about union policies and practices and for the compilation of statistics on the race, color, national origin, and sex of members, persons referred, and apprentices, are deemed to be “records” within the meaning of section 709(c), title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964. Every local, independent, or unaffiliated union with 100 or more members (or any agent acting in its behalf, if the agent has responsibility for referral of persons for employment) shall make these records or such other records as are necessary for the completion of Report EEO-3 under the circumstances and conditions set forth in the instructions accompanying it, which are specifically incorporated herein by reference and have the same force and effect as other sections of this part.



(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0006)

[32 FR 10651, July 20, 1967, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1602.28 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

(a) All records made by a labor organization or its agent solely for the purpose of completing Report EEO-3 shall be preserved for a period of 1 year from the due date of the report for which they were compiled. Any labor organization identified as a “referral union” in the instructions accompanying Report EEO-3, or agent thereto, shall preserve other membership or referral records (including applications for same) made or kept by it for a period of 1 year from the date of the making of the record. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or an action brought by the Commission or the Attorney General, against a labor organization under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, the respondent labor organization shall preserve all records relevant to the charge or action until final disposition of the charge or the action. The date of “final disposition of the charge or the action” means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which the aggrieved person may bring an action in a U.S. District Court or, where an action is brought against a labor organization either by the Commission, the aggrieved person, or by the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated.
(b) Nothing herein shall relieve any labor organization covered by title VII of the obligations set forth in subpart E, §§1602.20 and 1602.21, relating to the establishment and maintenance of a list of applicants wishing to participate in an apprenticeship program controlled by it.




(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[37 FR 9220, May 6, 1972, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35755, July 26, 1991; 77 FR 5398, Feb. 3, 2012]

29 CFR §1602.29 | APPLICABILITY OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW

The requirements imposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in these regulations, subparts D through G, supersede any provisions of State or local law which may conflict with them. Any State or local laws prohibiting inquiries and recordkeeping with respect to race, color, national origin, or sex do not apply to inquiries required to be made under these regulations and under the instructions accompanying Reports EEO-2 and EEO-3. [32 FR 10652, July 20, 1967]

29 CFR §1602.30 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

On or before September 30, 1974, and annually thereafter, every political jurisdiction with 15 or more employees is required to make or keep records and the information therefrom which are or would be necessary for the completion of report EEO-4 under the circumstances set forth in the instructions thereto, whether or not the political jurisdiction is required to file such report under §1602.32 of the regulations in this part. The instructions are specifically incorporated herein by reference and have the same force and effect as other sections of this part.1 Such reports and the information therefrom shall be retained at all times for a period of 3 years at the central office of the political jurisdiction and shall be made available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under section 710 of title VII, as amended. Although agency data are aggregated by functions for purposes of reporting, separate data for each agency must be maintained either by the agency itself or by the office of the political jurisdiction responsible for preparing the EEO-4 form. It is the responsibility of every political jurisdiction to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary instructions in order to comply with the requirements of this section.



Footnotes:
1 Note: Instructions were published as an appendix to the proposed regulations on Mar. 2, 1973 (38 FR 5662).
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0008)

[38 FR 12604, May 14, 1973, as amended at 39 FR 30832, Aug. 26, 1974; 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1602.31 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

Any personnel or employment record made or kept by a political jurisdiction (including but not necessarily limited to requests for reasonable accommodation application forms submitted by applicants and other records having to do with hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship) shall be preserved by the political jurisdiction for a period of 2 years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later. In the case of involuntary termination of an employee, the personnel records of the individual terminated shall be kept for a period of 2 years from the date of termination. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or an action brought by the Attorney General against a political jurisdiction under title VII, the ADA, or GINA, the respondent political jurisdiction shall preserve all personnel records relevant to the charge or action until final disposition of the charge or the action. The term “personnel record relevant to the charge,” for example, would include personnel or employment records relating to the person claiming to be aggrieved and to all other employees holding positions similar to that held or sought by the person claiming to be aggrieved; and application forms or test papers completed by an unsuccessful applicant and by all other candidates for the same position as that for which the person claiming to be aggrieved applied and was rejected. The date of final disposition of the charge or the action means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which a person claiming to be aggrieved may bring an action in a U.S. district court or, where an action is brought against a political jurisdiction either by a person claiming to be aggrieved or by the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated. Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[38 FR 12605, May 14, 1973, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991; 77 FR 5398, Feb. 3, 2012]

29 CFR §1602.32 | REQUIREMENT FOR FILING AND PRESERVING COPY OF REPORT

On or before September 30, 1993, and biennially thereafter, certain political jurisdictions subject to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, shall file with the Commission or its delegate executed copies of “State and Local Government Information Report EEO-4” in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions. The political jurisdictions covered by this section are (a) those which have 100 or more employees, and (b) those other political jurisdictions which have 15 or more employees from whom the Commission requests the filing of reports.
Every such political jurisdiction shall retain at all times a copy of the most recently filed EEO-4 at the central office of the political jurisdiction for a period of 3 years and shall make the same available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under the authority of section 710 of title VII, as amended.
[58 FR 29536, May 21, 1993]

29 CFR §1602.33 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORT

The making of willfully false statements on report EEO-4, is a violation of the United States Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or imprisonment as set forth therein.

29 CFR §1602.34 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR POLITICAL JURISDICTION’S FAILURE TO FILE REPORT

Any political jurisdiction failing or refusing to file report EEO-4 when required to do so may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. district court, upon application of the Attorney General.

29 CFR §1602.35 | POLITICAL JURISDICTION’S EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If it is claimed that the preparation or filing of the report would create undue hardship, the political jurisdiction may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in this part by submitting to the Commission or its delegate a specific proposal for an alternative reporting system prior to the date on which the report is due.

29 CFR §1602.36 | SCHOOLS EXEMPTION

The recordkeeping and report-filing requirements of subparts I and J of this part shall not apply to State or local educational institutions or to school districts or school systems or any other educational functions. The previous sentence of this section shall not act to bar jurisdiction which otherwise would attach under §1602.30.

29 CFR §1602.37 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as the “State and Local Government Information Report EEO-4,” about the employment practices of individual political jurisdictions or group of political jurisdictions whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for the requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA and as otherwise prescribed by law. [38 FR 12605, May 14, 1973, as amended at 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.38 | APPLICABILITY OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW

The requirements imposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in these regulations, subparts I and J, supersede any provisions of State or local law which may conflict with them. [38 FR 12605, May 14, 1973]

29 CFR §1602.39 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

On or before November 30, 1974, and annually thereafter, every public elementary and secondary school system or district, including every individually or separately administered district within a system, with 15 or more employees and every individual school within such system or district, regardless of the size of the school shall make or keep all records and information therefrom which are or would be necessary for the completion of report EEO-5 whether or not it is required to file such a report under §1602.41. The instructions for completion of report EEO-5 are specifically incorporated herein by reference and have the same force and effect as other sections of this part.1 Such records and the information therefrom shall be retained at all times for a period of 3 years at the central office of the elementary or secondary school system or district, or at the individual school which is the subject of the records and the information therefrom, where more convenient, and shall be made available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under section 710 of title VII, as amended. It is the responsibility of every such school system or district, to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary instructions in order to comply with the requirements of this section.



Footnotes:
1 Note: Instructions were published as an appendix to the proposed regulations on June 12, 1973 (38 FR 15463).
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0003)

[38 FR 26719, Sept. 25, 1973, as amended at 39 FR 30832, Aug. 26, 1974; 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1602.40 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

Any personnel or employment record made or kept by a school system, district, or individual school (including but not necessarily limited to requests for reasonable accommodation, application forms submitted by applicants and other records having to do with hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship) shall be preserved by such school system, district, or school, as the case may be, for a period of 2 years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later. In the case of involuntary termination of an employee, the personnel records of the individual terminated shall be kept for a period of 2 years from the date of termination. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or an action brought against an elementary or secondary school by the Commission or the Attorney General, the respondent elementary or secondary school system, district, or individual school shall preserve similarly at the central office of the system or district or individual school which is the subject of the charge or action, where more convenient, all personnel records relevant to the charge or action until final disposition thereof. The term “personnel record relevant to the charge,” for example, would include personnel or employment records relating to the person claiming to be aggrieved and to all other employees holding positions similar to that held or sought by the person claiming to be aggrieved; and application forms or test papers completed by an unsuccessful applicant and by all other candidates for the same position as that for which the person claiming to be aggrieved applied and was rejected. The date of “final disposition of the charge or the action” means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which a person claiming to be aggrieved may bring an action in a U.S. district court or, where an action is brought against a school system, district, or school either by a person claiming to be aggrieved, the Commission, or the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[38 FR 26719, Sept. 25, 1973, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991]

29 CFR §1602.41 | REQUIREMENT FOR FILING AND PRESERVING COPY OF REPORT

On or before November 30, 1982, and biennially thereafter, certain public elementary and secondary school systems and districts, including individually or separately administered districts within such systems, shall file with the Commission or its delegate executed copies of Elementary-Secondary Staff Information Report EEO-5 in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions. The elementary and secondary school systems and districts covered are:
(a) Every one of those which have 100 or more employees, and
(b) Every one of those others which have 15 or more employees from whom the Commission requests the filing of reports.
Every such elementary or secondary school system or district shall retain at all times, for a period of 3 years, a copy of the most recently filed report EEO-5 at the central office of the school system or district, and shall make the same available if requested by an officer, agent, or employee of the Commission under the authority of section 710 of title VII, as amended. It is the responsibility of the school systems or districts above described in this section to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary supplies of the form. [48 FR 8058, Feb. 25, 1983, as amended at 61 FR 33660, June 28, 1996]

29 CFR §1602.42 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORT

The making of willfully false statements on report EEO-5 is a violation of the United States Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or emprisonment as set forth therein.

29 CFR §1602.43 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR SCHOOL SYSTEMS’ OR DISTRICTS’ FAILURE TO FILE REPORT

Any school system or district failing or refusing to file report EEO-5 when required to do so may be compelled to file by order of a U.S. district court, upon application of the Commission or the Attorney General. [61 FR 33660, June 28, 1996]

29 CFR §1602.44 | SCHOOL SYSTEMS’ OR DISTRICTS’ EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If it is claimed that the preparation or filing of the report would create undue hardship, the school system or district may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in this part by submitting to the Commission or its delegate a specific proposal for an alternative reporting system prior to the date on which the report is due. [61 FR 33660, June 28, 1996]

29 CFR §1602.45 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as the Elementary-Secondary Information Report EEO-5, about the employment practices of private or public individual school systems, districts, or schools, or groups thereof, whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for the requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA and as otherwise prescribed by law. [38 FR 27619, Sept. 25, 1973, as amended at 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.46 | APPLICABILITY OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW

The requirements imposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in these regulations, subparts L and M of this part, supersede any provisions of State or local law which may conflict with them. [38 FR 26720, Sept. 25, 1973]

29 CFR §1602.47 | DEFINITION

Under subparts O and P of this part, the term institution of higher education means an institutional system, college, university, community college, junior college, and any other educational institution which offers an associate degree, baccalaureate degree or higher degree or which offers a two year program of college level studies without degree. The term college level studies means a post secondary program which is wholly or principally creditable toward a baccalaureate degree or terminates in an associate degree. [40 FR 25188, June 12, 1975]

29 CFR §1602.48 | RECORDS TO BE MADE OR KEPT

Commencing August 1, 1975, every institution of higher education, whether public or private, with 15 or more employees, shall make or keep all records, and information therefrom, which are or would be necessary for the completion of Higher Education Staff Information Report EEO-6 whether or not it is required to file such a report under §1602.50. The instructions for completion of Report EEO-6 are specifically incorporated herein by reference and have the same force and effect as other sections of this part.1 Such records, and the information therefrom, shall be retained at all times for a period of three years at the central administrative office of the institution of higher education, at the central administrative office of a separate campus or branch, or at an individual school which is the subject of the records and information, where more convenient. Such records, and the information therefrom, shall be made available if requested by the Commission or its representative under section 710 of title VII and 29 U.S.C. 161. It is the responsibility of every institution of higher education to obtain from the Commission or its delegate the necessary instructions in order to comply with the requirements of this section.



Footnotes:
1 Note: Instructions were published as an appendix to the regulations at 40 FR 25188, June 12, 1975.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0009)

[40 FR 25188, June 12, 1975, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1602.49 | PRESERVATION OF RECORDS MADE OR KEPT

(a) Any personnel or employment record (including but not necessarily limited to requests for reasonable accommodation, application forms submitted by applicants and other records having to do with hiring, promotion, tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training) made or kept by an institution of higher education shall be preserved by such institution of higher education for a period of two years from the date of the making of the personnel action or record involved, whichever occurs later. In the case of the involuntary termination of an employee, the personnel records of the individual terminated shall be kept for a period of two years from the date of termination. Where a charge of discrimination has been filed, or a civil action brought against an institution of higher education by the Commission or the Attorney General, the respondent shall preserve similarly at the central administrative office of the institution of higher education, at the central office of a separate campus or branch, or at the individual school which is the subject of the charge or action, where more convenient, all personnel records relevant to the charge or action until final disposition thereof. The term “personnel records relevant to the charge,” for example, would include personnel or employment records relating to the person claiming to be aggrieved and to all other employees holding positions similar to that held or sought by the person claiming to be aggrieved; it would also include application forms or test papers completed by an unsuccessful applicant and by all other candidates for the same position as that for which the person claiming to be aggrieved applied and was rejected. The date of “final disposition of the charge or the action” means the date of expiration of the statutory period within which a person claiming to be aggrieved may bring an action in the United States District Court, or, where an action is brought against an institution of higher education by a person claiming to be aggrieved, the Commission, or the Attorney General, the date on which such litigation is terminated.
(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply to application forms and other preemployment records of non-student applicants for positions known to non-student applicants to be of a temporary or seasonal nature.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0040)

[40 FR 25188, June 12, 1975, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981; 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991]

29 CFR §1602.50 | REQUIREMENT FOR FILING AND PRESERVING COPY OF REPORT

On or before November 30, 1975, and biennially thereafter, every public and private institution of higher education having fifteen (15) or more employees shall file with the Commission or its delegate executed copies of Higher Education Staff Information Report EEO-6 in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions. Every institution of higher education shall retain at all times, for a period of three years a copy of the most recently filed Report EEO-6 at its central administrative office, at the central office of a separate campus or branch, or at an individual school which is the subject of the report, where more convenient. An institution of higher education shall make the same available if requested by the Commission or is representative under the authority of section 710 of the Act and 29 U.S.C. 161. It is the responsibility of the institutions above described in this section to obtain from the Commission or its delegate necessary supplies of the form.

29 CFR §1602.51 | PENALTY FOR MAKING OF WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENTS ON REPORT

The making of willfully false statements on Report EEO-6 is a violation of the United States Code, title 18, section 1001, and is punishable by fine or imprisonment as set forth therein.

29 CFR §1602.52 | COMMISSION’S REMEDY FOR FAILURE TO FILE

Any institution of higher education failing or refusing to keep records, in accordance with §1602.48 or §1602.49 of subpart O of this part, or failing or refusing to file Report EEO-6 when required to do so, in accordance with §1602.50 of this part, may be compelled to keep records or to file by order of a United States District Court upon application of the Commission, or the Attorney General in a case involving a public institution.

29 CFR §1602.53 | EXEMPTION FROM REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

If it is claimed that the preparation or filing of the report would create undue hardship, the institution of higher education may apply to the Commission for an exemption from the requirements set forth in subparts O and P of this part by submitting to the Commission or its delegate a specific proposal for an alternative reporting system no later than 45 days prior to the date on which the report must be filed.

29 CFR §1602.54 | ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Commission reserves the right to require reports, other than that designated as the Higher Education Staff Information Report EEO-6, about the employment practices of private or public institutions of higher education whenever, in its judgment, special or supplemental reports are necessary to accomplish the purposes of title VII, the ADA, or GINA. Any system for the requirement of such reports will be established in accordance with the procedures referred to in section 709(c) of title VII, section 107 of the ADA, or section 207(a) of GINA and as otherwise prescribed by law. [40 FR 25189, June 12, 1975, as amended at 56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1602.55 | APPLICABILITY OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW

The requirements imposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in these regulations, subparts O, P, and Q of this part, supersede any provisions of State or local law which may conflict with them. [40 FR 25189, June 12, 1975]

29 CFR §1602.56 | INVESTIGATION OF REPORTING OR RECORDKEEPING VIOLATIONS

When it has received an allegation, or has reason to believe, that a person has not complied with the reporting or recordkeeping requirements of this part or of part 1607 of this chapter, the Commission may conduct an investigation of the alleged failure to comply. [56 FR 35756, July 26, 1991]




29 CFR §1603.101 | COVERAGE

Section 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 applies to employment, which includes application for employment, of any individual chosen or appointed by a person elected to public office in any State or political subdivision of any State by the qualified voters thereof:
(a) To be a member of the elected official's personal staff;
(b) To serve the elected official on the policymaking level; or
(c) To serve the elected official as an immediate advisor with respect to the exercise of the constitutional or legal powers of the office.
[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 72 FR 5616, Feb. 7, 2007]

29 CFR §1603.201 | REFERRAL AND SCHEDULING FOR HEARING

(a) Upon request by the complainant under paragraph (b) of this section or if the complaint is not dismissed or resolved under subpart A of this part, on behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations shall transmit the complaint file to an administrative law judge, appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105, for a hearing.
(b) If the complaint has not been referred to an administrative law judge within 180 days after filing, the complainant may request that the complaint be immediately transmitted to an administrative law judge for a hearing.
(c) The administrative law judge shall fix the time, place, and date for the hearing with due regard for the convenience of the parties, their representatives or witnesses and shall notify the parties of the same.

29 CFR §1603.202 | ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

The administrative law judge shall have all the powers necessary to conduct fair, expeditious, and impartial hearings as provided in 5 U.S.C. 556(c). In addition, the administrative law judge shall have the power to:
(a) Change the time, place or date of the hearing;
(b) Enter a default decision against a party failing to appear at a hearing unless the party shows good cause by contacting the administrative law judge and presenting arguments as to why the party or the party's representative could not appear either prior to the hearing or within two days after the scheduled hearing; and
(c) Take any appropriate action authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. appendix).

29 CFR §1603.102 | FILING A COMPLAINT

(a) Who may make a complaint. Individuals referred to in §1603.101 who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, or retaliated against for opposing any practice made unlawful by federal laws protecting equal employment opportunity or for participating in any stage of administrative or judicial proceedings under federal laws protecting equal employment opportunity may file a complaint not later than 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged discrimination.
(b) Where to file a complaint. A complaint may be filed in person, by mail or by facsimile machine to any Commission office or with any designated agent or representative of the Commission. The addresses of the Commission's District, Field, Area and Local offices appear in 29 CFR 1610.4.
(c) Contents of a complaint. A complaint shall be in writing, signed and verified. In addition, each complaint should contain the following:
(1) The full name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint;
(2) The full name and address of the person, governmental entity or political subdivision against whom the complaint is made (hereinafter referred to as the respondent);
(3) A clear and concise statement of the facts, including pertinent dates, constituting the alleged unlawful employment practices (See 29 CFR 1601.15(b)); and
(4) A statement disclosing whether proceedings involving the alleged unlawful employment practice have been commenced before a State or local FEP agency charged with the enforcement of fair employment practice laws and, if so, the date of such commencement and the name of the agency.

(d) Amendment of a complaint. Notwithstanding paragraph (c) of this section, a complaint is sufficient when the Commission receives from the person making the complaint a written statement sufficiently precise to identify the parties and to describe generally the alleged discriminatory action or practices. A complaint may be amended to cure technical defects or omissions, including failure to verify the complaint, or to clarify and amplify its allegations. Such amendments, and amendments alleging additional acts that constitute discriminatory employment practices related to or growing out of the subject matter of the original complaint, will relate back to the date the complaint was first received. A complaint that has been amended after it was referred shall not be again referred to the appropriate state or local fair employment practices agency.
(e) Misfiled complaint. A charge filed pursuant to 29 CFR part 1601 or part 1626, that is later deemed to be a matter under this part, shall be processed as a complaint under this part and shall relate back to the date of the initial charge or complaint. A complaint filed under this part that is later deemed to be a matter under 29 CFR part 1601 or part 1626 shall be processed as a charge under the appropriate regulation and shall relate back to the date of the initial complaint.
[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 71 FR 26829, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1603.103 | REFERRAL OF COMPLAINTS

(a) The Commission will notify an FEP agency, as defined in 29 CFR 1601.3(a), when a complaint is filed by a state or local government employee or applicant under this part concerning an employment practice within the jurisdiction of the FEP agency. The FEP agency will be entitled to process the complaint exclusively for a period of not less than 60 days if the FEP agency makes a written request to the Commission within 10 days of receiving notice that the complaint has been filed, unless the complaint names the FEP agency as the respondent.
(b) The Commission may enter into an agreement with an FEP agency that authorizes the FEP agency to receive complaints under this part on behalf of the Commission, or waives the FEP agency's right to exclusive processing of complaints.

29 CFR §1603.104 | SERVICE OF THE COMPLAINT

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission shall promptly serve the respondent with a copy of the complaint.

29 CFR §1603.105 | WITHDRAWAL OF A COMPLAINT

The complainant may withdraw a complaint at any time by so advising the Commission in writing.

29 CFR §1603.106 | COMPUTATION OF TIME

(a) All time periods in this part that are stated in terms of days are calendar days unless otherwise stated.
(b) A document shall be deemed timely if it is delivered by facsimile not exceeding 20 pages, in person or postmarked before the expiration of the applicable filing period, or, in the absence of a legible postmark, if it is received by mail within five days of the expiration of the applicable filing period.
(c) All time limits in this part are subject to waiver, estoppel and equitable tolling.
(d) The first day counted shall be the day after the event from which the time period begins to run and the last day of the period shall be included unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday, in which case the period shall be extended to include the next business day.

29 CFR §1603.107 | DISMISSALS OF COMPLAINTS

(a) Where a complaint on its face, or after further inquiry, is determined to be not timely filed or otherwise fails to state a claim under this part, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint.
(b) Where the complainant cannot be located, the Commission may dismiss the complaint provided that reasonable efforts have been made to locate the complainant and the complainant has not responded within 30 days to a notice sent by the Commission to the complainant's last known address.
(c) Where the complainant fails to provide requested information, fails or refuses to appear or to be available for interviews or conferences as necessary, or otherwise refuses to cooperate, the Commission, after providing the complainant with notice and 30 days in which to respond, may dismiss the complaint.
(d) Written notice of dismissal pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section shall be issued to the complainant and the respondent. The Commission hereby delegates authority to the Program Director, Office of Field Programs, or to his or her designees, and District Directors, or to their designees, to dismiss complaints.
(e) A complainant who is dissatisfied with a dismissal issued pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section may appeal to the Commission in accordance with the procedures in subpart C of this part.
[62 FR 17543, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 28744, May 27, 1999]

29 CFR §1603.108 | SETTLEMENT AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

(a) The parties are at all times free to settle all or part of a complaint on terms that are mutually agreeable. Any settlement reached shall be in writing and signed by both parties and shall identify the allegations resolved. A copy of any settlement shall be served on the Commission.
(b) With the agreement of the parties, the Commission may refer a complaint to a neutral mediator or to any other alternative dispute resolution process authorized by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, 5 U.S.C. 571 to 583, or other statute.
(c) The Commission may use the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, other federal agencies, appropriate professional organizations, employees of the Commission and other appropriate sources in selecting neutrals for alternative dispute resolution processes.
(d) The alternative dispute resolution process shall be strictly confidential, and no party to a complaint or neutral shall disclose any dispute resolution communication or any information provided in confidence to the neutral except as provided in 5 U.S.C. 584.

29 CFR §1603.109 | INVESTIGATIONS

(a) Before referring a complaint to an administrative law judge under section 201 of this part, the Commission may conduct investigation using an exchange of letters, interrogatories, fact-finding conferences, interviews, on-site visits or other fact-finding methods that address the matters at issue.
(b) During an investigation of a complaint under this part, the Commission shall have the authority to sign and issue a subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses, the production of evidence and access to evidence for the purposes of examination and the right to copy. The subpoena procedures contained in 29 CFR 1601.16 shall apply to subpoenas issued pursuant to this section.

29 CFR §1603.201 | REFERRAL AND SCHEDULING FOR HEARING

(a) Upon request by the complainant under paragraph (b) of this section or if the complaint is not dismissed or resolved under subpart A of this part, on behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations shall transmit the complaint file to an administrative law judge, appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105, for a hearing.
(b) If the complaint has not been referred to an administrative law judge within 180 days after filing, the complainant may request that the complaint be immediately transmitted to an administrative law judge for a hearing.
(c) The administrative law judge shall fix the time, place, and date for the hearing with due regard for the convenience of the parties, their representatives or witnesses and shall notify the parties of the same.

29 CFR §1603.202 | ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

The administrative law judge shall have all the powers necessary to conduct fair, expeditious, and impartial hearings as provided in 5 U.S.C. 556(c). In addition, the administrative law judge shall have the power to:
(a) Change the time, place or date of the hearing;
(b) Enter a default decision against a party failing to appear at a hearing unless the party shows good cause by contacting the administrative law judge and presenting arguments as to why the party or the party's representative could not appear either prior to the hearing or within two days after the scheduled hearing; and
(c) Take any appropriate action authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. appendix).

29 CFR §1603.203 | UNAVAILABILITY OR WITHDRAWAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES

(a) In the event the administrative law judge designated to conduct the hearing becomes unavailable or withdraws from the adjudication, another administrative law judge may be designated for the purpose of further hearing or issuing a decision on the record as made, or both.
(b) The administrative law judge may withdraw from the adjudication at any time the administrative law judge deems himself or herself disqualified. Prior to issuance of the decision, any party may move that the administrative law judge withdraw on the ground of personal bias or other disqualification, by filing with the administrative law judge promptly upon discovery of the alleged facts an affidavit setting forth in detail the matters alleged to constitute grounds for withdrawal.
(c) The administrative law judge shall rule upon the motion for withdrawal. If the administrative law judge concludes that the motion is timely and has merit, the administrative law judge shall immediately withdraw from the adjudication. If the administrative law judge does not withdraw, the adjudication shall proceed.

29 CFR §1603.204 | EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS

(a) Oral or written communications concerning the merits of an adjudication between the administrative law judge or decision-making personnel of the Commission and an interested party to the adjudication without providing the other party a chance to participate are prohibited from the time the matter is assigned to an administrative law judge until the Commission has rendered a final decision. Communications concerning the status of the case, the date of a hearing, the method of transmitting evidence to the Commission and other purely procedural questions are permitted.
(b) Decision-making personnel of the Commission include members of the Commission and their staffs and personnel in the Office of Federal Operations, but do not include investigators and intake staff.
(c) Any communication made in violation of this section shall be made part of the record and an opportunity for rebuttal by the other party allowed. If the communication was oral, a memorandum stating the substance of the discussion shall be placed in the record.
(d) Where it appears that a party has engaged in prohibited ex parte communications, that party may be required to show cause why, in the interest of justice, his or her claim or defense should not be dismissed, denied or otherwise adversely affected.

29 CFR §1603.205 | SEPARATION OF FUNCTIONS

(a) The administrative law judge may not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of a Commission employee engaged in investigating complaints under this part.
(b) No Commission employee engaged in investigating complaints under this part shall participate or advise in the decision of the administrative law judge, except as a witness or counsel in the adjudication, or its appellate review.

29 CFR §1603.206 | CONSOLIDATION AND SEVERANCE OF HEARINGS

(a) The administrative law judge may, upon motion by a party or upon his or her own motion, after providing reasonable notice and opportunity to object to all parties affected, consolidate any or all matters at issue in two or more adjudications docketed under this part where common parties, or factual or legal questions exist; where such consolidation would expedite or simplify consideration of the issues; or where the interests of justice would be served. For purposes of this section, no distinction is made between joinder and consolidation of adjudications.
(b) The administrative law judge may, upon motion of a party or upon his or her own motion, for good cause shown, order any adjudication severed with respect to some or all parties, claims or issues.

29 CFR §1603.207 | INTERVENTION

(a) Any person or entity that wishes to intervene in any proceeding under this subpart shall file a motion to intervene in accordance with §1603.208.
(b) A motion to intervene shall indicate the question of law or fact common to the movant's claim or defense and the complaint at issue and state all other facts or reasons the movant should be permitted to intervene.
(c) Any party may file a response to a motion to intervene within 15 days after the filing of the motion to intervene.

29 CFR §1603.208 | MOTIONS

(a) All motions shall state the specific relief requested. All motions shall be in writing, except that a motion may be made orally during a conference or during the hearing. After providing an opportunity for response, the administrative law judge may rule on an oral motion immediately or may require that it be submitted in writing.
(b) Unless otherwise directed by the administrative law judge, any other party may file a response in support of or in opposition to any written motion within ten (10) business days after service of the motion. If no response is filed within the response period, the party failing to respond shall be deemed to have waived any objection to the granting of the motion. The moving party shall have no right to reply to a response, unless the administrative law judge, in his or her discretion, orders that a reply be filed.
(c) Except for procedural matters, the administrative law judge may not grant a written motion prior to the expiration of the time for filing responses. The administrative law judge may deny a written motion without awaiting a response. The administrative law judge may allow oral argument (including that made by telephone) on written motions. Any party adversely affected by the ex parte grant of a motion for a procedural order may request, within five (5) business days of service of the order, that the administrative law judge reconsider, vacate or modify the order.
(d) The administrative law judge may summarily deny dilatory, repetitive or frivolous motions. Unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, the filing of a motion does not stay the proceeding.
(e) All motions and responses must comply with the filing and service requirements of §1603.209.

29 CFR §1603.209 | FILING AND SERVICE

(a) Unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, a signed original of each motion, brief or other document shall be filed with the administrative law judge, with a certificate of service indicating that a copy has been sent to all other parties, and the date and manner of service. All documents shall be on standard size (8½ × 11) paper. Each document filed shall be clear and legible.
(b) Filing and service shall be made by first class mail or other more expeditious means of delivery, including, at the discretion of the administrative law judge, by facsimile. The administrative law judge, may in his discretion, limit the number of pages that may be filed or served by facsimile. Service shall be made on a party's representative, or, if not represented, on the party.
(c) Every document shall contain a caption, the complaint number or docket number assigned to the matter, a designation of the type of filing (e.g., motion, brief, etc.), and the filing person's signature, address, telephone number and telecopier number, if any.

29 CFR §1603.210 | DISCOVERY

(a) Unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, discovery may begin as soon as the complaint has been transmitted to the administrative law judge pursuant to §1603.201. Discovery shall be completed as expeditiously as possible within such time as the administrative law judge directs.
(b) Unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, parties may obtain discovery by written interrogatories (not to exceed 20 interrogatories including subparts), depositions upon oral examination or written questions, requests for production of documents or things for inspection or other purposes, requests for admission or any other method found reasonable and appropriate by the administrative law judge.
(c) Except as otherwise specified, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern discovery in proceedings under this part.
(d) Neutral mediators who have participated in the alternative dispute resolution process in accordance with §1603.108 shall not be called as witnesses or be subject to discovery in any adjudication under this part.

29 CFR §1603.211 | SUBPOENAS

(a) Upon written application of any party, the administrative law judge may on behalf of the Commission issue a subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of any evidence, including, but not limited to, books, records, correspondence, or documents, in their possession or under their control. The subpoena shall state the name and address of the party at whose request the subpoena was issued, identify the person and evidence subpoenaed, and the date and time the subpoena is returnable.
(b) Any person served with a subpoena who intends not to comply shall, within 5 days after service of the subpoena, petition the administrative law judge in writing to revoke or modify the subpoena. All petitions to revoke or modify shall be served upon the party at whose request the subpoena was issued. The requestor may file with the administrative law judge a response to the petition to revoke or modify within 5 days after service of the petition.
(c) Upon the failure of any person to comply with a subpoena issued under this section, the administrative law judge may refer the matter to the Commission for enforcement in accordance with 29 CFR 1601.16(c).

29 CFR §1603.212 | WITNESS FEES

Witnesses summoned under this part shall receive the same fees and mileage as witnesses in the courts of the United States. Those fees must be paid or offered to the witness by the party requesting the subpoena at the time the subpoena is served, or, if the witness appears voluntarily, at the time of appearance. A federal agency or corporation is not required to pay or offer witness fees and mileage allowances in advance.

29 CFR §1603.213 | INTERLOCUTORY REVIEW

(a) Interlocutory review may not be sought except when the administrative law judge determines upon motion of a party or upon his or her own motion that:
(1) The ruling involves a controlling question of law or policy about which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion;
(2) An immediate ruling will materially advance the completion of the proceeding; or
(3) The denial of an immediate ruling will cause irreparable harm to the party or the public.

(b) Application for interlocutory review shall be filed within ten (10) days after notice of the administrative law judge's ruling. Any application for review shall:
(1) Designate the ruling or part thereof from which appeal is being taken; and
(2) Contain arguments or evidence that tend to establish one or more of the grounds for interlocutory review contained in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Any party opposing the application for interlocutory review shall file a response to the application within 10 days after service of the application. The applicant shall have no right to reply to a response unless the administrative law judge, within his or her discretion, orders that a reply be filed.
(d) The administrative law judge shall promptly certify in writing any ruling that qualifies for interlocutory review under paragraph (a) of this section.
(e) The filing of an application for interlocutory review and the grant of an application shall not stay proceedings before the administrative law judge unless the administrative law judge or the Commission so orders. The Commission shall not consider a motion for a stay unless the motion was first made to the administrative law judge.

29 CFR §1603.214 | EVIDENCE

The administrative law judge shall accept relevant non-privileged evidence in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence (28 U.S.C. appendix), except the rules on hearsay will not be strictly applied.

29 CFR §1603.215 | RECORD OF HEARINGS

(a) All hearings shall be mechanically or stenographically reported. All evidence relied upon by the administrative law judge for decision shall be contained in the transcript of testimony, either directly or by appropriate reference. All exhibits introduced as evidence shall be marked for identification, with a copy provided for all parties, if not previously provided, and incorporated into the record. Transcripts may be obtained by the parties and the public from the official reporter at rates fixed by the contract with the reporter.
(b) Corrections to the official transcript will be permitted upon motion, only when errors of substance are involved and upon approval of the administrative law judge. Motions for correction must be submitted within ten (10) days of the receipt of the transcript unless additional time is permitted by the administrative law judge.

29 CFR §1603.216 | SUMMARY DECISION

Upon motion of a party or after notice to the parties, the administrative law judge may issue a summary decision without a hearing if the administrative law judge finds that there is no genuine issue of material fact or that the complaint may be dismissed pursuant to §1603.107 or any other grounds authorized by this part. A summary decision shall otherwise conform to the requirements of §1603.217.

29 CFR §1603.217 | DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

(a) The administrative law judge shall issue a decision on the merits of the complaint within 270 days after referral of a complaint for hearing, unless the administrative law judge makes a written determination that good cause exists for extending the time for issuing a decision. The decision shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law, shall order appropriate relief where discrimination is found, and shall provide notice of appeal rights consistent with subpart C of this part.
(b) The administrative law judge shall serve the decision promptly on all parties to the proceeding and their counsel. Thereafter, the administrative law judge shall transmit the case file to the Office of Federal Operations including the decision and the record. The record shall include the complaint; the investigative file, if any; referral notice; motions; briefs; rulings; orders; official transcript of the hearing; all discovery and any other documents submitted by the parties.

29 CFR §1603.301 | APPEAL TO THE COMMISSION

Any party may appeal to the Commission the dismissal of a complaint under §1603.107, any matter certified for interlocutory review under §1613.213, or the administrative law judge's decision under §1603.216 or §1603.217.

29 CFR §1603.302 | FILING AN APPEAL

(a) An appeal shall be filed within 30 days after the date of the appealable decision or certification for interlocutory review, unless the Commission, upon a showing of good cause, extends the time for filing an appeal for a period not to exceed an additional 30 days.
(b) An appeal shall be filed with the Director, Office of Federal Operations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, P.O. Box 77960, Washington, DC 20013, by mail or personal delivery or facsimile.

29 CFR §1603.303 | BRIEFS ON APPEAL

(a) The appellant shall file a brief or other written statement within 30 days after the appeal is filed, unless the Commission otherwise directs.
(b) All other parties may file briefs or other written statements within 30 days of service of the appellant's brief or statement.
(c) Every brief or statement shall contain a statement of facts and a section setting forth the party's legal arguments. Any brief or statement in support of the appeal shall contain arguments or evidence that tend to establish that the dismissal, order or decision:
(1) Is not supported by substantial evidence;
(2) Contains an erroneous interpretation of law, regulation or material fact, or misapplication of established policy;
(3) Contains a prejudicial error of procedure; or
(4) Involves a substantial question of law or policy.

(d) Appellate briefs shall not exceed 50 pages in length.
(e) Filing and service of the appeal and appellate briefs shall be made in accordance with §1603.209.

29 CFR §1603.304 | COMMISSION DECISION

(a) On behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations shall review the record and the appellate briefs submitted by all the parties. The Office of Federal Operations shall prepare a recommended decision for consideration by the Commission.
(b) When an administrative law judge certifies a matter for interlocutory review under §1603.213, the Commission may, in its discretion, issue a decision on the matter or send the matter back to the administrative law judge without decision.
(c) The Commission will not accept or consider new evidence on appeal unless the Commission, in its discretion, reopens the record on appeal.
(d) The decision of the Commission on appeal shall be its final order and shall be served on all parties.
(e) In the absence of a timely appeal under §1603.302, the decision of the administrative law judge under §1603.217 or a dismissal under §1603.107 shall become the final order of the Commission. A final order under this paragraph shall not have precedential significance.

29 CFR §1603.305 | MODIFICATION OR WITHDRAWAL OF COMMISSION DECISION

At any time, the Commission may modify or withdraw a decision for any reason provided that no petition for review in a United States Court of Appeals has been filed.

29 CFR §1603.306 | JUDICIAL REVIEW

Any party to a complaint who is aggrieved by a final decision under §1603.304 may obtain a review of such final decision under chapter 158 of title 28 of the United States Code by filing a petition for review with a United States Court of Appeals within 60 days after issuance of the final decision. Such petition for review should be filed in the judicial circuit in which the petitioner resides, or has its principal office, or in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.




29 CFR §1604.1 | GENERAL PRINCIPLES

(a) References to “employer” or “employers” in this part 1604 state principles that are applicable not only to employers but also to labor organizations and to employment agencies insofar as their action or inaction may adversely affect employment opportunities.
(b) To the extent that the views expressed in prior Commission pronouncements are inconsistent with the views expressed herein, such prior views are hereby overruled.
(c) The Commission will continue to consider particular problems relating to sex discrimination on a case-by-case basis.

29 CFR §1604.2 | SEX AS A BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION

(a) The commission believes that the bona fide occupational qualification exception as to sex should be interpreted narrowly. Label — “Men's jobs” and “Women's jobs” — tend to deny employment opportunities unnecessarily to one sex or the other.
(1) The Commission will find that the following situations do not warrant the application of the bona fide occupational qualification exception:
(i) The refusal to hire a woman because of her sex based on assumptions of the comparative employment characteristics of women in general. For example, the assumption that the turnover rate among women is higher than among men.
(ii) The refusal to hire an individual based on stereotyped characterizations of the sexes. Such stereotypes include, for example, that men are less capable of assembling intricate equipment: that women are less capable of aggressive salesmanship. The principle of nondiscrimination requires that individuals be considered on the basis of individual capacities and not on the basis of any characteristics generally attributed to the group.
(iii) The refusal to hire an individual because of the preferences of coworkers, the employer, clients or customers except as covered specifically in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Where it is necessary for the purpose of authenticity or genuineness, the Commission will consider sex to be a bona fide occupational qualification, e.g., an actor or actress.

(b) Effect of sex-oriented State employment legislation.
(1) Many States have enacted laws or promulgated administrative regulations with respect to the employment of females. Among these laws are those which prohibit or limit the employment of females, e.g., the employment of females in certain occupations, in jobs requiring the lifting or carrying of weights exceeding certain prescribed limits, during certain hours of the night, for more than a specified number of hours per day or per week, and for certain periods of time before and after childbirth. The Commission has found that such laws and regulations do not take into account the capacities, preferences, and abilities of individual females and, therefore, discriminate on the basis of sex. The Commission has concluded that such laws and regulations conflict with and are superseded by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Accordingly, such laws will not be considered a defense to an otherwise established unlawful employment practice or as a basis for the application of the bona fide occupational qualification exception.
(2) The Commission has concluded that State laws and regulations which discriminate on the basis of sex with regard to the employment of minors are in conflict with and are superseded by title VII to the extent that such laws are more restrictive for one sex. Accordingly, restrictions on the employment of minors of one sex over and above those imposed on minors of the other sex will not be considered a defense to an otherwise established unlawful employment practice or as a basis for the application of the bona fide occupational qualification exception.
(3) A number of States require that minimum wage and premium pay for overtime be provided for female employees. An employer will be deemed to have engaged in an unlawful employment practice if:
(i) It refuses to hire or otherwise adversely affects the employment opportunities of female applicants or employees in order to avoid the payment of minimum wages or overtime pay required by State law; or
(ii) It does not provide the same benefits for male employees.

(4) As to other kinds of sex-oriented State employment laws, such as those requiring special rest and meal periods or physical facilities for women, provision of these benefits to one sex only will be a violation of title VII. An employer will be deemed to have engaged in an unlawful employment practice if:
(i) It refuses to hire or otherwise adversely affects the employment opportunities of female applicants or employees in order to avoid the provision of such benefits; or
(ii) It does not provide the same benefits for male employees. If the employer can prove that business necessity precludes providing these benefits to both men and women, then the State law is in conflict with and superseded by title VII as to this employer. In this situation, the employer shall not provide such benefits to members of either sex.

(5) Some States require that separate restrooms be provided for employees of each sex. An employer will be deemed to have engaged in an unlawful employment practice if it refuses to hire or otherwise adversely affects the employment opportunities of applicants or employees in order to avoid the provision of such restrooms for persons of that sex.

29 CFR §1604.3 | SEPARATE LINES OF PROGRESSION AND SENIORITY SYSTEMS

(a) It is an unlawful employment practice to classify a job as “male” or “female” or to maintain separate lines of progression or separate seniority lists based on sex where this would adversely affect any employee unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for that job. Accordingly, employment practices are unlawful which arbitrarily classify jobs so that:
(1) A female is prohibited from applying for a job labeled “male,” or for a job in a “male” line of progression; and vice versa.
(2) A male scheduled for layoff is prohibited from displacing a less senior female on a “female” seniority list; and vice versa.

(b) A Seniority system or line of progression which distinguishes between “light” and “heavy” jobs constitutes an unlawful employment practice if it operates as a disguised form of classification by sex, or creates unreasonable obstacles to the advancement by members of either sex into jobs which members of that sex would reasonably be expected to perform.

29 CFR §1604.4 | DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MARRIED WOMEN

(a) The Commission has determined that an employer's rule which forbids or restricts the employment of married women and which is not applicable to married men is a discrimination based on sex prohibited by title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It does not seem to us relevant that the rule is not directed against all females, but only against married females, for so long as sex is a factor in the application of the rule, such application involves a discrimination based on sex.
(b) It may be that under certain circumstances, such a rule could be justified within the meaning of section 703(e)(1) of title VII. We express no opinion on this question at this time except to point out that sex as a bona fide occupational qualification must be justified in terms of the peculiar requirements of the particular job and not on the basis of a general principle such as the desirability of spreading work.

29 CFR §1604.5 | JOB OPPORTUNITIES ADVERTISING

It is a violation of title VII for a help-wanted advertisement to indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the particular job involved. The placement of an advertisement in columns classified by publishers on the basis of sex, such as columns headed “Male” or “Female,” will be considered an expression of a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex.

29 CFR §1604.6 | EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES

(a) Section 703(b) of the Civil Rights Act specifically states that it shall be unlawful for an employment agency to discriminate against any individual because of sex. The Commission has determined that private employment agencies which deal exclusively with one sex are engaged in an unlawful employment practice, except to the extent that such agencies limit their services to furnishing employees for particular jobs for which sex is a bona fide occupational qualification.
(b) An employment agency that receives a job order containing an unlawful sex specification will share responsibility with the employer placing the job order if the agency fills the order knowing that the sex specification is not based upon a bona fide occupational qualification. However, an employment agency will not be deemed to be in violation of the law, regardless of the determination as to the employer, if the agency does not have reason to believe that the employer's claim of bona fide occupations qualification is without substance and the agency makes and maintains a written record available to the Commission of each such job order. Such record shall include the name of the employer, the description of the job and the basis for the employer's claim of bona fide occupational qualification.
(c) It is the responsibility of employment agencies to keep informed of opinions and decisions of the Commission on sex discrimination.

29 CFR §1604.7 | PRE-EMPLOYMENT INQUIRIES AS TO SEX

A pre-employment inquiry may ask “Male........., Female.........”; or “Mr. Mrs. Miss,” provided that the inquiry is made in good faith for a nondiscriminatory purpose. Any pre-employment inquiry in connection with prospective employment which expresses directly or indirectly any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to sex shall be unlawful unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

29 CFR §1604.8 | RELATIONSHIP OF TITLE VII TO THE EQUAL PAY ACT

(a) The employee coverage of the prohibitions against discrimination based on sex contained in title VII is coextensive with that of the other prohibitions contained in title VII and is not limited by section 703(h) to those employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
(b) By virtue of section 703(h), a defense based on the Equal Pay Act may be raised in a proceeding under title VII.
(c) Where such a defense is raised the Commission will give appropriate consideration to the interpretations of the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor, but will not be bound thereby.

29 CFR §1604.9 | FRINGE BENEFITS

(a) “Fringe benefits,” as used herein, includes medical, hospital, accident, life insurance and retirement benefits; profit-sharing and bonus plans; leave; and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
(b) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate between men and women with regard to fringe benefits.
(c) Where an employer conditions benefits available to employees and their spouses and families on whether the employee is the “head of the household” or “principal wage earner” in the family unit, the benefits tend to be available only to male employees and their families. Due to the fact that such conditioning discriminatorily affects the rights of women employees, and that “head of household” or “principal wage earner” status bears no relationship to job performance, benefits which are so conditioned will be found a prima facie violation of the prohibitions against sex discrimination contained in the act.
(d) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to make available benefits for the wives and families of male employees where the same benefits are not made available for the husbands and families of female employees; or to make available benefits for the wives of male employees which are not made available for female employees; or to make available benefits to the husbands of female employees which are not made available for male employees. An example of such an unlawful employment practice is a situation in which wives of male employees receive maternity benefits while female employees receive no such benefits.
(e) It shall not be a defense under title VIII to a charge of sex discrimination in benefits that the cost of such benefits is greater with respect to one sex than the other.
(f) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to have a pension or retirement plan which establishes different optional or compulsory retirement ages based on sex, or which differentiates in benefits on the basis of sex. A statement of the General Counsel of September 13, 1968, providing for a phasing out of differentials with regard to optional retirement age for certain incumbent employees is hereby withdrawn.

29 CFR §1604.10 | EMPLOYMENT POLICIES RELATING TO PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

(a) A written or unwritten employment policy or practice which excludes from employment applicants or employees because of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions is in prima facie violation of title VII.
(b) Disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, for all job-related purposes, shall be treated the same as disabilities caused or contributed to by other medical conditions, under any health or disability insurance or sick leave plan available in connection with employment. Written or unwritten employment policies and practices involving matters such as the commencement and duration of leave, the availability of extensions, the accrual of seniority and other benefits and privileges, reinstatement, and payment under any health or disability insurance or sick leave plan, formal or informal, shall be applied to disability due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions on the same terms and conditions as they are applied to other disabilities. Health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or where medical complications have arisen from an abortion, are not required to be paid by an employer; nothing herein, however, precludes an employer from providing abortion benefits or otherwise affects bargaining agreements in regard to abortion.
(c) Where the termination of an employee who is temporarily disabled is caused by an employment policy under which insufficient or no leave is available, such a termination violates the Act if it has a disparate impact on employees of one sex and is not justified by business necessity.
(d)
(1) Any fringe benefit program, or fund, or insurance program which is in effect on October 31, 1978, which does not treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, must be in compliance with the provisions of §1604.10(b) by April 29, 1979. In order to come into compliance with the provisions of 1604.10(b), there can be no reduction of benefits or compensation which were in effect on October 31, 1978, before October 31, 1979 or the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement in effect on October 31, 1978, whichever is later.
(2) Any fringe benefit program implemented after October 31, 1978, must comply with the provisions of §1604.10(b) upon implementation.

[44 FR 23805, Apr. 20, 1979]

29 CFR §1604.11 | SEXUAL HARASSMENT

(a) Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of section 703 of title VII.1 Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
(b) In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the Commission will look at the record as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts, on a case by case basis.
(c) [Reserved]
(d) With respect to conduct between fellow employees, an employer is responsible for acts of sexual harassment in the workplace where the employer (or its agents or supervisory employees) knows or should have known of the conduct, unless it can show that it took immediate and appropriate corrective action.
(e) An employer may also be responsible for the acts of non-employees, with respect to sexual harassment of employees in the workplace, where the employer (or its agents or supervisory employees) knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In reviewing these cases the Commission will consider the extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of such non-employees.
(f) Prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. An employer should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under title VII, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.
(g) Other related practices: Where employment opportunities or benefits are granted because of an individual's submission to the employer's sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, the employer may be held liable for unlawful sex discrimination against other persons who were qualified for but denied that employment opportunity or benefit.




Footnotes:
1 The principles involved here continue to apply to race, color, religion or national origin.
(Title VII, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 253 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.))

[45 FR 74677, Nov. 10, 1980, as amended at 64 FR 58334, Oct. 29, 1999]

Appendix A to §1604.11—Background Information

The Commission has rescinded §1604.11(c) of the Guidelines on Sexual Harassment, which set forth the standard of employer liability for harassment by supervisors. That section is no longer valid, in light of the Supreme Court decisions in Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998). The Commission has issued a policy document that examines the Faragher and Ellerth decisions and provides detailed guidance on the issue of vicarious liability for harassment by supervisors. EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors (6/18/99), EEOC Compliance Manual (BNA), N:4075 [Binder 3]; also available through EEOC's web site, at www.eeoc.gov., or by calling the EEOC Publications Distribution Center, at 1-800-669-3362 (voice), 1-800-800-3302 (TTY).

29 CFR §1604.XX | APPENDIX TO PART 1604 - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT, PUBLIC LAW 95-555, 92 STAT. 2076 (1978)

Introduction

On October 31, 1978, President Carter signed into law the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (Pub. L. 95-955). The Act is an amendment to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits, among other things, discrimination in employment on the basis of sex. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it clear that “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex”, as used in title VII, includes “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” Therefore, title VII prohibits discrimination in employment against women affected by pregnancy or related conditions.

The basic principle of the Act is that women affected by pregnancy and related conditions must be treated the same as other applicants and employees on the basis of their ability or inability to work. A woman is therefore protected against such practices as being fired, or refused a job or promotion, merely because she is pregnant or has had an abortion. She usually cannot be forced to go on leave as long as she can still work. If other employees who take disability leave are entitled to get their jobs back when they are able to work again, so are women who have been unable to work because of pregnancy.

In the area of fringe benefits, such as disability benefits, sick leave and health insurance, the same principle applies. A woman unable to work for pregnancy-related reasons is entitled to disability benefits or sick leave on the same basis as employees unable to work for other medical reasons. Also, any health insurance provided must cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as expenses for other medical conditions. However, health insurance for expenses arising from abortion is not required except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or where medical complications have arisen from an abortion.

Some questions and answers about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act follow. Although the questions and answers often use only the term “employer,” the Act — and these questions and answers — apply also to unions and other entities covered by title VII.

1. Q. What is the effective date of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
A. The Act became effective on October 31, 1978, except that with respect to fringe benefit programs in effect on that date, the Act will take effect 180 days thereafter, that is, April 29, 1979.
To the extent that title VII already required employers to treat persons affected by pregnancy-related conditions the same as persons affected by other medical conditions, the Act does not change employee rights arising prior to October 31, 1978, or April 29, 1979. Most employment practices relating to pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions — whether concerning fringe benefits or other practices — were already controlled by title VII prior to this Act. For example, title VII has always prohibited an employer from firing, or refusing to hire or promote, a woman because of pregnancy or related conditions, and from failing to accord a woman on pregnancy-related leave the same seniority retention and accrual accorded those on other disability leaves.

2. Q. If an employer had a sick leave policy in effect on October 31, 1978, by what date must the employer bring its policy into compliance with the Act?
A. With respect to payment of benefits, an employer has until April 29, 1979, to bring into compliance any fringe benefit or insurance program, including a sick leave policy, which was in effect on October 31, 1978. However, any such policy or program created after October 31, 1978, must be in compliance when created.
With respect to all aspects of sick leave policy other than payment of benefits, such as the terms governing retention and accrual of seniority, credit for vacation, and resumption of former job on return from sick leave, equality of treatment was required by title VII without the Amendment.

3. Q. Must an employer provide benefits for pregnancy-related conditions to an employee whose pregnancy begins prior to April 29, 1979, and continues beyond that date?
A. As of April 29, 1979, the effective date of the Act's requirements, an employer must provide the same benefits for pregnancy-related conditions as it provides for other conditions, regardless of when the pregnancy began. Thus, disability benefits must be paid for all absences on or after April 29, 1979, resulting from pregnancy-related temporary disabilities to the same extent as they are paid for absences resulting from other temporary disabilities. For example, if an employee gives birth before April 29, 1979, but is still unable to work on or after that date, she is entitled to the same disability benefits available to other employees. Similarily, medical insurance benefits must be paid for pregnancy-related expenses incurred on or after April 29, 1979.
If an employer requires an employee to be employed for a predetermined period prior to being eligible for insurance coverage, the period prior to April 29, 1979, during which a pregnant employee has been employed must be credited toward the eligibility waiting period on the same basis as for any other employee.
As to any programs instituted for the first time after October 31, 1978, coverage for pregnancy-related conditions must be provided in the same manner as for other medical conditions.

4. Q. Would the answer to the preceding question be the same if the employee became pregnant prior to October 31, 1978?
A. Yes.

5. Q. If, for pregnancy-related reasons, an employee is unable to perform the functions of her job, does the employer have to provide her an alternative job?
A. An employer is required to treat an employee temporarily unable to perform the functions of her job because of her pregnancy-related condition in the same manner as it treats other temporarily disabled employees, whether by providing modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leaves, leaves without pay, etc. For example, a woman's primary job function may be the operation of a machine, and, incidental to that function, she may carry materials to and from the machine. If other employees temporarily unable to lift are relieved of these functions, pregnant employees also unable to lift must be temporarily relieved of the function.

6. Q. What procedures may an employer use to determine whether to place on leave as unable to work a pregnant employee who claims she is able to work or deny leave to a pregnant employee who claims that she is disabled from work?
A. An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures for determining an employee's ability to work. However, an employer may use any procedure used to determine the ability of all employees to work. For example, if an employer requires its employees to submit a doctor's statement concerning their inability to work before granting leave or paying sick benefits, the employer may require employees affected by pregnancy-related conditions to submit such statement. Similarly, if an employer allows its employees to obtain doctor's statements from their personal physicians for absences due to other disabilities or return dates from other disabilities, it must accept doctor's statements from personal physicians for absences and return dates connected with pregnancy-related disabilities.

7. Q. Can an employer have a rule which prohibits an employee from returning to work for a predetermined length of time after childbirth?
A. No.

8. Q. If an employee has been absent from work as a result of a pregnancy-related condition and recovers, may her employer require her to remain on leave until after her baby is born?
A. No. An employee must be permitted to work at all times during pregnancy when she is able to perform her job.

9. Q. Must an employer hold open the job of an employee who is absent on leave because she is temporarily disabled by pregnancy-related conditions?
A. Unless the employee on leave has informed the employer that she does not intend to return to work, her job must be held open for her return on the same basis as jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave for other reasons.

10. Q. May an employer's policy concerning the accrual and crediting of seniority during absences for medical conditions be different for employees affected by pregnancy-related conditions than for other employees?
A. No. An employer's seniority policy must be the same for employees absent for pregnancy-related reasons as for those absent for other medical reasons.

11. Q. For purposes of calculating such matters as vacations and pay increases, may an employer credit time spent on leave for pregnancy-related reasons differently than time spent on leave for other reasons?
A. No. An employer's policy with respect to crediting time for the purpose of calculating such matters as vacations and pay increases cannot treat employees on leave for pregnancy-related reasons less favorably than employees on leave for other reasons. For example, if employees on leave for medical reasons are credited with the time spent on leave when computing entitlement to vacation or pay raises, an employee on leave for pregnancy-related disability is entitled to the same kind of time credit.

12. Q. Must an employer hire a woman who is medically unable, because of a pregnancy-related condition, to perform a necessary function of a job?
A. An employer cannot refuse to hire a women because of her pregnancy-related condition so long as she is able to perform the major functions necessary to the job. Nor can an employer refuse to hire her because of its preferences against pregnant workers or the preferences of co-workers, clients, or customers.

13. Q. May an employer limit disability benefits for pregnancy-related conditions to married employees?
A. No.

14. Q. If an employer has an all female workforce or job classification, must benefits be provided for pregnancy-related conditions?
A. Yes. If benefits are provided for other conditions, they must also be provided for pregnancy-related conditions.

15. Q. For what length of time must an employer who provides income maintenance benefits for temporary disabilities provide such benefits for pregnancy-related disabilities?
A. Benefits should be provided for as long as the employee is unable to work for medical reasons unless some other limitation is set for all other temporary disabilities, in which case pregnancy-related disabilities should be treated the same as other temporary disabilities.

16. Q. Must an employer who provides benefits for long-term or permanent disabilities provide such benefits for pregnancy-related conditions?
A. Yes. Benefits for long-term or permanent disabilities resulting from pregnancy-related conditions must be provided to the same extent that such benefits are provided for other conditions which result in long-term or permanent disability.

17. Q. If an employer provides benefits to employees on leave, such as installment purchase disability insurance, payment of premiums for health, life or other insurance, continued payments into pension, saving or profit sharing plans, must the same benefits be provided for those on leave for pregnancy-related conditions?
A. Yes, the employer must provide the same benefits for those on leave for pregnancy-related conditions as for those on leave for other reasons.

18. Q. Can an employee who is absent due to a pregnancy-related disability be required to exhaust vacation benefits before receiving sick leave pay or disability benefits?
A. No. If employees who are absent because of other disabling causes receive sick leave pay or disability benefits without any requirement that they first exhaust vacation benefits, the employer cannot impose this requirement on an employee absent for a pregnancy-related cause.

18 (A). Q. Must an employer grant leave to a female employee for chidcare purposes after she is medically able to return to work following leave necessitated by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions?
A. While leave for childcare purposes is not covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, ordinary title VII principles would require that leave for childcare purposes be granted on the same basis as leave which is granted to employees for other non-medical reasons. For example, if an employer allows its employees to take leave without pay or accrued annual leave for travel or education which is not job related, the same type of leave must be granted to those who wish to remain on leave for infant care, even though they are medically able to return to work.

19. Q. If State law requires an employer to provide disability insurance for a specified period before and after childbirth, does compliance with the State law fulfill the employer's obligation under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
A. Not necessarily. It is an employer's obligation to treat employees temporarily disabled by pregnancy in the same manner as employees affected by other temporary disabilities. Therefore, any restrictions imposed by State law on benefits for pregnancy-related disabilities, but not for other disabilities, do not excuse the employer from treating the individuals in both groups of employees the same. If, for example, a State law requires an employer to pay a maximum of 26 weeks benefits for disabilities other than pregnancy-related ones but only six weeks for pregnancy-related disabilities, the employer must provide benefits for the additional weeks to an employee disabled by pregnancy-related conditions, up to the maximum provided other disabled employees.

20. Q. If a State or local government provides its own employees income maintenance benefits for disabilities, may it provide different benefits for disabilities arising from pregnancy-related conditions than for disabilities arising from other conditions?
A. No. State and local governments, as employers, are subject to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in the same way as private employers and must bring their employment practices and programs into compliance with the Act, including disability and health insurance programs.

21. Q. Must an employer provide health insurance coverage for the medical expenses of pregnancy-related conditions of the spouses of male employees? Of the dependents of all employees?
A. Where an employer provides no coverage for dependents, the employer is not required to institute such coverage. However, if an employer's insurance program covers the medical expenses of spouses of female employees, then it must equally cover the medical expenses of spouses of male employees, including those arising from pregnancy-related conditions.
But the insurance does not have to cover the pregnancy-related conditions of other dependents as long as it excludes the pregnancy-related conditions of the dependents of male and female employees equally.

22. Q. Must an employer provide the same level of health insurance coverage for the pregnancy-related medical conditions of the spouses of male employees as it provides for its female employees?
A. No. It is not necessary to provide the same level of coverage for the pregnancy-related medical conditions of spouses of male employees as for female employees. However, where the employer provides coverage for the medical conditions of the spouses of its employees, then the level of coverage for pregnancy-related medical conditions of the spouses of male employees must be the same as the level of coverage for all other medical conditions of the spouses of female employees. For example, if the employer covers employees for 100 percent of reasonable and customary expenses sustained for a medical condition, but only covers dependent spouses for 50 percent of reasonable and customary expenses for their medical conditions, the pregnancy-related expenses of the male employee's spouse must be covered at the 50 percent level.

23. Q. May an employer offer optional dependent coverage which excludes pregnancy-related medical conditions or offers less coverage for pregnancy-related medical conditions where the total premium for the optional coverage is paid by the employee?
A. No. Pregnancy-related medical conditions must be treated the same as other medical conditions under any health or disability insurance or sick leave plan available in connection with employment, regardless of who pays the premiums.

24. Q. Where an employer provides its employees a choice among several health insurance plans, must coverage for pregnancy-related conditions be offered in all of the plans?
A. Yes. Each of the plans must cover pregnancy-related conditions. For example, an employee with a single coverage policy cannot be forced to purchase a more expensive family coverage policy in order to receive coverage for her own pregnancy-related condition.

25. Q. On what basis should an employee be reimbursed for medical expenses arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions?
A. Pregnancy-related expenses should be reimbursed in the same manner as are expenses incurred for other medical conditions. Therefore, whether a plan reimburses the employees on a fixed basis, or a percentage of reasonable and customary charge basis, the same basis should be used for reimbursement of expenses incurred for pregnancy-related conditions. Furthermore, if medical costs for pregnancy-related conditions increase, reevaluation of the reimbursement level should be conducted in the same manner as are cost reevaluations of increases for other medical conditions.
Coverage provided by a health insurance program for other conditions must be provided for pregnancy-related conditions. For example, if a plan provides major medical coverage, pregnancy-related conditions must be so covered. Similarily, if a plan covers the cost of a private room for other conditions, the plan must cover the cost of a private room for pregnancy-related conditions. Finally, where a health insurance plan covers office visits to physicians, pre-natal and post-natal visits must be included in such coverage.

26. Q. May an employer limit payment of costs for pregnancy-related medical conditions to a specified dollar amount set forth in an insurance policy, collective bargaining agreement or other statement of benefits to which an employee is entitled?
A. The amounts payable for the costs incurred for pregnancy-related conditions can be limited only to the same extent as are costs for other conditions.
Maximum recoverable dollar amounts may be specified for pregnancy-related conditions if such amounts are similarly specified for other conditions, and so long as the specified amounts in all instances cover the same proportion of actual costs. If, in addition to the scheduled amount for other procedures, additional costs are paid for, either directly or indirectly, by the employer, such additional payments must also be paid for pregnancy-related procedures.

27. Q. May an employer impose a different deductible for payment of costs for pregnancy-related medical conditions than for costs of other medical conditions?
A. No. Neither an additional deductible, an increase in the usual deductible, nor a larger deductible can be imposed for coverage for pregnancy-related medical costs, whether as a condition for inclusion of pregnancy-related costs in the policy or for payment of the costs when incurred. Thus, if pregnancy-related costs are the first incurred under the policy, the employee is required to pay only the same deductible as would otherwise be required had other medical costs been the first incurred. Once this deductible has been paid, no additional deductible can be required for other medical procedures. If the usual deductible has already been paid for other medical procedures, no additional deductible can be required when pregnancy-related costs are later incurred.

28. Q. If a health insurance plan excludes the payment of benefits for any conditions existing at the time the insured's coverage becomes effective (pre-existing condition clause), can benefits be denied for medical costs arising from a pregnancy existing at the time the coverage became effective?
A. Yes. However, such benefits cannot be denied unless the pre-existing condition clause also excludes benefits for other pre-existing conditions in the same way.

29. Q. If an employer's insurance plan provides benefits after the insured's employment has ended (i.e. extended benefits) for costs connected with pregnancy and delivery where conception occurred while the insured was working for the employer, but not for the costs of any other medical condition which began prior to termination of employment, may an employer (a) continue to pay these extended benefits for pregnancy-related medical conditions but not for other medical conditions, or (b) terminate these benefits for pregnancy-related conditions?
A. Where a health insurance plan currently provides extended benefits for other medical conditions on a less favorable basis than for pregnancy-related medical conditions, extended benefits must be provided for other medical conditions on the same basis as for pregnancy-related medical conditions. Therefore, an employer can neither continue to provide less benefits for other medical conditions nor reduce benefits currently paid for pregnancy-related medical conditions.

30. Q. Where an employer's health insurance plan currently requires total disability as a prerequisite for payment of extended benefits for other medical conditions but not for pregnancy-related costs, may the employer now require total disability for payment of benefits for pregnancy-related medical conditions as well?
A. Since extended benefits cannot be reduced in order to come into compliance with the Act, a more stringent prerequisite for payment of extended benefits for pregnancy-related medical conditions, such as a requirement for total disability, cannot be imposed. Thus, in this instance, in order to comply with the Act, the employer must treat other medical conditions as pregnancy-related conditions are treated.

31. Q. Can the added cost of bringing benefit plans into compliance with the Act be apportioned between the employer and employee?
A. The added cost, if any, can be apportioned between the employer and employee in the same proportion that the cost of the fringe benefit plan was apportioned on October 31, 1978, if that apportionment was nondiscriminatory. If the costs were not apportioned on October 31, 1978, they may not be apportioned in order to come into compliance with the Act. However, in no circumstance may male or female employees be required to pay unequal apportionments on the basis of sex or pregnancy.

32. Q. In order to come into compliance with the Act, may an employer reduce benefits or compensation?
A. In order to come into compliance with the Act, benefits or compensation which an employer was paying on October 31, 1978 cannot be reduced before October 31, 1979 or before the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement in effect on October 31, 1978, whichever is later.
Where an employer has not been in compliance with the Act by the times specified in the Act, and attempts to reduce benefits, or compensation, the employer may be required to remedy its practices in accord with ordinary title VII remedial principles.

33. Q. Can an employer self-insure benefits for pregnancy-related conditions if it does not self-insure benefits for other medical conditions?
A. Yes, so long as the benefits are the same. In measuring whether benefits are the same, factors other than the dollar coverage paid should be considered. Such factors include the range of choice of physicians and hospitals, and the processing and promptness of payment of claims.

34. Q. Can an employer discharge, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate against a woman because she has had an abortion?
A. No. An employer cannot discriminate in its employment practices against a woman who has had an abortion.

35. Q. Is an employer required to provide fringe benefits for abortions if fringe benefits are provided for other medical conditions?
A. All fringe benefits other than health insurance, such as sick leave, which are provided for other medical conditions, must be provided for abortions. Health insurance, however, need be provided for abortions only where the life of the woman would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or where medical complications arise from an abortion.

36. Q. If complications arise during the course of an abortion, as for instance excessive hemorrhaging, must an employer's health insurance plan cover the additional cost due to the complications of the abortion?
A. Yes. The plan is required to pay those additional costs attributable to the complications of the abortion. However, the employer is not required to pay for the abortion itself, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.

37. Q. May an employer elect to provide insurance coverage for abortions?
A. Yes. The Act specifically provides that an employer is not precluded from providing benefits for abortions whether directly or through a collective bargaining agreement, but if an employer decides to cover the costs of abortion, the employer must do so in the same manner and to the same degree as it covers other medical conditions.

[44 FR 23805, Apr. 20, 1979]




29 CFR §1605.1 | RELIGIOUS NATURE OF A PRACTICE OR BELIEF

In most cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at issue. However, in those cases in which the issue does exist, the Commission will define religious practices to include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. This standard was developed in United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970). The Commission has consistently applied this standard in its decisions.1 The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee. The phrase “religious practice” as used in these Guidelines includes both religious observances and practices, as stated in section 701(j), 42 U.S.C. 2000e(j).



Footnotes:
1 See CD 76-104 (1976), CCH ¶6500; CD 71-2620 (1971), CCH ¶6283; CD 71-779 (1970), CCH ¶6180.

29 CFR §1605.2 | REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION WITHOUT UNDUE HARDSHIP AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 701(J) OF TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

(a) Purpose of this section. This section clarifies the obligation imposed by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (sections 701(j), 703 and 717) to accommodate the religious practices of employees and prospective employees. This section does not address other obligations under title VII not to discriminate on grounds of religion, nor other provisions of title VII. This section is not intended to limit any additional obligations to accommodate religious practices which may exist pursuant to constitutional, or other statutory provisions; neither is it intended to provide guidance for statutes which require accommodation on bases other than religion such as section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The legal principles which have been developed with respect to discrimination prohibited by title VII on the bases of race, color, sex, and national origin also apply to religious discrimination in all circumstances other than where an accommodation is required.
(b) Duty to accommodate.
(1) Section 701(j) makes it an unlawful employment practice under section 703(a)(1) for an employer to fail to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless the employer demonstrates that accommodation would result in undue hardship on the conduct of its business.2
(2) Section 701(j) in conjunction with section 703(c), imposes an obligation on a labor organization to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless the labor organization demonstrates that accommodation would result in undue hardship.
(3) Section 1605.2 is primarily directed to obligations of employers or labor organizations, which are the entities covered by title VII that will most often be required to make an accommodation. However, the principles of §1605.2 also apply when an accommodation can be required of other entities covered by title VII, such as employment agencies (section 703(b)) or joint labor-management committees controlling apprecticeship or other training or retraining (section 703(d)). (See, for example, §1605.3(a) “Scheduling of Tests or Other Selection Procedures.”)

(c) Reasonable accommodation.
(1) After an employee or prospective employee notifies the employer or labor organization of his or her need for a religious accommodation, the employer or labor organization has an obligation to reasonably accommodate the individual's religious practices. A refusal to accommodate is justified only when an employer or labor organization can demonstrate that an undue hardship would in fact result from each available alternative method of accommodation. A mere assumption that many more people, with the same religious practices as the person being accommodated, may also need accommodation is not evidence of undue hardship.
(2) When there is more than one method of accommodation available which would not cause undue hardship, the Commission will determine whether the accommodation offered is reasonable by examining:
(i) The alternatives for accommodation considered by the employer or labor organization; and
(ii) The alternatives for accommodation, if any, actually offered to the individual requiring accommodation. Some alternatives for accommodating religious practices might disadvantage the individual with respect to his or her employment opportunites, such as compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Therefore, when there is more than one means of accommodation which would not cause undue hardship, the employer or labor organization must offer the alternative which least disadvantages the individual with respect to his or her employment opportunities.


(d) Alternatives for accommodating religious practices.
(1) Employees and prospective employees most frequently request an accommodation because their religious practices conflict with their work schedules. The following subsections are some means of accommodating the conflict between work schedules and religious practices which the Commission believes that employers and labor organizations should consider as part of the obligation to accommodate and which the Commission will consider in investigating a charge. These are not intended to be all-inclusive. There are often other alternatives which would reasonably accommodate an individual's religious practices when they conflict with a work schedule. There are also employment practices besides work scheduling which may conflict with religious practices and cause an individual to request an accommodation. See, for example, the Commission's finding number (3) from its Hearings on Religious Discrimination, in appendix A to §§1605.2 and 1605.3. The principles expressed in these Guidelines apply as well to such requests for accommodation.
(i) Voluntary Substitutes and “Swaps”.
Reasonable accommodation without undue hardship is generally possible where a voluntary substitute with substantially similar qualifications is available. One means of substitution is the voluntary swap. In a number of cases, the securing of a substitute has been left entirely up to the individual seeking the accommodation. The Commission believes that the obligation to accommodate requires that employers and labor organizations facilitate the securing of a voluntary substitute with substantially similar qualifications. Some means of doing this which employers and labor organizations should consider are: to publicize policies regarding accommodation and voluntary substitution; to promote an atmosphere in which such substitutions are favorably regarded; to provide a central file, bulletin board or other means for matching voluntary substitutes with positions for which substitutes are needed.

(ii) Flexible Scheduling.
One means of providing reasonable accommodation for the religious practices of employees or prospective employees which employers and labor organizations should consider is the creation of a flexible work schedule for individuals requesting accommodation. The following list is an example of areas in which flexibility might be introduced: flexible arrival and departure times; floating or optional holidays; flexible work breaks; use of lunch time in exchange for early departure; staggered work hours; and permitting an employee to make up time lost due to the observance of religious practices.3

(iii) Lateral Transfer and Change of Job Assignments.
When an employee cannot be accommodated either as to his or her entire job or an assignment within the job, employers and labor organizations should consider whether or not it is possible to change the job assignment or give the employee a lateral transfer.


(2) Payment of Dues to a Labor Organization.
Some collective bargaining agreements include a provision that each employee must join the labor organization or pay the labor organization a sum equivalent to dues. When an employee's religious practices to not permit compliance with such a provision, the labor organization should accommodate the employee by not requiring the employee to join the organization and by permitting him or her to donate a sum equivalent to dues to a charitable organization.


(e) Undue hardship.
(1) Cost. An employer may assert undue hardship to justify a refusal to accommodate an employee's need to be absent from his or her scheduled duty hours if the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would require “more than a de minimis cost”.4 The Commission will determine what constitutes “more than a de minimis cost” with due regard given to the identifiable cost in relation to the size and operating cost of the employer, and the number of individuals who will in fact need a particular accommodation. In general, the Commission interprets this phrase as it was used in the Hardison decision to mean that costs similar to the regular payment of premium wages of substitutes, which was at issue in Hardison, would constitute undue hardship. However, the Commission will presume that the infrequent payment of premium wages for a substitute or the payment of premium wages while a more permanent accommodation is being sought are costs which an employer can be required to bear as a means of providing a reasonable accommodation. Further, the Commission will presume that generally, the payment of administrative costs necessary for providing the accommodation will not constitute more than a de minimis cost. Administrative costs, for example, include those costs involved in rearranging schedules and recording substitutions for payroll purposes.
(2) Seniority Rights. Undue hardship would also be shown where a variance from a bona fide seniority system is necessary in order to accommodate an employee's religious practices when doing so would deny another employee his or her job or shift preference guaranteed by that system. Hardison, supra, 432 U.S. at 80. Arrangements for voluntary substitutes and swaps (see paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section) do not constitute an undue hardship to the extent the arrangements do not violate a bona fide seniority system. Nothing in the Statute or these Guidelines precludes an employer and a union from including arrangements for voluntary substitutes and swaps as part of a collective bargaining agreement.





Footnotes:
2 See Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 74 (1977).
3 On September 29, 1978, Congress enacted such a provision for the accommodation of Federal employees' religious practices. See Pub. L. 95-390, 5 U.S.C. 5550a “Compensatory Time Off for Religious Observances.”
4 Hardison, supra, 432 U.S. at 84.

29 CFR §1605.3 | SELECTION PRACTICES

(a) Scheduling of tests or other selection procedures. When a test or other selection procedure is scheduled at a time when an employee or prospective employee cannot attend because of his or her religious practices, the user of the test should be aware that the principles enunciated in these guidelines apply and that it has an obligation to accommodate such employee or prospective employee unless undue hardship would result.
(b) Inquiries which determine an applicant's availability to work during an employer's scheduled working hours.
(1) The duty to accommodate pertains to prospective employees as well as current employees. Consequently, an employer may not permit an applicant's need for a religious accommodation to affect in any way its decision whether to hire the applicant unless it can demonstrate that it cannot reasonably accommodate the applicant's religious practices without undue hardship.
(2) As a result of the oral and written testimony submitted at the Commission's Hearings on Religious Discrimination, discussions with representatives of organizations interested in the issue of religious discrimination, and the comments received from the public on these Guidelines as proposed, the Commission has concluded that the use of pre-selection inquiries which determine an applicant's availability has an exclusionary effect on the employment opportunities of persons with certain religious practices. The use of such inquiries will, therefore, be considered to violate title VII unless the employer can show that it:
(i) Did not have an exclusionary effect on its employees or prospective employees needing an accommodation for the same religious practices; or
(ii) Was otherwise justified by business necessity.
Employers who believe they have a legitimate interest in knowing the availability of their applicants prior to selection must consider procedures which would serve this interest and which would have a lesser exclusionary effect on persons whose religious practices need accommodation. An example of such a procedure is for the employer to state the normal work hours for the job and, after making it clear to the applicant that he or she is not required to indicate the need for any absences for religious practices during the scheduled work hours, ask the applicant whether he or she is otherwise available to work those hours. Then, after a position is offered, but before the applicant is hired, the employer can inquire into the need for a religious accommodation and determine, according to the principles of these Guidelines, whether an accommodation is possible. This type of inquiry would provide an employer with information concerning the availability of most of its applicants, while deferring until after a position is offered the identification of the usually small number of applicants who require an accommodation.


(3) The Commission will infer that the need for an accommodation discriminatorily influenced a decision to reject an applicant when:
(i) prior to an offer of employment the employer makes an inquiry into an applicant's availability without having a business necessity justification; and
(ii) after the employer has determined the applicant's need for an accommodation, the employer rejects a qualified applicant. The burden is then on the employer to demonstrate that factors other than the need for an accommodation were the reason for rejecting the qualified applicant, or that a reasonable accommodation without undue hardship was not possible.


[45 FR 72612, Oct. 31, 1980, as amended at 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1605.XX | BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In 1966, the Commission adopted guidelines on religious discrimination which stated that an employer had an obligation to accommodate the religious practices of its employees or prospective employees unless to do so would create a “serious inconvenience to the conduct of the business”. 29 CFR 1605.1(a)(2), 31 FR 3870 (1966).

In 1967, the Commission revised these guidelines to state that an employer had an obligation to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of its employees or prospective employees, unless the employer could prove that to do so would create an “undue hardship”. 29 CFR 1605.1(b)(c), 32 FR 10298.

In 1972, Congress amended title VII to incorporate the obligation to accommodate expressed in the Commission's 1967 Guidelines by adding section 701(j).

In 1977, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977). Hardison was brought under section 703(a)(1) because it involved facts occurring before the enactment of section 701(j). The Court applied the Commission's 1967 Guidelines, but indicated that the result would be the same under section 701(j). It stated that Trans World Airlines had made reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious needs of its employee, Hardison. The Court held that to require Trans World Airlines to make further attempts at accommodations — by unilaterally violating a seniority provision of the collective bargaining agreement, paying premium wages on a regular basis to another employee to replace Hardison, or creating a serious shortage of necessary employees in another department in order to replace Hardison — would create an undue hardship on the conduct of Trans World Airlines' business, and would therefore, exceed the duty to accommodate Hardison.

In 1978, the Commission conducted public hearings on religious discrimination in New York City, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles in order to respond to the concerns raised by Hardison. Approximately 150 witnesses testified or submitted written statements.5 The witnesses included employers, employees, representatives of religious and labor organizations and representatives of Federal, State and local governments.

The Commission found from the hearings that:
(1) There is widespread confusion concerning the extent of accommodation under the Hardison decision.
(2) The religious practices of some individuals and some groups of individuals are not being accommodated.
(3) Some of those practices which are not being accommodated are:
— Observance of a Sabbath or religious holidays;
— Need for prayer break during working hours;
— Practice of following certain dietary requirements;
— Practice of not working during a mourning period for a deceased relative;
— Prohibition against medical examinations;
— Prohibition against membership in labor and other organizations; and
— Practices concerning dress and other personal grooming habits.

(4) Many of the employers who testified had developed alternative employment practices which accommodate the religious practices of employees and prospective employees and which meet the employer's business needs.
(5) Little evidence was submitted by employers which showed actual attempts to accommodate religious practices with resultant unfavorable consequences to the employer's business. Employers appeared to have substantial anticipatory concerns but no, or very little, actual experience with the problems they theorized would emerge by providing reasonable accommodation for religious practices.
Based on these findings, the Commission is revising its Guidelines to clarify the obligation imposed by section 701(j) to accommodate the religious practices of employees and prospective employees.




Footnotes:
5 The transcript of the Commission's Hearings on Religious Discrimination can be examined by the public at: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507.




29 CFR §1606.1 | DEFINITION OF NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION

The Commission defines national origin discrimination broadly as including, but not limited to, the denial of equal employment opportunity because of an individual's, or his or her ancestor's, place of origin; or because an individual has the physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group. The Commission will examine with particular concern charges alleging that individuals within the jurisdiction of the Commission have been denied equal employment opportunity for reasons which are grounded in national origin considerations, such as (a) marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group; (b) membership in, or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of national origin groups; (c) attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples or mosques, generally used by persons of a national origin group; and (d) because an individual's name or spouse's name is associated with a national origin group. In examining these charges for unlawful national origin discrimination, the Commission will apply general title VII principles, such as disparate treatment and adverse impact.

29 CFR §1606.2 | SCOPE OF TITLE VII PROTECTION

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The title VII principles of disparate treatment and adverse impact equally apply to national origin discrimination. These Guidelines apply to all entities covered by title VII (collectively referred to as “employer”).





Footnotes:
1 See also, 5 U.S.C. 7532, for the authority of the head of a Federal agency or department to suspend or remove an employee on grounds of national security.

29 CFR §1606.4 | THE BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION EXCEPTION

The exception stated in section 703(e) of title VII, that national origin may be a bona fide occupational qualification, shall be strictly construed.

29 CFR §1606.5 | CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS

(a) In those circumstances, where citizenship requirements have the purpose or effect of discriminating against an individual on the basis of national origin, they are prohibited by title VII.2
(b) Some State laws prohibit the employment of non-citizens. Where these laws are in conflict with title VII, they are superseded under section 708 of the title.




Footnotes:
2 See Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co., Inc., 414 U.S. 86, 92 (1973). See also, E.O. 11935, 5 CFR 7.4; and 31 U.S.C. 699(b), for citizenship requirements in certain Federal employment.

29 CFR §1606.6 | SELECTION PROCEDURES

(a)
(1) In investigating an employer's selection procedures (including those identified below) for adverse impact on the basis of national origin, the Commission will apply the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP), 29 CFR part 1607. Employers and other users of selection procedures should refer to the UGESP for guidance on matters, such as adverse impact, validation and recordkeeping requirements for national origin groups.
(2) Because height or weight requirements tend to exclude individuals on the basis of national origin,3 the user is expected to evaluate these selection procedures for adverse impact, regardless of whether the total selection process has an adverse impact based on national origin. Therefore, height or weight requirements are identified here, as they are in the UGESP,4 as exceptions to the “bottom line” concept.

(b) The Commission has found that the use of the following selection procedures may be discriminatory on the basis of national origin. Therefore, it will carefully investigate charges involving these selection procedures for both disparate treatment and adverse impact on the basis of national origin. However, the Commission does not consider these to be exceptions to the “bottom line” concept:
(1) Fluency-in-English requirements, such as denying employment opportunities because of an individual's foreign accent,5 or inability to communicate well in English.6
(2) Training or education requirements which deny employment opportunities to an individual because of his or her foreign training or education, or which require an individual to be foreign trained or educated.





Footnotes:
3 See CD 71-1529 (1971), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6231, 3 FEP Cases 952; CD 71-1418 (1971), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6223, 3 FEP Cases 580; CD 74-25 (1973), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6400, 10 FEP Cases 260. Davis v. County of Los Angeles, 566 F. 2d 1334, 1341-42 (9th Cir., 1977) vacated and remanded as moot on other grounds, 440 U.S. 625 (1979). See also, Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977).
4 See section 4C(2) of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 29 CFR 1607.4C(2).
5 See CD AL68-1-155E (1969), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6008, 1 FEP Cases 921.
6 See CD YAU9-048 (1969), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6054, 2 FEP Cases 78.

29 CFR §1606.7 | SPEAK-ENGLISH-ONLY RULES

(a) When applied at all times. A rule requiring employees to speak only English at all times in the workplace is a burdensome term and condition of employment. The primary language of an individual is often an essential national origin characteristic. Prohibiting employees at all times, in the workplace, from speaking their primary language or the language they speak most comfortably, disadvantages an individual's employment opportunities on the basis of national origin. It may also create an atmosphere of inferiority, isolation and intimidation based on national origin which could result in a discriminatory working environment.7 Therefore, the Commission will presume that such a rule violates title VII and will closely scrutinize it.
(b) When applied only at certain times. An employer may have a rule requiring that employees speak only in English at certain times where the employer can show that the rule is justified by business necessity.
(c) Notice of the rule. It is common for individuals whose primary language is not English to inadvertently change from speaking English to speaking their primary language. Therefore, if an employer believes it has a business necessity for a speak-English-only rule at certain times, the employer should inform its employees of the general circumstances when speaking only in English is required and of the consequences of violating the rule. If an employer fails to effectively notify its employees of the rule and makes an adverse employment decision against an individual based on a violation of the rule, the Commission will consider the employer's application of the rule as evidence of discrimination on the basis of national origin.




Footnotes:
7 See CD 71-446 (1970), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6173, 2 FEP Cases, 1127; CD 72-0281 (1971), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6293.

29 CFR §1606.8 | HARASSMENT

(a) The Commission has consistently held that harassment on the basis of national origin is a violation of title VII. An employer has an affirmative duty to maintain a working environment free of harassment on the basis of national origin.8
(b) Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual's national origin constitute harassment when this conduct:
(1) Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment;
(2) Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or
(3) Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

(c) [Reserved]
(d) With respect to conduct between fellow employees, an employer is responsible for acts of harassment in the workplace on the basis of national origin, where the employer, its agents or supervisory employees, knows or should have known of the conduct, unless the employer can show that it took immediate and appropriate corrective action.
(e) An employer may also be responsible for the acts of non-employees with respect to harassment of employees in the workplace on the basis of national origin, where the employer, its agents or supervisory employees, knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In reviewing these cases, the Commission will consider the extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of such non-employees.




Footnotes:
8 See CD CL68-12-431 EU (1969), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6085, 2 FEP Cases 295; CD 72-0621 (1971), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6311, 4 FEP Cases 312; CD 72-1561 (1972), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6354, 4 FEP Cases 852; CD 74-05 (1973), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6387, 6 FEP Cases 834; CD 76-41 (1975), CCH EEOC Decisions ¶6632. See also, Amendment to Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex, §1604.11(a) n. 1, 45 FR 7476 sy 74677 (November 10, 1980).
[45 FR 85635, Dec. 29, 1980, as amended at 64 FR 58334, Oct. 29, 1999]

Appendix A to §1606.8—Background Information

The Commission has rescinded §1606.8(c) of the Guidelines on National Origin Harassment, which set forth the standard of employer liability for harassment by supervisors. That section is no longer valid, in light of the Supreme Court decisions in Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998). The Commission has issued a policy document that examines the Faragher and Ellerth decisions and provides detailed guidance on the issue of vicarious liability for harassment by supervisors. EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors (6/18/99), EEOC Compliance Manual (BNA), N:4075 [Binder 3]; also available through EEOC's web site, at www.eeoc.gov., or by calling the EEOC Publications Distribution Center, at 1-800-669-3362 (voice), 1-800-800-3302 (TTY).




29 CFR §1607.1 | STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

A. Need for uniformity — Issuing agencies. The Federal government's need for a uniform set of principles on the question of the use of tests and other selection procedures has long been recognized. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice jointly have adopted these uniform guidelines to meet that need, and to apply the same principles to the Federal Government as are applied to other employers.
B. Purpose of guidelines. These guidelines incorporate a single set of principles which are designed to assist employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and licensing and certification boards to comply with requirements of Federal law prohibiting employment practices which discriminate on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. They are designed to provide a framework for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures. These guidelines do not require a user to conduct validity studies of selection procedures where no adverse impact results. However, all users are encouraged to use selection procedures which are valid, especially users operating under merit principles.
C. Relation to prior guidelines. These guidelines are based upon and supersede previously issued guidelines on employee selection procedures. These guidelines have been built upon court decisions, the previously issued guidelines of the agencies, and the practical experience of the agencies, as well as the standards of the psychological profession. These guidelines are intended to be consistent with existing law.

29 CFR §1607.2 | SCOPE

A. Application of guidelines. These guidelines will be applied by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the enforcement of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 (hereinafter “title VII”); by the Department of Labor, and the contract compliance agencies until the transfer of authority contemplated by the President's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, in the administration and enforcement of Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Order 11375 (hereinafter “Executive Order 11246”); by the Civil Service Commission and other Federal agencies subject to section 717 of title VII; by the Civil Service Commission in exercising its responsibilities toward State and local governments under section 208(b)(1) of the Intergovernmental-Personnel Act; by the Department of Justice in exercising its responsibilities under Federal law; by the Office of Revenue Sharing of the Department of the Treasury under the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972, as amended; and by any other Federal agency which adopts them.
A. Employment decisions. These guidelines apply to tests and other selection procedures which are used as a basis for any employment decision. Employment decisions include but are not limited to hiring, promotion, demotion, membership (for example, in a labor organization), referral, retention, and licensing and certification, to the extent that licensing and certification may be covered by Federal equal employment opportunity law. Other selection decisions, such as selection for training or transfer, may also be considered employment decisions if they lead to any of the decisions listed above.
A. Selection procedures. These guidelines apply only to selection procedures which are used as a basis for making employment decisions. For example, the use of recruiting procedures designed to attract members of a particular race, sex, or ethnic group, which were previously denied employment opportunities or which are currently underutilized, may be necessary to bring an employer into compliance with Federal law, and is frequently an essential element of any effective affirmative action program; but recruitment practices are not considered by these guidelines to be selection procedures. Similarly, these guidelines do not pertain to the question of the lawfulness of a seniority system within the meaning of section 703(h), Executive Order 11246 or other provisions of Federal law or regulation, except to the extent that such systems utilize selection procedures to determine qualifications or abilities to perform the job. Nothing in these guidelines is intended or should be interpreted as discouraging the use of a selection procedure for the purpose of determining qualifications or for the purpose of selection on the basis of relative qualifications, if the selection procedure had been validated in accord with these guidelines for each such purpose for which it is to be used.
A. Limitations. . These guidelines apply only to persons subject to title VII, Executive Order 11246, or other equal employment opportunity requirements of Federal law. These guidelines do not apply to responsibilities under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, not to discriminate on the basis of age, or under sections 501, 503, and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, not to discriminate on the basis of disability.
A. Indian preference not affected. These guidelines do not restrict any obligation imposed or right granted by Federal law to users to extend a preference in employment to Indians living on or near an Indian reservation in connection with employment opportunities on or near an Indian reservation.
[43 FR 38295, 38312, Aug. 25, 1978, as amended at 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1607.3 | DISCRIMINATION DEFINED: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN USE OF SELECTION PROCEDURES AND DISCRIMINATION

A. Procedure having adverse impact constitutes discrimination unless justified. The use of any selection procedure which has an adverse impact on the hiring, promotion, or other employment or membership opportunities of members of any race, sex, or ethnic group will be considered to be discriminatory and inconsistent with these guidelines, unless the procedure has been validated in accordance with these guidelines, or the provisions of section 6 below are satisfied.
B. Consideration of suitable alternative selection procedures. Where two or more selection procedures are available which serve the user's legitimate interest in efficient and trustworthy workmanship, and which are substantially equally valid for a given purpose, the user should use the procedure which has been demonstrated to have the lesser adverse impact. Accordingly, whenever a validity study is called for by these guidelines, the user should include, as a part of the validity study, an investigation of suitable alternative selection procedures and suitable alternative methods of using the selection procedure which have as little adverse impact as possible, to determine the appropriateness of using or validating them in accord with these guidelines. If a user has made a reasonable effort to become aware of such alternative procedures and validity has been demonstrated in accord with these guidelines, the use of the test or other selection procedure may continue until such time as it should reasonably be reviewed for currency. Whenever the user is shown an alternative selection procedure with evidence of less adverse impact and substantial evidence of validity for the same job in similar circumstances, the user should investigate it to determine the appropriateness of using or validating it in accord with these guidelines. This subsection is not intended to preclude the combination of procedures into a significantly more valid procedure, if the use of such a combination has been shown to be in compliance with the guidelines.

29 CFR §1607.4 | INFORMATION ON IMPACT

A. Records concerning impact. Each user should maintain and have available for inspection records or other information which will disclose the impact which its tests and other selection procedures have upon employment opportunities of persons by identifiable race, sex, or ethnic group as set forth in paragraph B of this section, in order to determine compliance with these guidelines. Where there are large numbers of applicants and procedures are administered frequently, such information may be retained on a sample basis, provided that the sample is appropriate in terms of the applicant population and adequate in size.
B. Applicable race, sex, and ethnic groups for recordkeeping. The records called for by this section are to be maintained by sex, and the following races and ethnic groups: Blacks (Negroes), American Indians (including Alaskan Natives), Asians (including Pacific Islanders), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish origin or culture regardless of race), whites (Caucasians) other than Hispanic, and totals. The race, sex, and ethnic classifications called for by this section are consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity Standard Form 100, Employer Information Report EEO-1 series of reports. The user should adopt safeguards to insure that the records required by this paragraph are used for appropriate purposes such as determining adverse impact, or (where required) for developing and monitoring affirmative action programs, and that such records are not used improperly. See sections 4E and 17(4), below.
C. Evaluation of selection rates. The “bottom line.” If the information called for by sections 4A and B above shows that the total selection process for a job has an adverse impact, the individual components of the selection process should be evaluated for adverse impact. If this information shows that the total selection process does not have an adverse impact, the Federal enforcement agencies, in the exercise of their administrative and prosecutorial discretion, in usual circumstances, will not expect a user to evaluate the individual components for adverse impact, or to validate such individual components, and will not take enforcement action based upon adverse impact of any component of that process, including the separate parts of a multipart selection procedure or any separate procedure that is used as an alternative method of selection. However, in the following circumstances the Federal enforcement agencies will expect a user to evaluate the individual components for adverse impact and may, where appropriate, take enforcement action with respect to the individual components:
(1) Where the selection procedure is a significant factor in the continuation of patterns of assignments of incumbent employees caused by prior discriminatory employment practices,
(2) where the weight of court decisions or administrative interpretations hold that a specific procedure (such as height or weight requirements or no-arrest records) is not job related in the same or similar circumstances. In unusual circumstances, other than those listed in (1) and (2) of this paragraph, the Federal enforcement agencies may request a user to evaluate the individual components for adverse impact and may, where appropriate, take enforcement action with respect to the individual component.

D. Adverse impact and the “four-fifths rule.” A selection rate for any race, sex, or ethnic group which is less than four-fifths ( 4⁄5 ) (or eighty percent) of the rate for the group with the highest rate will generally be regarded by the Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact, while a greater than four-fifths rate will generally not be regarded by Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact. Smaller differences in selection rate may nevertheless constitute adverse impact, where they are significant in both statistical and practical terms or where a user's actions have discouraged applicants disproportionately on grounds of race, sex, or ethnic group. Greater differences in selection rate may not constitute adverse impact where the differences are based on small numbers and are not statistically significant, or where special recruiting or other programs cause the pool of minority or female candidates to be atypical of the normal pool of applicants from that group. Where the user's evidence concerning the impact of a selection procedure indicates adverse impact but is based upon numbers which are too small to be reliable, evidence concerning the impact of the procedure over a longer period of time and/or evidence concerning the impact which the selection procedure had when used in the same manner in similar circumstances elsewhere may be considered in determining adverse impact. Where the user has not maintained data on adverse impact as required by the documentation section of applicable guidelines, the Federal enforcement agencies may draw an inference of adverse impact of the selection process from the failure of the user to maintain such data, if the user has an underutilization of a group in the job category, as compared to the group's representation in the relevant labor market or, in the case of jobs filled from within, the applicable work force.
E. Consideration of user's equal employment opportunity posture. In carrying out their obligations, the Federal enforcement agencies will consider the general posture of the user with respect to equal employment opportunity for the job or group of jobs in question. Where a user has adopted an affirmative action program, the Federal enforcement agencies will consider the provisions of that program, including the goals and timetables which the user has adopted and the progress which the user has made in carrying out that program and in meeting the goals and timetables. While such affirmative action programs may in design and execution be race, color, sex, or ethnic conscious, selection procedures under such programs should be based upon the ability or relative ability to do the work.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0017)

(Pub. L. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.))

[43 FR 38295, 38312, Aug. 25, 1978, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1607.5 | GENERAL STANDARDS FOR VALIDITY STUDIES

A. Acceptable types of validity studies. For the purposes of satisfying these guidelines, users may rely upon criterion-related validity studies, content validity studies or construct validity studies, in accordance with the standards set forth in the technical standards of these guidelines, section 14 below. New strategies for showing the validity of selection procedures will be evaluated as they become accepted by the psychological profession.
B. Criterion-related, content, and construct validity. Evidence of the validity of a test or other selection procedure by a criterion-related validity study should consist of empirical data demonstrating that the selection procedure is predictive of or significantly correlated with important elements of job performance. See section 14B below. Evidence of the validity of a test or other selection procedure by a content validity study should consist of data showing that the content of the selection procedure is representative of important aspects of performance on the job for which the candidates are to be evaluated. See 14C below. Evidence of the validity of a test or other selection procedure through a construct validity study should consist of data showing that the procedure measures the degree to which candidates have identifiable characteristics which have been determined to be important in successful performance in the job for which the candidates are to be evaluated. See section 14D below.
C. Guidelines are consistent with professional standards. The provisions of these guidelines relating to validation of selection procedures are intended to be consistent with generally accepted professional standards for evaluating standardized tests and other selection procedures, such as those described in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests prepared by a joint committee of the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 1974) (hereinafter “A.P.A. Standards”) and standard textbooks and journals in the field of personnel selection.
D. Need for documentation of validity. For any selection procedure which is part of a selection process which has an adverse impact and which selection procedure has an adverse impact, each user should maintain and have available such documentation as is described in section 15 below.
E. Accuracy and standardization. Validity studies should be carried out under conditions which assure insofar as possible the adequacy and accuracy of the research and the report. Selection procedures should be administered and scored under standardized conditions.
F. Caution against selection on basis of knowledges, skills, or ability learned in brief orientation period. In general, users should avoid making employment decisions on the basis of measures of knowledges, skills, or abilities which are normally learned in a brief orientation period, and which have an adverse impact.
G. Method of use of selection procedures. The evidence of both the validity and utility of a selection procedure should support the method the user chooses for operational use of the procedure, if that method of use has a greater adverse impact than another method of use. Evidence which may be sufficient to support the use of a selection procedure on a pass/fail (screening) basis may be insufficient to support the use of the same procedure on a ranking basis under these guidelines. Thus, if a user decides to use a selection procedure on a ranking basis, and that method of use has a greater adverse impact than use on an appropriate pass/fail basis (see section 5H below), the user should have sufficient evidence of validity and utility to support the use on a ranking basis. See sections 3B, 14B (5) and (6), and 14C (8) and (9).
H. Cutoff scores. Where cutoff scores are used, they should normally be set so as to be reasonable and consistent with normal expectations of acceptable proficiency within the work force. Where applicants are ranked on the basis of properly validated selection procedures and those applicants scoring below a higher cutoff score than appropriate in light of such expectations have little or no chance of being selected for employment, the higher cutoff score may be appropriate, but the degree of adverse impact should be considered.
I. Use of selection procedures for higher level jobs. If job progression structures are so established that employees will probably, within a reasonable period of time and in a majority of cases, progress to a higher level, it may be considered that the applicants are being evaluated for a job or jobs at the higher level. However, where job progression is not so nearly automatic, or the time span is such that higher level jobs or employees' potential may be expected to change in significant ways, it should be considered that applicants are being evaluated for a job at or near the entry level. A “reasonable period of time” will vary for different jobs and employment situations but will seldom be more than 5 years. Use of selection procedures to evaluate applicants for a higher level job would not be appropriate:
(1) If the majority of those remaining employed do not progress to the higher level job;
(2) If there is a reason to doubt that the higher level job will continue to require essentially similar skills during the progression period; or
(3) If the selection procedures measure knowledges, skills, or abilities required for advancement which would be expected to develop principally from the training or experience on the job.

J. Interim use of selection procedures. Users may continue the use of a selection procedure which is not at the moment fully supported by the required evidence of validity, provided: (1) The user has available substantial evidence of validity, and (2) the user has in progress, when technically feasible, a study which is designed to produce the additional evidence required by these guidelines within a reasonable time. If such a study is not technically feasible, see section 6B. If the study does not demonstrate validity, this provision of these guidelines for interim use shall not constitute a defense in any action, nor shall it relieve the user of any obligations arising under Federal law.
K. Review of validity studies for currency. Whenever validity has been shown in accord with these guidelines for the use of a particular selection procedure for a job or group of jobs, additional studies need not be performed until such time as the validity study is subject to review as provided in section 3B above. There are no absolutes in the area of determining the currency of a validity study. All circumstances concerning the study, including the validation strategy used, and changes in the relevant labor market and the job should be considered in the determination of when a validity study is outdated.

29 CFR §1607.6 | USE OF SELECTION PROCEDURES WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN VALIDATED

A. Use of alternate selection procedures to eliminate adverse impact. A user may choose to utilize alternative selection procedures in order to eliminate adverse impact or as part of an affirmative action program. See section 13 below. Such alternative procedures should eliminate the adverse impact in the total selection process, should be lawful and should be as job related as possible.
B. Where validity studies cannot or need not be performed. There are circumstances in which a user cannot or need not utilize the validation techniques contemplated by these guidelines. In such circumstances, the user should utilize selection procedures which are as job related as possible and which will minimize or eliminate adverse impact, as set forth below.
(1) Where informal or unscored procedures are used. When an informal or unscored selection procedure which has an adverse impact is utilized, the user should eliminate the adverse impact, or modify the procedure to one which is a formal, scored or quantified measure or combination of measures and then validate the procedure in accord with these guidelines, or otherwise justify continued use of the procedure in accord with Federal law.
(2) Where formal and scored procedures are used. When a formal and scored selection procedure is used which has an adverse impact, the validation techniques contemplated by these guidelines usually should be followed if technically feasible. Where the user cannot or need not follow the validation techniques anticipated by these guidelines, the user should either modify the procedure to eliminate adverse impact or otherwise justify continued use of the procedure in accord with Federal law.

29 CFR §1607.7 | USE OF OTHER VALIDITY STUDIES

A. Validity studies not conducted by the user. Users may, under certain circumstances, support the use of selection procedures by validity studies conducted by other users or conducted by test publishers or distributors and described in test manuals. While publishers of selection procedures have a professional obligation to provide evidence of validity which meets generally accepted professional standards (see section 5C above), users are cautioned that they are responsible for compliance with these guidelines. Accordingly, users seeking to obtain selection procedures from publishers and distributors should be careful to determine that, in the event the user becomes subject to the validity requirements of these guidelines, the necessary information to support validity has been determined and will be made available to the user.
B. Use of criterion-related validity evidence from other sources. Criterion-related validity studies conducted by one test user, or described in test manuals and the professional literature, will be considered acceptable for use by another user when the following requirements are met:
(1) Validity evidence. Evidence from the available studies meeting the standards of section 14B below clearly demonstrates that the selection procedure is valid;
(2) Job similarity. The incumbents in the user's job and the incumbents in the job or group of jobs on which the validity study was conducted perform substantially the same major work behaviors, as shown by appropriate job analyses both on the job or group of jobs on which the validity study was performed and on the job for which the selection procedure is to be used; and
(3) Fairness evidence. The studies include a study of test fairness for each race, sex, and ethnic group which constitutes a significant factor in the borrowing user's relevant labor market for the job or jobs in question. If the studies under consideration satisfy paragraphs (1) and (2) of this paragraph B., 1⁄4 above but do not contain an investigation of test fairness, and it is not technically feasible for the borrowing user to conduct an internal study of test fairness, the borrowing user may utilize the study until studies conducted elsewhere meeting the requirements of these guidelines show test unfairness, or until such time as it becomes technically feasible to conduct an internal study of test fairness and the results of that study can be acted upon. Users obtaining selection procedures from publishers should consider, as one factor in the decision to purchase a particular selection procedure, the availability of evidence concerning test fairness.

C. Validity evidence from multiunit study. if validity evidence from a study covering more than one unit within an organization statisfies the requirements of section 14B below, evidence of validity specific to each unit will not be required unless there are variables which are likely to affect validity significantly.
D. Other significant variables. If there are variables in the other studies which are likely to affect validity significantly, the user may not rely upon such studies, but will be expected either to conduct an internal validity study or to comply with section 6 above.

29 CFR §1607.8 | COOPERATIVE STUDIES

A. Encouragement of cooperative studies. The agencies issuing these guidelines encourage employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to cooperate in research, development, search for lawful alternatives, and validity studies in order to achieve procedures which are consistent with these guidelines.
B. Standards for use of cooperative studies. If validity evidence from a cooperative study satisfies the requirements of section 14 below, evidence of validity specific to each user will not be required unless there are variables in the user's situation which are likely to affect validity significantly.

29 CFR §1607.9 | NO ASSUMPTION OF VALIDITY

A. Unacceptable substitutes for evidence of validity. Under no circumstances will the general reputation of a test or other selection procedures, its author or its publisher, or casual reports of its validity be accepted in lieu of evidence of validity. Specifically ruled out are: assumptions of validity based on a procedure's name or descriptive labels; all forms of promotional literature; data bearing on the frequency of a procedure's usage; testimonial statements and credentials of sellers, users, or consultants; and other nonempirical or anecdotal accounts of selection practices or selection outcomes.
B. Encouragement of professional supervision. Professional supervision of selection activities is encouraged but is not a substitute for documented evidence of validity. The enforcement agencies will take into account the fact that a thorough job analysis was conducted and that careful development and use of a selection procedure in accordance with professional standards enhance the probability that the selection procedure is valid for the job.

29 CFR §1607.10 | EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

A. Where selection procedures are devised by agency. An employment agency, including private employment agencies and State employment agencies, which agrees to a request by an employer or labor organization to device and utilize a selection procedure should follow the standards in these guidelines for determining adverse impact. If adverse impact exists the agency should comply with these guidelines. An employment agency is not relieved of its obligation herein because the user did not request such validation or has requested the use of some lesser standard of validation than is provided in these guidelines. The use of an employment agency does not relieve an employer or labor organization or other user of its responsibilities under Federal law to provide equal employment opportunity or its obligations as a user under these guidelines.
B. Where selection procedures are devised elsewhere. Where an employment agency or service is requested to administer a selection procedure which has been devised elsewhere and to make referrals pursuant to the results, the employment agency or service should maintain and have available evidence of the impact of the selection and referral procedures which it administers. If adverse impact results the agency or service should comply with these guidelines. If the agency or service seeks to comply with these guidelines by reliance upon validity studies or other data in the possession of the employer, it should obtain and have available such information.

29 CFR §1607.11 | DISPARATE TREATMENT

The principles of disparate or unequal treatment must be distinguished from the concepts of validation. A selection procedure — even though validated against job performance in accordance with these guidelines — cannot be imposed upon members of a race, sex, or ethnic group where other employees, applicants, or members have not been subjected to that standard. Disparate treatment occurs where members of a race, sex, or ethnic group have been denied the same employment, promotion, membership, or other employment opportunities as have been available to other employees or applicants. Those employees or applicants who have been denied equal treatment, because of prior discriminatory practices or policies, must at least be afforded the same opportunities as had existed for other employees or applicants during the period of discrimination. Thus, the persons who were in the class of persons discriminated against during the period the user followed the discriminatory practices should be allowed the opportunity to qualify under less stringent selection procedures previously followed, unless the user demonstrates that the increased standards are required by business necessity. This section does not prohibit a user who has not previously followed merit standards from adopting merit standards which are in compliance with these guidelines; nor does it preclude a user who has previously used invalid or unvalidated selection procedures from developing and using procedures which are in accord with these guidelines.

29 CFR §1607.12 | RETESTING OF APPLICANTS

Users should provide a reasonable opportunity for retesting and reconsideration. Where examinations are administered periodically with public notice, such reasonable opportunity exists, unless persons who have previously been tested are precluded from retesting. The user may however take reasonable steps to preserve the security of its procedures.

29 CFR §1607.13 | AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

A. Affirmative action obligations. The use of selection procedures which have been validated pursuant to these guidelines does not relieve users of any obligations they may have to undertake affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunity. Nothing in these guidelines is intended to preclude the use of lawful selection procedures which assist in remedying the effects of prior discriminatory practices, or the achievement of affirmative action objectives.
B. Encouragement of voluntary affirmative action programs. These guidelines are also intended to encourage the adoption and implementation of voluntary affirmative action programs by users who have no obligation under Federal law to adopt them; but are not intended to impose any new obligations in that regard. The agencies issuing and endorsing these guidelines endorse for all private employers and reaffirm for all governmental employers the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council's “Policy Statement on Affirmative Action Programs for State and Local Government Agencies” (41 FR 38814, September 13, 1976). That policy statement is attached hereto as appendix, section 17.

29 CFR §1607.14 | TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR VALIDITY STUDIES

The following minimum standards, as applicable, should be met in conducting a validity study. Nothing in these guidelines is intended to preclude the development and use of other professionally acceptable techniques with respect to validation of selection procedures. Where it is not technically feasible for a user to conduct a validity study, the user has the obligation otherwise to comply with these guidelines. See sections 6 and 7 above.
A. Validity studies should be based on review of information about the job. Any validity study should be based upon a review of information about the job for which the selection procedure is to be used. The review should include a job analysis except as provided in section 14B(3) below with respect to criterion-related validity. Any method of job analysis may be used if it provides the information required for the specific validation strategy used.
B. Technical standards for criterion-related validity studies —
(1) Technical feasibility. Users choosing to validate a selection procedure by a criterion-related validity strategy should determine whether it is technically feasible (as defined in section 16) to conduct such a study in the particular employment context. The determination of the number of persons necessary to permit the conduct of a meaningful criterion-related study should be made by the user on the basis of all relevant information concerning the selection procedure, the potential sample and the employment situation. Where appropriate, jobs with substantially the same major work behaviors may be grouped together for validity studies, in order to obtain an adequate sample. These guidelines do not require a user to hire or promote persons for the purpose of making it possible to conduct a criterion-related study.
(2) Analysis of the job. There should be a review of job information to determine measures of work behavior(s) or performance that are relevant to the job or group of jobs in question. These measures or criteria are relevant to the extent that they represent critical or important job duties, work behaviors or work outcomes as developed from the review of job information. The possibility of bias should be considered both in selection of the criterion measures and their application. In view of the possibility of bias in subjective evaluations, supervisory rating techniques and instructions to raters should be carefully developed. All criterion measures and the methods for gathering data need to be examined for freedom from factors which would unfairly alter scores of members of any group. The relevance of criteria and their freedom from bias are of particular concern when there are significant differences in measures of job performance for different groups.
(3) Criterion measures. Proper safeguards should be taken to insure that scores on selection procedures do not enter into any judgments of employee adequacy that are to be used as criterion measures. Whatever criteria are used should represent important or critical work behavior(s) or work outcomes. Certain criteria may be used without a full job analysis if the user can show the importance of the criteria to the particular employment context. These criteria include but are not limited to production rate, error rate, tardiness, absenteeism, and length of service. A standardized rating of overall work performance may be used where a study of the job shows that it is an appropriate criterion. Where performance in training is used as a criterion, success in training should be properly measured and the relevance of the training should be shown either through a comparsion of the content of the training program with the critical or important work behavior(s) of the job(s), or through a demonstration of the relationship between measures of performance in training and measures of job performance. Measures of relative success in training include but are not limited to instructor evaluations, performance samples, or tests. Criterion measures consisting of paper and pencil tests will be closely reviewed for job relevance.
(4) Representativeness of the sample. Whether the study is predictive or concurrent, the sample subjects should insofar as feasible be representative of the candidates normally available in the relevant labor market for the job or group of jobs in question, and should insofar as feasible include the races, sexes, and ethnic groups normally available in the relevant job market. In determining the representativeness of the sample in a concurrent validity study, the user should take into account the extent to which the specific knowledges or skills which are the primary focus of the test are those which employees learn on the job.

Where samples are combined or compared, attention should be given to see that such samples are comparable in terms of the actual job they perform, the length of time on the job where time on the job is likely to affect performance, and other relevant factors likely to affect validity differences; or that these factors are included in the design of the study and their effects identified.
(5) Statistical relationships. The degree of relationship between selection procedure scores and criterion measures should be examined and computed, using professionally acceptable statistical procedures. Generally, a selection procedure is considered related to the criterion, for the purposes of these guidelines, when the relationship between performance on the procedure and performance on the criterion measure is statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance, which means that it is sufficiently high as to have a probability of no more than one (1) in twenty (20) to have occurred by chance. Absence of a statistically significant relationship between a selection procedure and job performance should not necessarily discourage other investigations of the validity of that selection procedure.
(6) Operational use of selection procedures. Users should evaluate each selection procedure to assure that it is appropriate for operational use, including establishment of cutoff scores or rank ordering. Generally, if other factors reman the same, the greater the magnitude of the relationship (e.g., correlation coefficent) between performance on a selection procedure and one or more criteria of performance on the job, and the greater the importance and number of aspects of job performance covered by the criteria, the more likely it is that the procedure will be appropriate for use. Reliance upon a selection procedure which is significantly related to a criterion measure, but which is based upon a study involving a large number of subjects and has a low correlation coefficient will be subject to close review if it has a large adverse impact. Sole reliance upon a single selection instrument which is related to only one of many job duties or aspects of job performance will also be subject to close review. The appropriateness of a selection procedure is best evaluated in each particular situation and there are no minimum correlation coefficients applicable to all employment situations. In determining whether a selection procedure is appropriate for operational use the following considerations should also be taken into account: The degree of adverse impact of the procedure, the availability of other selection procedures of greater or substantially equal validity.
(7) Overstatement of validity findings. Users should avoid reliance upon techniques which tend to overestimate validity findings as a result of capitalization on chance unless an appropriate safeguard is taken. Reliance upon a few selection procedures or criteria of successful job performance when many selection procedures or criteria of performance have been studied, or the use of optimal statistical weights for selection procedures computed in one sample, are techniques which tend to inflate validity estimates as a result of chance. Use of a large sample is one safeguard: cross-validation is another.
(8) Fairness. This section generally calls for studies of unfairness where technically feasible. The concept of fairness or unfairness of selection procedures is a developing concept. In addition, fairness studies generally require substantial numbers of employees in the job or group of jobs being studied. For these reasons, the Federal enforcement agencies recognize that the obligation to conduct studies of fairness imposed by the guidelines generally will be upon users or groups of users with a large number of persons in a job class, or test developers; and that small users utilizing their own selection procedures will generally not be obligated to conduct such studies because it will be technically infeasible for them to do so.
(a) Unfairness defined. When members of one race, sex, or ethnic group characteristically obtain lower scores on a selection procedure than members of another group, and the differences in scores are not reflected in differences in a measure of job performance, use of the selection procedure may unfairly deny opportunities to members of the group that obtains the lower scores.
(b) Investigation of fairness. Where a selection procedure results in an adverse impact on a race, sex, or ethnic group identified in accordance with the classifications set forth in section 4 above and that group is a significant factor in the relevant labor market, the user generally should investigate the possible existence of unfairness for that group if it is technically feasible to do so. The greater the severity of the adverse impact on a group, the greater the need to investigate the possible existence of unfairness. Where the weight of evidence from other studies shows that the selection procedure predicts fairly for the group in question and for the same or similar jobs, such evidence may be relied on in connection with the selection procedure at issue.
(c) General considerations in fairness investigations. Users conducting a study of fairness should review the A.P.A. Standards regarding investigation of possible bias in testing. An investigation of fairness of a selection procedure depends on both evidence of validity and the manner in which the selection procedure is to be used in a particular employment context. Fairness of a selection procedure cannot necessarily be specified in advance without investigating these factors. Investigation of fairness of a selection procedure in samples where the range of scores on selection procedures or criterion measures is severely restricted for any subgroup sample (as compared to other subgroup samples) may produce misleading evidence of unfairness. That factor should accordingly be taken into account in conducting such studies and before reliance is placed on the results.
(d) When unfairness is shown. If unfairness is demonstrated through a showing that members of a particular group perform better or poorer on the job than their scores on the selection procedure would indicate through comparison with how members of other groups perform, the user may either revise or replace the selection instrument in accordance with these guidelines, or may continue to use the selection instrument operationally with appropriate revisions in its use to assure compatibility between the probability of successful job performance and the probability of being selected.
(e) Technical feasibility of fairness studies. In addition to the general conditions needed for technical feasibility for the conduct of a criterion-related study (see section 16, below) an investigation of fairness requires the following:
(i) An adequate sample of persons in each group available for the study to achieve findings of statistical significance. Guidelines do not require a user to hire or promote persons on the basis of group classifications for the purpose of making it possible to conduct a study of fairness; but the user has the obligation otherwise to comply with these guidelines.
(ii) The samples for each group should be comparable in terms of the actual job they perform, length of time on the job where time on the job is likely to affect performance, and other relevant factors likely to affect validity differences; or such factors should be included in the design of the study and their effects identified.

(f) Continued use of selection procedures when fairness studies not feasible. If a study of fairness should otherwise be performed, but is not technically feasible, a selection procedure may be used which has otherwise met the validity standards of these guidelines, unless the technical infeasibility resulted from discriminatory employment practices which are demonstrated by facts other than past failure to conform with requirements for validation of selection procedures. However, when it becomes technically feasible for the user to perform a study of fairness and such a study is otherwise called for, the user should conduct the study of fairness.


C. Technical standards for content validity studies —
(1) Appropriateness of content validity studies. Users choosing to validate a selection procedure by a content validity strategy should determine whether it is appropriate to conduct such a study in the particular employment context. A selection procedure can be supported by a content validity strategy to the extent that it is a representative sample of the content of the job. Selection procedures which purport to measure knowledges, skills, or abilities may in certain circumstances be justified by content validity, although they may not be representative samples, if the knowledge, skill, or ability measured by the selection procedure can be operationally defined as provided in section 14C(4) below, and if that knowledge, skill, or ability is a necessary prerequisite to successful job performance.
A selection procedure based upon inferences about mental processes cannot be supported solely or primarily on the basis of content validity. Thus, a content strategy is not appropriate for demonstrating the validity of selection procedures which purport to measure traits or constructs, such as intelligence, aptitude, personality, commonsense, judgment, leadership, and spatial ability. Content validity is also not an appropriate strategy when the selection procedure involves knowledges, skills, or abilities which an employee will be expected to learn on the job.
(2) Job analysis for content validity. There should be a job analysis which includes an analysis of the important work behavior(s) required for successful performance and their relative importance and, if the behavior results in work product(s), an analysis of the work product(s). Any job analysis should focus on the work behavior(s) and the tasks associated with them. If work behavior(s) are not observable, the job analysis should identify and analyze those aspects of the behavior(s) that can be observed and the observed work products. The work behavior(s) selected for measurement should be critical work behavior(s) and/or important work behavior(s) constituting most of the job.
(3) Development of selection procedures. A selection procedure designed to measure the work behavior may be developed specifically from the job and job analysis in question, or may have been previously developed by the user, or by other users or by a test publisher.
(4) Standards for demonstrating content validity. To demonstrate the content validity of a selection procedure, a user should show that the behavior(s) demonstrated in the selection procedure are a representative sample of the behavior(s) of the job in question or that the selection procedure provides a representative sample of the work product of the job. In the case of a selection procedure measuring a knowledge, skill, or ability, the knowledge, skill, or ability being measured should be operationally defined. In the case of a selection procedure measuring a knowledge, the knowledge being measured should be operationally defined as that body of learned information which is used in and is a necessary prerequisite for observable aspects of work behavior of the job. In the case of skills or abilities, the skill or ability being measured should be operationally defined in terms of observable aspects of work behavior of the job. For any selection procedure measuring a knowledge, skill, or ability the user should show that (a) the selection procedure measures and is a representative sample of that knowledge, skill, or ability; and (b) that knowledge, skill, or ability is used in and is a necessary prerequisite to performance of critical or important work behavior(s). In addition, to be content valid, a selection procedure measuring a skill or ability should either closely approximate an observable work behavior, or its product should closely approximate an observable work product. If a test purports to sample a work behavior or to provide a sample of a work product, the manner and setting of the selection procedure and its level and complexity should closely approximate the work situation. The closer the content and the context of the selection procedure are to work samples or work behaviors, the stronger is the basis for showing content validity. As the content of the selection procedure less resembles a work behavior, or the setting and manner of the administration of the selection procedure less resemble the work situation, or the result less resembles a work product, the less likely the selection procedure is to be content valid, and the greater the need for other evidence of validity.
(5) Reliability. The reliability of selection procedures justified on the basis of content validity should be a matter of concern to the user. Whenever it is feasible, appropriate statistical estimates should be made of the reliability of the selection procedure.
(6) Prior training or experience. A requirement for or evaluation of specific prior training or experience based on content validity, including a specification of level or amount of training or experience, should be justified on the basis of the relationship between the content of the training or experience and the content of the job for which the training or experience is to be required or evaluated. The critical consideration is the resemblance between the specific behaviors, products, knowledges, skills, or abilities in the experience or training and the specific behaviors, products, knowledges, skills, or abilities required on the job, whether or not there is close resemblance between the experience or training as a whole and the job as a whole.
(7) Content validity of training success. Where a measure of success in a training program is used as a selection procedure and the content of a training program is justified on the basis of content validity, the use should be justified on the relationship between the content of the training program and the content of the job.
(8) Operational use. A selection procedure which is supported on the basis of content validity may be used for a job if it represents a critical work behavior (i.e., a behavior which is necessary for performance of the job) or work behaviors which constitute most of the important parts of the job.
(9) Ranking based on content validity studies. If a user can show, by a job analysis or otherwise, that a higher score on a content valid selection procedure is likely to result in better job performance, the results may be used to rank persons who score above minimum levels. Where a selection procedure supported solely or primarily by content validity is used to rank job candidates, the selection procedure should measure those aspects of performance which differentiate among levels of job performance.

D. Technical standards for construct validity studies —
(1) Appropriateness of construct validity studies. Construct validity is a more complex strategy than either criterion-related or content validity. Construct validation is a relatively new and developing procedure in the employment field, and there is at present a lack of substantial literature extending the concept to employment practices. The user should be aware that the effort to obtain sufficient empirical support for construct validity is both an extensive and arduous effort involving a series of research studies, which include criterion related validity studies and which may include content validity studies. Users choosing to justify use of a selection procedure by this strategy should therefore take particular care to assure that the validity study meets the standards set forth below.
(2) Job analysis for construct validity studies. There should be a job analysis. This job analysis should show the work behavior(s) required for successful performance of the job, or the groups of jobs being studied, the critical or important work behavior(s) in the job or group of jobs being studied, and an identification of the construct(s) believed to underlie successful performance of these critical or important work behaviors in the job or jobs in question. Each construct should be named and defined, so as to distinguish it from other constructs. If a group of jobs is being studied the jobs should have in common one or more critical or important work behav- iors at a comparable level of complexity.
(3) Relationship to the job. A selection procedure should then be identified or developed which measures the construct identified in accord with subparagraph (2) above. The user should show by empirical evidence that the selection procedure is validly related to the construct and that the construct is validly related to the performance of critical or important work behavior(s). The relationship between the construct as measured by the selection procedure and the related work behavior(s) should be supported by empirical evidence from one or more criterion-related studies involving the job or jobs in question which satisfy the provisions of section 14B above.
(4) Use of construct validity study without new criterion-related evidence —
(a) Standards for use. Until such time as professional literature provides more guidance on the use of construct validity in employment situations, the Federal agencies will accept a claim of construct validity without a criterion-related study which satisfies section 14B above only when the selection procedure has been used elsewhere in a situation in which a criterion-related study has been conducted and the use of a criterion-related validity study in this context meets the standards for transportability of criterion-related validity studies as set forth above in section 7. However, if a study pertains to a number of jobs having common critical or important work behaviors at a comparable level of complexity, and the evidence satisfies subparagraphs 14B (2) and (3) above for those jobs with criterion-related validity evidence for those jobs, the selection procedure may be used for all the jobs to which the study pertains. If construct validity is to be generalized to other jobs or groups of jobs not in the group studied, the Federal enforcement agencies will expect at a minimum additional empirical research evidence meeting the standards of subparagraphs section 14B (2) and (3) above for the additional jobs or groups of jobs.
(a) Determination of common work behaviors. In determining whether two or more jobs have one or more work behavior(s) in common, the user should compare the observed work behavior(s) in each of the jobs and should compare the observed work product(s) in each of the jobs. If neither the observed work behavior(s) in each of the jobs nor the observed work product(s) in each of the jobs are the same, the Federal enforcement agencies will presume that the work behavior(s) in each job are different. If the work behaviors are not observable, then evidence of similarity of work products and any other relevant research evidence will be considered in determining whether the work behavior(s) in the two jobs are the same.


29 CFR §1607.15 | DOCUMENTATION OF IMPACT AND VALIDITY EVIDENCE

A. Required information. Users of selection procedures other than those users complying with section 15A(1) below should maintain and have available for each job information on adverse impact of the selection process for that job and, where it is determined a selection process has an adverse impact, evidence of validity as set forth below.
(1) Simplified recordkeeping for users with less than 100 employees. In order to minimize recordkeeping burdens on employers who employ one hundred (100) or fewer employees, and other users not required to file EEO-1, et seq., reports, such users may satisfy the requirements of this section 15 if they maintain and have available records showing, for each year:
(a) The number of persons hired, promoted, and terminated for each job, by sex, and where appropriate by race and national origin;
(b) The number of applicants for hire and promotion by sex and where appropriate by race and national origin; and
(c) The selection procedures utilized (either standardized or not standardized).
These records should be maintained for each race or national origin group (see section 4 above) constituting more than two percent (2%) of the labor force in the relevant labor area. However, it is not necessary to maintain records by race and/or national origin (see §4 above) if one race or national origin group in the relevant labor area constitutes more than ninety-eight percent (98%) of the labor force in the area. If the user has reason to believe that a selection procedure has an adverse impact, the user should maintain any available evidence of validity for that procedure (see sections 7A and 8).

(2) Information on impact —
(a) Collection of information on impact. Users of selection procedures other than those complying with section 15A(1) above should maintain and have available for each job records or other information showing whether the total selection process for that job has an adverse impact on any of the groups for which records are called for by sections 4B above. Adverse impact determinations should be made at least annually for each such group which constitutes at least 2 percent of the labor force in the relevant labor area or 2 percent of the applicable workforce. Where a total selection process for a job has an adverse impact, the user should maintain and have available records or other information showing which components have an adverse impact. Where the total selection process for a job does not have an adverse impact, information need not be maintained for individual components except in circumstances set forth in subsection 15A(2)(b) below. If the determination of adverse impact is made using a procedure other than the “four-fifths rule,” as defined in the first sentence of section 4D above, a justification, consistent with section 4D above, for the procedure used to determine adverse impact should be available.
(b) When adverse impact has been eliminated in the total selection process. Whenever the total selection process for a particular job has had an adverse impact, as defined in section 4 above, in any year, but no longer has an adverse impact, the user should maintain and have available the information on individual components of the selection process required in the preceding paragraph for the period in which there was adverse impact. In addition, the user should continue to collect such information for at least two (2) years after the adverse impact has been eliminated.
(c) When data insufficient to determine impact. Where there has been an insufficient number of selections to determine whether there is an adverse impact of the total selection process for a particular job, the user should continue to collect, maintain and have available the information on individual components of the selection process required in section 15(A)(2)(a) above until the information is sufficient to determine that the overall selection process does not have an adverse impact as defined in section 4 above, or until the job has changed substantially.

(3) Documentation of validity evidence —
(a) Types of evidence. Where a total selection process has an adverse impact (see section 4 above) the user should maintain and have available for each component of that process which has an adverse impact, one or more of the following types of documentation evidence:
(i) Documentation evidence showing criterion-related validity of the selection procedure (see section 15B, below).
(ii) Documentation evidence showing content validity of the selection procedure (see section 15C, below).
(iii) Documentation evidence showing construct validity of the selection procedure (see section 15D, below).
(iv) Documentation evidence from other studies showing validity of the selection procedure in the user's facility (see section 15E, below).
(v) Documentation evidence showing why a validity study cannot or need not be performed and why continued use of the procedure is consistent with Federal law.

(b) Form of report. This evidence should be compiled in a reasonably complete and organized manner to permit direct evaluation of the validity of the selection procedure. Previously written employer or consultant reports of validity, or reports describing validity studies completed before the issuance of these guidelines are acceptable if they are complete in regard to the documentation requirements contained in this section, or if they satisfied requirements of guidelines which were in effect when the validity study was completed. If they are not complete, the required additional documentation should be appended. If necessary information is not available the report of the validity study may still be used as documentation, but its adequacy will be evaluated in terms of compliance with the requirements of these guidelines.
(c) Completeness. In the event that evidence of validity is reviewed by an enforcement agency, the validation reports completed after the effective date of these guidelines are expected to contain the information set forth below. Evidence denoted by use of the word “(Essential)” is considered critical. If information denoted essential is not included, the report will be considered incomplete unless the user affirmatively demonstrates either its unavailability due to circumstances beyond the user's control or special circumstances of the user's study which make the information irrelevant. Evidence not so denoted is desirable but its absence will not be a basis for considering a report incomplete. The user should maintain and have available the information called for under the heading “Source Data” in sections 15B(11) and 15D(11). While it is a necessary part of the study, it need not be submitted with the report. All statistical results should be organized and presented in tabular or graphic form to the extent feasible.


B. Criterion-related validity studies. Reports of criterion-related validity for a selection procedure should include the following information:
(1) User(s), location(s), and date(s) of study. Dates and location(s) of the job analysis or review of job information, the date(s) and location(s) of the administration of the selection procedures and collection of criterion data, and the time between collection of data on selection procedures and criterion measures should be provided (Essential). If the study was conducted at several locations, the address of each location, including city and State, should be shown.
(2) Problem and setting. An explicit definition of the purpose(s) of the study and the circumstances in which the study was conducted should be provided. A description of existing selection procedures and cutoff scores, if any, should be provided.
(3) Job anlysis or review of job information. A description of the procedure used to analyze the job or group of jobs, or to review the job information should be provided (Essential). Where a review of job information results in criteria which may be used without a full job analysis (see section 14B(3)), the basis for the selection of these criteria should be reported (Essential). Where a job analysis is required a complete description of the work behavior(s) or work outcome(s), and measures of their criticality or importance should be provided (Essential). The report should describe the basis on which the behavior(s) or outcome(s) were determined to be critical or important, such as the proportion of time spent on the respective behaviors, their level of difficulty, their frequency of performance, the consequences of error, or other appropriate factors (Essential). Where two or more jobs are grouped for a validity study, the information called for in this subsection should be provided for each of the jobs, and the justification for the grouping (see section 14B(1)) should be provided (Essential).
(4) Job titles and codes. It is desirable to provide the user's job title(s) for the job(s) in question and the corresponding job title(s) and code(s) from U.S. Employment Service's Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
(5) Criterion measures. The bases for the selection of the criterion measures should be provided, together with references to the evidence considered in making the selection of criterion measures (essential). A full description of all criteria on which data were collected and means by which they were observed, recorded, evaluated, and quantified, should be provided (essential). If rating techniques are used as criterion measures, the appraisal form(s) and instructions to the rater(s) should be included as part of the validation evidence, or should be explicitly described and available (essential). All steps taken to insure that criterion measures are free from factors which would unfairly alter the scores of members of any group should be described (essential).
(6) Sample description. A description of how the research sample was identified and selected should be included (essential). The race, sex, and ethnic composition of the sample, including those groups set forth in section 4A above, should be described (essential). This description should include the size of each subgroup (essential). A description of how the research sample compares with the relevant labor market or work force, the method by which the relevant labor market or work force was defined, and a discussion of the likely effects on validity of differences between the sample and the relevant labor market or work force, are also desirable. Descriptions of educational levels, length of service, and age are also desirable.
(7) Description of selection procedures. Any measure, combination of measures, or procedure studied should be completely and explicitly described or attached (essential). If commercially available selection procedures are studied, they should be described by title, form, and publisher (essential). Reports of reliability estimates and how they were established are desirable.
(8) Techniques and results. Methods used in analyzing data should be described (essential). Measures of central tendency (e.g., means) and measures of dispersion (e.g., standard deviations and ranges) for all selection procedures and all criteria should be reported for each race, sex, and ethnic group which constitutes a significant factor in the relevant labor market (essential). The magnitude and direction of all relationships between selection procedures and criterion measures investigated should be reported for each relevant race, sex, and ethnic group and for the total group (essential). Where groups are too small to obtain reliable evidence of the magnitude of the relationship, need not be reported separately. Statements regarding the statistical significance of results should be made (essential). Any statistical adjustments, such as for less then perfect reliability or for restriction of score range in the selection procedure or criterion should be described and explained; and uncorrected correlation coefficients should also be shown (essential). Where the statistical technique categorizes continuous data, such as biserial correlation and the phi coefficient, the categories and the bases on which they were determined should be described and explained (essential). Studies of test fairness should be included where called for by the requirements of section 14B(8) (essential). These studies should include the rationale by which a selection procedure was determined to be fair to the group(s) in question. Where test fairness or unfairness has been demonstrated on the basis of other studies, a bibliography of the relevant studies should be included (essential). If the bibliography includes unpublished studies, copies of these studies, or adequate abstracts or summaries, should be attached (essential). Where revisions have been made in a selection procedure to assure compatability between successful job performance and the probability of being selected, the studies underlying such revisions should be included (essential). All statistical results should be organized and presented by relevant race, sex, and ethnic group (essential).
(9) Alternative procedures investigated. The selection procedures investigated and available evidence of their impact should be identified (essential). The scope, method, and findings of the investigation, and the conclusions reached in light of the findings, should be fully described (essential).
(10) Uses and applications. The methods considered for use of the selection procedure (e.g., as a screening device with a cutoff score, for grouping or ranking, or combined with other procedures in a battery) and available evidence of their impact should be described (essential). This description should include the rationale for choosing the method for operational use, and the evidence of the validity and utility of the procedure as it is to be used (essential). The purpose for which the procedure is to be used (e.g., hiring, transfer, promotion) should be described (essential). If weights are assigned to different parts of the selection procedure, these weights and the validity of the weighted composite should be reported (essential). If the selection procedure is used with a cutoff score, the user should describe the way in which normal expectations of proficiency within the work force were determined and the way in which the cutoff score was determined (essential).
(11) Source data. Each user should maintain records showing all pertinent information about individual sample members and raters where they are used, in studies involving the validation of selection procedures. These records should be made available upon request of a compliance agency. In the case of individual sample members these data should include scores on the selection procedure(s), scores on criterion measures, age, sex, race, or ethnic group status, and experience on the specific job on which the validation study was conducted, and may also include such things as education, training, and prior job experience, but should not include names and social security numbers. Records should be maintained which show the ratings given to each sample member by each rater.
(12) Contact person. The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person who may be contacted for further information about the validity study should be provided (essential).
(13) Accuracy and completeness. The report should describe the steps taken to assure the accuracy and completeness of the collection, analysis, and report of data and results.

C. Content validity studies. Reports of content validity for a selection procedure should include the following information:
(1) User(s), location(s) and date(s) of study. Dates and location(s) of the job analysis should be shown (essential).
(2) Problem and setting. An explicit definition of the purpose(s) of the study and the circumstances in which the study was conducted should be provided. A description of existing selection procedures and cutoff scores, if any, should be provided.
(3) Job analysis—Content of the job. A description of the method used to analyze the job should be provided (essential). The work behavior(s), the associated tasks, and, if the behavior results in a work product, the work products should be completely described (essential). Measures of criticality and/or importance of the work behavior(s) and the method of determining these measures should be provided (essential). Where the job analysis also identified the knowledges, skills, and abilities used in work behavior(s), an operational definition for each knowledge in terms of a body of learned information and for each skill and ability in terms of observable behaviors and outcomes, and the relationship between each knowledge, skill, or ability and each work behavior, as well as the method used to determine this relationship, should be provided (essential). The work situation should be described, including the setting in which work behavior(s) are performed, and where appropriate, the manner in which knowledges, skills, or abilities are used, and the complexity and difficulty of the knowledge, skill, or ability as used in the work behavior(s).
(4) Selection procedure and its content. Selection procedures, including those constructed by or for the user, specific training requirements, composites of selection procedures, and any other procedure supported by content validity, should be completely and explicitly described or attached (essential). If commercially available selection procedures are used, they should be described by title, form, and publisher (essential). The behaviors measured or sampled by the selection procedure should be explicitly described (essential). Where the selection procedure purports to measure a knowledge, skill, or ability, evidence that the selection procedure measures and is a representative sample of the knowledge, skill, or ability should be provided (essential).
(5) Relationship between the selection procedure and the job. The evidence demonstrating that the selection procedure is a representative work sample, a representative sample of the work behavior(s), or a representative sample of a knowledge, skill, or ability as used as a part of a work behavior and necessary for that behavior should be provided (essential). The user should identify the work behavior(s) which each item or part of the selection procedure is intended to sample or measure (essential). Where the selection procedure purports to sample a work behavior or to provide a sample of a work product, a comparison should be provided of the manner, setting, and the level of complexity of the selection procedure with those of the work situation (essential). If any steps were taken to reduce adverse impact on a race, sex, or ethnic group in the content of the procedure or in its administration, these steps should be described. Establishment of time limits, if any, and how these limits are related to the speed with which duties must be performed on the job, should be explained. Measures of central tend- ency (e.g., means) and measures of dispersion (e.g., standard deviations) and estimates of realibility should be reported for all selection procedures if available. Such reports should be made for relevant race, sex, and ethnic subgroups, at least on a statistically reliable sample basis.
(6) Alternative procedures investigated. The alternative selection procedures investigated and available evidence of their impact should be identified (essential). The scope, method, and findings of the investigation, and the conclusions reached in light of the findings, should be fully described (essential).
(7) Uses and applications. The methods considered for use of the selection procedure (e.g., as a screening device with a cutoff score, for grouping or ranking, or combined with other procedures in a battery) and available evidence of their impact should be described (essential). This description should include the rationale for choosing the method for operational use, and the evidence of the validity and utility of the procedure as it is to be used (essential). The purpose for which the procedure is to be used (e.g., hiring, transfer, promotion) should be described (essential). If the selection procedure is used with a cutoff score, the user should describe the way in which normal expectations of proficiency within the work force were determined and the way in which the cutoff score was determined (essential). In addition, if the selection procedure is to be used for ranking, the user should specify the evidence showing that a higher score on the selection procedure is likely to result in better job performance.
(8) Contact person. The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person who may be contacted for further information about the validity study should be provided (essential).
(9) Accuracy and completeness. The report should describe the steps taken to assure the accuracy and completeness of the collection, analysis, and report of data and results.

D. Construct validity studies. Reports of construct validity for a selection procedure should include the following information:
(1) User(s), location(s), and date(s) of study. Date(s) and location(s) of the job analysis and the gathering of other evidence called for by these guidelines should be provided (essential).
(2) Problem and setting. An explicit definition of the purpose(s) of the study and the circumstances in which the study was conducted should be provided. A description of existing selection procedures and cutoff scores, if any, should be provided.
(3) Construct definition. A clear definition of the construct(s) which are believed to underlie successful performance of the critical or important work behavior(s) should be provided (essential). This definition should include the levels of construct performance relevant to the job(s) for which the selection procedure is to be used (essential). There should be a summary of the position of the construct in the psychological literature, or in the absence of such a position, a description of the way in which the definition and measurement of the construct was developed and the psychological theory underlying it (essential). Any quantitative data which identify or define the job constructs, such as factor analyses, should be provided (essential).
(4) Job analysis. A description of the method used to analyze the job should be provided (essential). A complete description of the work behavior(s) and, to the extent appropriate, work outcomes and measures of their criticality and/or importance should be provided (essential). The report should also describe the basis on which the behavior(s) or outcomes were determined to be important, such as their level of difficulty, their frequency of performance, the consequences of error or other appropriate factors (essential). Where jobs are grouped or compared for the purposes of generalizing validity evidence, the work behavior(s) and work product(s) for each of the jobs should be described, and conclusions concerning the similarity of the jobs in terms of observable work behaviors or work products should be made (essential).
(5) Job titles and codes. It is desirable to provide the selection procedure user's job title(s) for the job(s) in question and the corresponding job title(s) and code(s) from the United States Employment Service's dictionary of occupational titles.
(6) Selection procedure. The selection procedure used as a measure of the construct should be completely and explicitly described or attached (essential). If commercially available selection procedures are used, they should be identified by title, form and publisher (essential). The research evidence of the relationship between the selection procedure and the construct, such as factor structure, should be included (essential). Measures of central tendency, variability and reliability of the selection procedure should be provided (essential). Whenever feasible, these measures should be provided separately for each relevant race, sex and ethnic group.
(7) Relationship to job performance. The criterion-related study(ies) and other empirical evidence of the relationship between the construct measured by the selection procedure and the related work behavior(s) for the job or jobs in question should be provided (essential). Documentation of the criterion-related study(ies) should satisfy the provisions of section 15B above or section 15E(1) below, except for studies conducted prior to the effective date of these guidelines (essential). Where a study pertains to a group of jobs, and, on the basis of the study, validity is asserted for a job in the group, the observed work behaviors and the observed work products for each of the jobs should be described (essential). Any other evidence used in determining whether the work behavior(s) in each of the jobs is the same should be fully described (essential).
(8) Alternative procedures investigated. The alternative selection procedures investigated and available evidence of their impact should be identified (essential). The scope, method, and findings of the investigation, and the conclusions reached in light of the findings should be fully described (essential).
(9) Uses and applications. The methods considered for use of the selection procedure (e.g., as a screening device with a cutoff score, for grouping or ranking, or combined with other procedures in a battery) and available evidence of their impact should be described (essential). This description should include the rationale for choosing the method for operational use, and the evidence of the validity and utility of the procedure as it is to be used (essential). The purpose for which the procedure is to be used (e.g., hiring, transfer, promotion) should be described (essential). If weights are assigned to different parts of the selection procedure, these weights and the validity of the weighted composite should be reported (essential). If the selection procedure is used with a cutoff score, the user should describe the way in which normal expectations of proficiency within the work force were determined and the way in which the cutoff score was determined (essential).
(10) Accuracy and completeness. The report should describe the steps taken to assure the accuracy and completeness of the collection, analysis, and report of data and results.
(11) Source data. Each user should maintain records showing all pertinent information relating to its study of construct validity.
(12) Contact person. The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the individual who may be contacted for further information about the validity study should be provided (essential).

E. Evidence of validity from other studies. When validity of a selection procedure is supported by studies not done by the user, the evidence from the original study or studies should be compiled in a manner similar to that required in the appropriate section of this section 15 above. In addition, the following evidence should be supplied:
(1) Evidence from criterion-related validity studies —
a. Job information. A description of the important job behavior(s) of the user's job and the basis on which the behaviors were determined to be important should be provided (essential). A full description of the basis for determining that these important work behaviors are the same as those of the job in the original study (or studies) should be provided (essential).
b. Relevance of criteria. A full description of the basis on which the criteria used in the original studies are determined to be relevant for the user should be provided (essential).
c. Other variables. The similarity of important applicant pool or sample characteristics reported in the original studies to those of the user should be described (essential). A description of the comparison between the race, sex and ethnic composition of the user's relevant labor market and the sample in the original validity studies should be provided (essential).
d. Use of the selection procedure. A full description should be provided showing that the use to be made of the selection procedure is consistent with the findings of the original validity studies (essential).
e. Bibliography. A bibliography of reports of validity of the selection procedure for the job or jobs in question should be provided (essential). Where any of the studies included an investigation of test fairness, the results of this investigation should be provided (essential). Copies of reports published in journals that are not commonly available should be described in detail or attached (essential). Where a user is relying upon unpublished studies, a reasonable effort should be made to obtain these studies. If these unpublished studies are the sole source of validity evidence they should be described in detail or attached (essential). If these studies are not available, the name and address of the source, an adequate abstract or summary of the validity study and data, and a contact person in the source organization should be provided (essential).

(2) Evidence from content validity studies. See section 14C(3) and section 15C above.
(3) Evidence from construct validity studies. See sections 14D(2) and 15D above.

F. Evidence of validity from cooperative studies. Where a selection procedure has been validated through a cooperative study, evidence that the study satisfies the requirements of sections 7, 8 and 15E should be provided (essential).
G. Selection for higher level job. If a selection procedure is used to evaluate candidates for jobs at a higher level than those for which they will initially be employed, the validity evidence should satisfy the documentation provisions of this section 15 for the higher level job or jobs, and in addition, the user should provide: (1) a description of the job progression structure, formal or informal; (2) the data showing how many employees progress to the higher level job and the length of time needed to make this progression; and (3) an identification of any anticipated changes in the higher level job. In addition, if the test measures a knowledge, skill or ability, the user should provide evidence that the knowledge, skill or ability is required for the higher level job and the basis for the conclusion that the knowledge, skill or ability is not expected to develop from the training or experience on the job.
H. Interim use of selection procedures. If a selection procedure is being used on an interim basis because the procedure is not fully supported by the required evidence of validity, the user should maintain and have available (1) substantial evidence of validity for the procedure, and (2) a report showing the date on which the study to gather the additional evidence commenced, the estimated completion date of the study, and a description of the data to be collected (essential).
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0017)

(Pub. L. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.))

[43 FR 38295, 38312, Aug. 25, 1978, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981]

29 CFR §1607.16 | DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply throughout these guidelines:
A. Ability. A present competence to perform an observable behavior or a behavior which results in an observable product.
B. Adverse impact. A substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, or other employment decision which works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group. See section 4 of these guidelines.
C. Compliance with these guidelines. Use of a selection procedure is in compliance with these guidelines if such use has been validated in accord with these guidelines (as defined below), or if such use does not result in adverse impact on any race, sex, or ethnic group (see section 4, above), or, in unusual circumstances, if use of the procedure is otherwise justified in accord with Federal law. See section 6B, above.
D. Content validity. Demonstrated by data showing that the content of a selection procedure is representative of important aspects of performance on the job. See section 5B and section 14C.
E. Construct validity. Demonstrated by data showing that the selection procedure measures the degree to which candidates have identifiable characteristics which have been determined to be important for successful job performance. See section 5B and section 14D.
F. Criterion - related validity. Demonstrated by empirical data showing that the selection procedure is predictive of or significantly correlated with important elements of work behavior. See sections 5B and 14B.
G. Employer. Any employer subject to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, including State or local governments and any Federal agency subject to the provisions of section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and any Federal contractor or subcontractor or federally assisted construction contractor or subcontactor covered by Executive Order 11246, as amended.
H. Employment agency. Any employment agency subject to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
I. Enforcement action. For the purposes of section 4 a proceeding by a Federal enforcement agency such as a lawsuit or an administrative proceeding leading to debarment from or withholding, suspension, or termination of Federal Government contracts or the suspension or withholding of Federal Government funds; but not a finding of reasonable cause or a concil- ation process or the issuance of right to sue letters under title VII or under Executive Order 11246 where such finding, conciliation, or issuance of notice of right to sue is based upon an individual complaint.
J. Enforcement agency. Any agency of the executive branch of the Federal Government which adopts these guidelines for purposes of the enforcement of the equal employment opportunity laws or which has responsibility for securing compliance with them.
K. Job analysis. A detailed statement of work behaviors and other information relevant to the job.
L. Job description. A general statement of job duties and responsibilities.
M. Knowledge. A body of information applied directly to the performance of a function.
N. Labor organization. Any labor organization subject to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and any committee subject thereto controlling apprenticeship or other training.
O. Observable. Able to be seen, heard, or otherwise perceived by a person other than the person performing the action.
P. Race, sex, or ethnic group. Any group of persons identifiable on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Q. Selection procedure. Any measure, combination of measures, or procedure used as a basis for any employment decision. Selection procedures include the full range of assessment techniques from traditional paper and pencil tests, performance tests, training programs, or probationary periods and physical, educational, and work experience requirements through informal or casual interviews and unscored application forms.
R. Selection rate. The proportion of applicants or candidates who are hired, promoted, or otherwise selected.
S. Should. The term “should” as used in these guidelines is intended to connote action which is necessary to achieve compliance with the guidelines, while recognizing that there are circumstances where alternative courses of action are open to users.
T. Skill. A present, observable competence to perform a learned psychomoter act.
U. Technical feasibility. The exist- ence of conditions permitting the conduct of meaningful criterion-related validity studies. These conditions include: (1) An adequate sample of persons available for the study to achieve findings of statistical significance; (2) having or being able to obtain a sufficient range of scores on the selection procedure and job performance measures to produce validity results which can be expected to be representative of the results if the ranges normally expected were utilized; and (3) having or being able to devise unbiased, reliable and relevant measures of job performance or other criteria of employee adequacy. See section 14B(2). With respect to investigation of possible unfairness, the same considerations are applicable to each group for which the study is made. See section 14B(8).
V. Unfairness of selection procedure. A condition in which members of one race, sex, or ethnic group characteristically obtain lower scores on a selection procedure than members of another group, and the differences are not reflected in differences in measures of job performance. See section 14B(7).
W. User. Any employer, labor organization, employment agency, or licensing or certification board, to the extent it may be covered by Federal equal employment opportunity law, which uses a selection procedure as a basis for any employment decision. Whenever an employer, labor organization, or employment agency is required by law to restrict recruitment for any occupation to those applicants who have met licensing or certification requirements, the licensing or certifying authority to the extent it may be covered by Federal equal employment opportunity law will be considered the user with respect to those licensing or certification requirements. Whenever a State employment agency or service does no more than administer or monitor a procedure as permitted by Department of Labor regulations, and does so without making referrals or taking any other action on the basis of the results, the State employment agency will not be deemed to be a user.
X. Validated in accord with these guidelines or properly validated. A demonstration that one or more validity study or studies meeting the standards of these guidelines has been conducted, including investigation and, where appropriate, use of suitable alternative selection procedures as contemplated by section 3B, and has produced evidence of validity sufficient to warrant use of the procedure for the intended purpose under the standards of these guidelines.
Y. Work behavior. An activity performed to achieve the objectives of the job. Work behaviors involve observable (physical) components and unobservable (mental) components. A work behavior consists of the performance of one or more tasks. Knowledges, skills, and abilities are not behaviors, although they may be applied in work behaviors.

29 CFR §1607.17 | POLICY STATEMENT ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (SEE SECTION 13B)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council was established by act of Congress in 1972, and charged with responsibility for developing and implementing agreements and policies designed, among other things, to eliminate conflict and inconsistency among the agencies of the Federal Government responsible for administering Federal law prohibiting discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. This statement is issued as an initial response to the requests of a number of State and local officials for clarification of the Government's policies concerning the role of affirmative action in the overall equal employment opportunity program. While the Coordinating Council's adoption of this statement expresses only the views of the signatory agencies concerning this important subject, the principles set forth below should serve as policy guidance for other Federal agencies as well.
(1) Equal employment opportunity is the law of the land. In the public sector of our society this means that all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin shall have equal access to positions in the public service limited only by their ability to do the job. There is ample evidence in all sectors of our society that such equal access frequently has been denied to members of certain groups because of their sex, racial, or ethnic characteristics. The remedy for such past and present discrimination is twofold.
On the one hand, vigorous enforcement of the laws against discrimination is essential. But equally, and perhaps even more important are affirmative, voluntary efforts on the part of public employers to assure that positions in the public service are genuinely and equally accessible to qualified persons, without regard to their sex, racial, or ethnic characteristics. Without such efforts equal employment opportunity is no more than a wish. The importance of voluntary affirmative action on the part of employers is underscored by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246, and related laws and regulations — all of which emphasize voluntary action to achieve equal employment opportunity.
As with most management objectives, a systematic plan based on sound organizational analysis and problem identification is crucial to the accomplishment of affirmative action objectives. For this reason, the Council urges all State and local governments to develop and implement results oriented affirmative action plans which deal with the problems so identified.
The following paragraphs are intended to assist State and local governments by illustrating the kinds of analyses and activities which may be appropriate for a public employer's voluntary affirmative action plan. This statement does not address remedies imposed after a finding of unlawful discrimination.
(2) Voluntary affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunity is appropriate at any stage of the employment process. The first step in the construction of any affirmative action plan should be an analysis of the employer's work force to determine whether precentages of sex, race, or ethnic groups in individual job classifications are substantially similar to the precentages of those groups available in the relevant job market who possess the basic job-related qualifications.
When substantial disparities are found through such analyses, each element of the overall selection process should be examined to determine which elements operate to exclude persons on the basis of sex, race, or ethnic group. Such elements include, but are not limited to, recruitment, testing, ranking certification, interview, recommendations for selection, hiring, promotion, etc. The examination of each element of the selection process should at a minimum include a determination of its validity in predicting job performance.
(3) When an employer has reason to believe that its selection procedures have the exclusionary effect described in paragraph 2 above, it should initiate affirmative steps to remedy the situation. Such steps, which in design and execution may be race, color, sex, or ethnic “conscious,” include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) The establishment of a long-term goal, and short-range, interim goals and timetables for the specific job classifications, all of which should take into account the availability of basically qualified persons in the relevant job market;
(b) A recruitment program designed to attract qualified members of the group in question;
(c) A systematic effort to organize work and redesign jobs in ways that provide opportunities for persons lacking “journeyman” level knowledge or skills to enter and, with appropriate training, to progress in a career field;
(d) Revamping selection instruments or procedures which have not yet been validated in order to reduce or eliminate exclusionary effects on particular groups in particular job classifications;
(e) The initiation of measures designed to assure that members of the affected group who are qualified to perform the job are included within the pool of persons from which the selecting official makes the selection;
(f) A systematic effort to provide career advancement training, both classroom and on-the-job, to employees locked into dead end jobs; and
(g) The establishment of a system for regularly monitoring the effectiveness of the particular affirmative action program, and procedures for making timely adjustments in this program where effectiveness is not demonstrated.

(4) The goal of any affirmative action plan should be achievement of genuine equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons. Selection under such plans should be based upon the ability of the applicant(s) to do the work. Such plans should not require the selection of the unqualified, or the unneeded, nor should they require the selection of persons on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Moreover, while the Council believes that this statement should serve to assist State and local employers, as well as Federal agencies, it recognizes that affirmative action cannot be viewed as a standardized program which must be accomplished in the same way at all times in all places.
Accordingly, the Council has not attempted to set forth here either the minimum or maximum voluntary steps that employers may take to deal with their respective situations. Rather, the Council recognizes that under applicable authorities, State and local employers have flexibility to formulate affirmative action plans that are best suited to their particular situations. In this manner, the Council believes that affirmative action programs will best serve the goal of equal employment opportunity.
Respectfully submitted,



Harold R. Tyler, Jr.,
Deputy Attorney General and Chairman of the Equal Employment Coordinating Council.

Michael H. Moskow,
Under Secretary of Labor.

Ethel Bent Walsh,
Acting Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Robert E. Hampton,
Chairman, Civil Service Commission.

Arthur E. Flemming,
Chairman, Commission on Civil Rights.


Because of its equal employment opportunity responsibilities under the State and Local Government Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972 (the revenue sharing act), the Department of Treasury was invited to participate in the formulation of this policy statement; and it concurs and joins in the adoption of this policy statement.



Done this 26th day of August 1976.
Richard Albrecht,
General Counsel,
Department of the Treasury.

29 CFR §1607.18 | CITATIONS

The official title of these guidelines is “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978)”. The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) are intended to establish a uniform Federal position in the area of prohibiting discrimination in employment practices on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. These guidelines have been adopted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, and the Civil Service Commission.
The official citation is:
Section __, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedure (1978); 43 FR __ (August 25, 1978).

The short form citation is:
Section __, U.G.E.S.P. (1978); 43 FR __ (August 25, 1978).

When the guidelines are cited in connection with the activities of one of the issuing agencies, a specific citation to the regulations of that agency can be added at the end of the above citation. The specific additional citations are as follows:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
29 CFR part 1607

Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
41 CFR part 60-3

Department of Justice
28 CFR 50.14

Civil Service Commission
5 CFR 300.103(c)


Normally when citing these guidelines, the section number immediately preceding the title of the guidelines will be from these guidelines series 1-18. If a section number from the codification for an individual agency is needed it can also be added at the end of the agency citation. For example, section 6A of these guidelines could be cited for EEOC as follows:
Section 6A, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978); 43 FR __, (August 25, 1978); 29 CFR part 1607, section 6A.




29 CFR §1608.1 | STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

(a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment practices and systems to improve employment opportunities for minorities and women, and this must continue. These changes have been undertaken either on the initiative of the employer, labor organization, or other person subject to title VII, or as a result of conciliation efforts under title VII, action under Executive Order 11246, as amended, or under other Federal, State, or local laws, or litigation. Many decisions taken pursuant to affirmative action plans or programs have been race, sex, or national origin conscious in order to achieve the Congressional purpose of providing equal employment opportunity. Occasionally, these actions have been challenged as inconsistent with title VII, because they took into account race, sex, or national origin. This is the so-called “reverse discrimination” claim. In such a situation, both the affirmative action undertaken to improve the conditions of minorities and women, and the objection to that action, are based upon the principles of title VII. Any uncertainty as to the meaning and application of title VII in such situations threatens the accomplishment of the clear Congressional intent to encourage voluntary affirmative action. The Commission believes that by the enactment of title VII Congress did not intend to expose those who comply with the Act to charges that they are violating the very statute they are seeking to implement. Such a result would immobilize or reduce the efforts of many who would otherwise take action to improve the opportunities of minorities and women without litigation, thus frustrating the Congressional intent to encourage voluntary action and increasing the prospect of title VII litigation. The Commission believes that it is now necessary to clarify and harmonize the principles of title VII in order to achieve these Congressional objectives and protect those employers, labor organizations, and other persons who comply with the principles of title VII.
(b) Purposes of title VII. . Congress enacted title VII in order to improve the economic and social conditions of minorities and women by providing equality of opportunity in the work place. These conditions were part of a larger pattern of restriction, exclusion, discrimination, segregation, and inferior treatment of minorities and women in many areas of life.2 The Legislative Histories of title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 contain extensive analyses of the higher unemployment rate, the lesser occupational status, and the consequent lower income levels of minorities and women.3 The purpose of Executive Order No. 11246, as amended, is similar to the purpose of title VII. In response to these economic and social conditions, Congress, by passage of title VII, established a national policy against discrimination in employment on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In addition, Congress strongly encouraged employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII (hereinafter referred to as “persons,” see section 701(a) of the Act) to act on a voluntary basis to modify employment practices and systems which constituted barriers to equal employment opportunity, without awaiting litigation or formal government action. Conference, conciliation, and persuasion were the primary processes adopted by Congress in 1964, and reaffirmed in 1972, to achieve these objectives, with enforcement action through the courts or agencies as a supporting procedure where voluntary action did not take place and conciliation failed. See section 706 of title VII.
(c) Interpretation in furtherance of legislative purpose. The principle of nondiscrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and the principle that each person subject to title VII should take voluntary action to correct the effects of past discrimination and to prevent present and future discrimination without awaiting litigation, are mutually consistent and interdependent methods of addressing social and economic conditions which precipitated the enactment of title VII. Voluntary affirmative action to improve opportunities for minorities and women must be encouraged and protected in order to carry out the Congressional intent embodied in title VII.4 Affirmative action under these principles means those actions appropriate to overcome the effects of past or present practices, policies, or other barriers to equal employment opportunity. Such voluntary affirmative action cannot be measured by the standard of whether it would have been required had there been litigation, for this standard would undermine the legislative purpose of first encouraging voluntary action without litigation. Rather, persons subject to title VII must be allowed flexibility in modifying employment systems and practices to comport with the purposes of title VII. Correspondingly, title VII must be construed to permit such voluntary action, and those taking such action should be afforded the protection against title VII liability which the Commission is authorized to provide under section 713(b)(1).
(d) Guidelines interpret title VII and authorize use of section 713(b)(1). These Guidelines describe the circumstances in which persons subject to title VII may take or agree upon action to improve employment opportunities of minorities and women, and describe the kinds of actions they may take which are consistent with title VII. These Guidelines constitute the Commission's interpretation of title VII and will be applied in the processing of claims of discrimination which involve voluntary affirmative action plans and programs. In addition, these Guidelines state the circumstances under which the Commission will recognize that a person subject to title VII is entitled to assert that actions were taken “in good faith, in conformity with, and in reliance upon a written interpretation or opinion of the Commission,” including reliance upon the interpretation and opinion contained in these Guidelines, and thereby invoke the protection of section 713(b)(1) of title VII.
(e) Review of existing plans recommended. Only affirmative action plans or programs adopted in good faith, in conformity with, and in reliance upon these Guidelines can receive the full protection of these Guidelines, including the section 713(b)(1) defense. See §1608.10. Therefore, persons subject to title VII who have existing affirmative action plans, programs, or agreements are encouraged to review them in light of these Guidelines, to modify them to the extent necessary to comply with these Guidelines, and to readopt or reaffirm them.




Footnotes:
2 Congress has also addressed these conditions in other laws, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Pub. L. 88-38, 77 Stat. 56 (1963), as amended; the other titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (1964), as amended; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Pub. L. 89-110, 79 Stat. 437 (1965), as amended; the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Pub. L. 90-284, title VII, 82 Stat. 73, 81 (1968), as amended; the Educational Opportunity Act (title IX), Pub. L. 92-318, 86 Stat. 373 (1972), as amended; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Pub. L. 92-261, 86 Stat. 103 (1972), as amended.
3 Equal Pay Act of 1963: S. Rep. No. 176, 88th Cong., 1st Sess., 1-2 (1963). Civil Rights Act of 1964: H.R. Rep. No. 914, pt. 2, 88th Cong., 1st Sess. (1971). Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972: H.R. Rep. No. 92-238, 92d Cong., 1st Sess. (1971); S. Rep. No. 92-415, 92d Cong., 1st Sess. (1971). See also, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Report—1975, Job Patterns for Women in Private Industry (1977); Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Minorities and Women in State and Local Government—1975 (1977); United States Commission on Civil Rights, Social Indicators of Equality for Minorities and Women (1978).
4 Affirmative action often improves opportunities for all members of the workforce, as where affirmative action includes the posting of notices of job vacancies. Similarly, the integration of previously segregated jobs means that all workers will be provided opportunities to enter jobs previously restricted. See, e.g., EEOC v. AT&T, 419 F. Supp. 1022 (E.D.Pa. 1976), aff'd, 556 F. 2d 167 (3rd Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 98 S.Ct. 3145 (1978).

29 CFR §1608.2 | WRITTEN INTERPRETATION AND OPINION

These Guidelines constitute “a written interpretation and opinion” of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as that term is used in section 713(b)(1) of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-12(b)(1), and §1601.33 of the Procedural Regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (29 CFR 1601.30; 42 FR 55,394 (October 14, 1977)). Section 713(b)(1) provides:

In any action or proceeding based on any alleged unlawful employment practice, no person shall be subject to any liability or punishment for or on account of (1) the commission by such person of an unlawful employment practice if he pleads and proves that the act or omission complained of was in good faith, in conformity with, and in reliance on any written interpretation or opinion of the Commission * * *. Such a defense, if established, shall be a bar to the action or proceeding, notwithstanding that * * * after such act or omission, such interpretation or opinion is modified or rescinded or is determined by judicial authority to be invalid or of no legal effect * * *.

The applicability of these Guidelines is subject to the limitations on use set forth in §1608.11.

29 CFR §1608.3 | CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH VOLUNTARY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS APPROPRIATE

(a) Adverse effect. Title VII prohibits practices, procedures, or policies which have an adverse impact unless they are justified by business necessity. In addition, title VII proscribes practices which “tend to deprive” persons of equal employment opportunities. Employers, labor organizations and other persons subject to title VII may take affirmative action based on an analysis which reveals facts constituting actual or potential adverse impact, if such adverse impact is likely to result from existing or contemplated practices.
(b) Effects of prior discriminatory practices. Employers, labor organizations, or other persons subject to title VII may also take affirmative action to correct the effects of prior discriminatory practices. The effects of prior discriminatory practices can be initially identified by a comparison between the employer's work force, or a part thereof, and an appropriate segment of the labor force.
(c) Limited labor pool. Because of historic restrictions by employers, labor organizations, and others, there are circumstances in which the available pool, particularly of qualified minorities and women, for employment or promotional opportunities is artificially limited. Employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII may, and are encouraged to take affirmative action in such circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Training plans and programs, including on-the-job training, which emphasize providing minorities and women with the opportunity, skill, and expericence necessary to perform the functions of skilled trades, crafts, or professions;
(2) Extensive and focused recruiting activity;
(3) Elimination of the adverse impact caused by unvalidated selection criteria (see sections 3 and 6, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978), 43 FR 30290; 38297; 38299 (August 25, 1978));
(4) Modification through collective bargaining where a labor organization represents employees, or unilaterally where one does not, of promotion and layoff procedures.

29 CFR §1608.4 | ESTABLISHING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLANS

An affirmative action plan or program under this section shall contain three elements: a reasonable self analysis; a reasonable basis for concluding action is appropriate; and reasonable action.

(a) Reasonable self analysis. The objective of a self analysis is to determine whether employment practices do, or tend to, exclude, disadvantage, restrict, or result in adverse impact or disparate treatment of previously excluded or restricted groups or leave uncorrected the effects of prior discrimination, and if so, to attempt to determine why. There is no mandatory method of conducting a self analysis. The employer may utilize techniques used in order to comply with Executive Order 11246, as amended, and its implementing regulations, including 41 CFR part 60-2 (known as Revised Order 4), or related orders issued by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs or its authorized agencies, or may use an analysis similar to that required under other Federal, State, or local laws or regulations prohibiting employment discrimination. In conducting a self analysis, the employer, labor organization, or other person subject to title VII should be concerned with the effect on its employment practices of circumstances which may be the result of discrimination by other persons or institutions. See Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971).
(b) Reasonable basis. If the self analysis shows that one or more employment practices:
(1) Have or tend to have an adverse effect on employment opportunities of members of previously excluded groups, or groups whose employment or promotional opportunities have been artificially limited,
(2) Leave uncorrected the effects of prior discrimination, or
(3) Result in disparate treatment, the person making the self analysis has a reasonable basis for concluding that action is appropriate.
It is not necessary that the self analysis establish a violation of title VII. This reasonable basis exists without any admission or formal finding that the person has violated title VII, and without regard to whether there exists arguable defenses to a title VII action.

(c) Reasonable action. The action taken pursuant to an affirmative action plan or program must be reasonable in relation to the problems disclosed by the self analysis. Such reasonable action may include goals and timetables or other appropriate employment tools which recognize the race, sex, or national origin of applicants or employees. It may include the adoption of practices which will eliminate the actual or potential adverse impact, disparate treatment, or effect or past discrimination by providing opportunities for members of groups which have been excluded, regardless of whether the persons benefited were themselves the victims of prior policies or procedures which produced the adverse impact or disparate treatment or which perpetuated past discrimination.
(1) Illustrations of appropriate affirmative action. Affirmative action plans or programs may include, but are not limited to, those described in the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council “Policy Statement on Affirmative Action Programs for State and Local Government Agencies,” 41 FR 38814 (September 13, 1976), reaffirmed and extended to all persons subject to Federal equal employment opportunity laws and orders, in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) 43 FR 38290; 38300 (Aug. 25, 1978). That statement reads, in relevant part:
When an employer has reason to believe that its selection procedures have * * * exclusionary effect * * *, it should initiate affirmative steps to remedy the situation. Such steps, which in design and execution may be race, color, sex or ethnic ‘conscious,’ include, but are not limited to, the following:
The establishment of a long term goal and short range, interim goals and timetables for the specific job classifications, all of which should take into account the availability of basically qualified persons in the relevant job market;


A recruitment program designed to attract qualified members of the group in question;
A systematic effort to organize work and re-design jobs in ways that provide opportunities for persons lacking ‘journeyman’ level knowledge or skills to enter and, with appropriate training, to progress in a career field;
Revamping selection instruments or procedures which have not yet been validated in order to reduce or eliminate exclusionary effects on particular groups in particular job classifications;
The initiation of measures designed to assure that members of the affected group who are qualified to perform the job are included within the pool of persons from which the selecting official makes the selection;
A systematic effort to provide career advancement training, both classroom and on-the-job, to employees locked into dead end jobs; and
The establishment of a system for regularly monitoring the effectiveness of the particular affirmative action program, and procedures for making timely adjustments in this program where effectiveness is not demonstrated.
(2) Standards of reasonable action. In considering the reasonableness of a particular affirmative action plan or program, the Commission will generally apply the following standards:
(i) The plan should be tailored to solve the problems which were identified in the self analysis, see §1608.4(a), supra, and to ensure that employment systems operate fairly in the future, while avoiding unnecessary restrictions on opportunities for the workforce as a whole. The race, sex, and national origin conscious provisions of the plan or program should be maintained only so long as is necessary to achieve these objectives.
(ii) Goals and timetables should be reasonably related to such considerations as the effects of past discrimination, the need for prompt elimination of adverse impact or disparate treatment, the availability of basically qualified or qualifiable applicants, and the number of employment opportunities expected to be available.


(d) Written or unwritten plans or programs —
(1) Written plans required for 713(b)(1) protection. The protection of section 713(b) of title VII will be accorded by the Commission to a person subject to title VII only if the self analysis and the affirmative action plan are dated and in writing, and the plan otherwise meets the requirements of section 713(b)(1). The Commission will not require that there be any written statement concluding that a title VII violation exists.
(2) Reasonable cause determinations. Where an affirmative action plan or program is alleged to violate title VII, or is asserted as a defense to a charge of discrimination, the Commission will investigate the charge in accordance with its usual procedures and pursuant to the standards set forth in these Guidelines, whether or not the analysis and plan are in writing. However, the absence of a written self analysis and a written affirmative action plan or program may make it more difficult to provide credible evidence that the analysis was conducted, and that action was taken pursuant to a plan or program based on the analysis. Therefore, the Commission recommends that such analyses and plans be in writing.

29 CFR §1608.5 | AFFIRMATIVE ACTION COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11246, AS AMENDED

Under title VII, affirmative action compliance programs adopted pursuant to Executive Order 11246, as amended, and its implementing regulations, including 41 CFR part 60-2 (Revised Order 4), will be considered by the Commission in light of the similar purposes of title VII and the Executive Order, and the Commission's responsibility under Executive Order 12067 to avoid potential conflict among Federal equal employment opportunity programs. Accordingly, the Commission will process title VII complaints involving such affirmative action compliance programs under this section.

(a) Procedures for review of Affirmative Action Compliance Programs. If adherence to an affirmative action compliance program adopted pursuant to Executive Order 11246, as amended, and its implementing regulations, is the basis of a complaint filed under title VII, or is alleged to be the justification for an action which is challenged under title VII, the Commission will investigate to determine whether the affirmative action compliance program was adopted by a person subject to the Order and pursuant to the Order, and whether adherence to the program was the basis of the complaint or the justification. (1) Programs previously approved. If the Commission makes the determination described in paragraph (a) of this section and also finds that the affirmative action program has been approved by an appropriate official of the Department of Labor or its authorized agencies, or is part of a conciliation or settlement agreement or an order of an administrative agency, whether entered by consent or after contested proceedings brought to enforce Executive Order 11246, as amended, the Commission will issue a determination of no reasonable cause.
(2) Program not previously approved. If the Commission makes the determination described in paragraph (a), of this section but the program has not been approved by an appropriate official of the Department of Labor or its authorized agencies, the Commission will:
(i) Follow the procedure in §1608.10(a) and review the program, or
(ii) refer the plan to the Department of Labor for a determination of whether it is to be approved under Executive Order 11246, as amended, and its implementing regulations. If, the Commission finds that the program does conform to these Guidelines, or the Department of Labor approves the affirmative action compliance program, the Commission will issue a determination of no reasonable cause under §1608.10(a).


(b) Reliance on these guidelines. In addition, if the affirmative action compliance program has been adopted in good faith reliance on these Guidelines, the provisions of section 713(b)(1) of title VII and of §1608.10(b), of this part, may be asserted by the contractor.

29 CFR §1608.6 | AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLANS WHICH ARE PART OF COMMISSION CONCILIATION OR SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

(a) Procedures for review of plans. If adherence to a conciliation or settlement agreement executed under title VII and approved by a responsible official of the EEOC is the basis of a complaint filed under title VII, or is alleged to be the justification for an action challenged under title VII, the Commission will investigate to determine:
(1) Whether the conciliation agreement or settlement agreement was approved by a responsible official of the EEOC, and
(2) Whether adherence to the agreement was the basis for the complaint or justification.
If the Commission so finds, it will make a determination of no reasonable cause under §1608.10(a) and will advise the respondent of its right under section 713(b)(1) of title VII to rely on the conciliation agreement.

(b) Reliance on these guidelines. In addition, if the affirmative action plan or program has been adopted in good faith reliance on these Guidelines, the provisions of section 713(b)(1) of title VII and of §1608.10(b), of this part, may be asserted by the respondent.

29 CFR §1608.7 | AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLANS OR PROGRAMS UNDER STATE OR LOCAL LAW

Affirmative action plans or programs executed by agreement with State or local government agencies, or by order of State or local government agencies, whether entered by consent or after contested proceedings, under statutes or ordinances described in title VII, will be reviewed by the Commission in light of the similar purposes of title VII and such statutes and ordinances. Accordingly, the Commission will process title VII complaints involving such affirmative action plans or programs under this section.
(a) Procedures for review of plans or programs. If adherence to an affirmative action plan or program executed pursuant to a State statute or local ordinance described in title VII is the basis of a complaint filed under title VII or is alleged to be the justification for an action which is challenged under Title VII, the Commission will investigate to determine:
(1) Whether the affirmative action plan or program was executed by an employer, labor organization, or person subject to the statute or ordinance,
(2) Whether the agreement was approved by an appropriate official of the State or local government, and
(3) Whether adherence to the plan or program was the basis of the complaint or justification.
(1) Previously approved plans or programs. If the Commission finds the facts described in paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission will, in accordance with the “substantial weight” provisions of section 706 of the Act, find no reasonable cause where appropriate.
(2) Plans or programs not previously approved. If the plan or program has not been approved by an appropriate official of the State or local government, the Commission will follow the procedure of §1608.10 of these Guidelines. If the Commission finds that the plan or program does conform to these Guidelines, the Commission will make a determination of no reasonable cause as set forth in §1608.10(a).

(b) Reliance on these guidelines. In addition, if the affirmative action plan or program has been adopted in good faith reliance on these Guidelines, the provisions of section 713(b)(1) and §1608.10(b), of this part, may be asserted by the respondent.

29 CFR §1608.8 | ADHERENCE TO COURT ORDER

Parties are entitled to rely on orders of courts of competent jurisdiction. If adherence to an Order of a United States District Court or other court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered by consent or after contested litigation, in a case brought to enforce a Federal, State, or local equal employment opportunity law or regulation, is the basis of a complaint filed under title VII or is alleged to be the justification for an action which is challenged under title VII, the Commission will investigate to determine:
(a) Whether such an Order exists and
(b) Whether adherence to the affirmative action plan which is part of the Order was the basis of the complaint or justification.
If the Commission so finds, it will issue a determination of no reasonable cause. The Commission interprets title VII to mean that actions taken pursuant to the direction of a Court Order cannot give rise to liability under title VII.

29 CFR §1608.9 | RELIANCE ON DIRECTIONS OF OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

When a charge challenges an affirmative action plan or program, or when such a plan or program is raised as justification for an employment decision, and when the plan or program was developed pursuant to the requirements of a Federal or State law or regulation which in part seeks to ensure equal employment opportunity, the Commission will process the charge in accordance with §1608.10(a). Other agencies with equal employment opportunity responsibilities may apply the principles of these Guidelines in the exercise of their authority.

29 CFR §1608.10 | STANDARD OF REVIEW

(a) Affirmative action plans or programs not specifically relying on these guidelines. If, during the investigation of a charge of discrimination filed with the Commission, a respondent asserts that the action complained of was taken pursuant to an in accordance with a plan or program of the type described in these Guidelines, the Commission will determine whether the assertion is true, and if so, whether such a plan or program conforms to the requirements of these guidelines. If the Commission so finds, it will issue a determination of no reasonable cause and, where appropriate, will state that the determination constitutes a written interpretation or opinion of the Commission under section 713(b)(1). This interpretation may be relied upon by the respondent and asserted as a defense in the event that new charges involving similar facts and circumstances are thereafter filed against the respondent, which are based on actions taken pursuant to the affirmative action plan or program. If the Commission does not so find, it will proceed with the investigation in the usual manner.
(b) Reliance on these guidelines. If a respondent asserts that the action taken was pursuant to and in accordance with a plan or program which was adopted or implemented in good faith, in conformity with, and in reliance upon these Guidelines, and the self analysis and plan are in writing, the Commission will determine whether such assertion is true. If the Commission so finds, it will so state in the determination of no reasonable cause and will advise the respondent that:
(1) The Commission has found that the respondent is entitled to the protection of section 713(b)(1) of title VII; and
(2) That the determination is itself an additional written interpretation or opinion of the Commission pursuant to section 713(b)(1).

29 CFR §1608.11 | LIMITATIONS ON THE APPLICATION OF THESE GUIDELINES

(a) No determination of adequacy of plan or program. These Guidelines are applicable only with respect to the circumstances described in §1608.1(d), of this part. They do not apply to, and the section 713(b)(1) defense is not available for the purpose of, determining the adequacy of an affirmative action plan or program to eliminate discrimination. Whether an employer who takes such affirmative action has done enough to remedy such discrimination will remain a question of fact in each case.
(b) Guidelines inapplicable in absence of affirmative action. Where an affirmative action plan or program does not exist, or where the plan or program is not the basis of the action complained of, these Guidelines are inapplicable.
(c) Currency of plan or program. Under section 713(b)(1), persons may rely on the plan or program only during the time when it is current. Currency is related to such factors as progress in correcting the conditions disclosed by the self analysis. The currency of the plan or program is a question of fact to be determined on a case by case basis. Programs developed under Executive Order 11246, as amended, will be deemed current in accordance with Department of Labor regulations at 41 CFR chapter 60, or successor orders or regulations.

29 CFR §1608.12 | EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PLANS ADOPTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 717 OF TITLE VII

If adherence to an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan, adopted pursuant to section 717 of title VII, and approved by an appropriate official of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, is the basis of a complaint filed under title VII, or is alleged to be the justification for an action under title VII, these Guidelines will apply in a manner similar to that set forth in §1608.5. The Commission will issue regulations setting forth the procedure for processing such complaints.




29 CFR §1610.1 | DEFINITIONS

(a) Title VII refers to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by Public Law 92-261, 42 U.S.C. (Supp. II) 2000e et seq.
(b) Commission refers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
(c) Freedom of Information Act refers to 5 U.S.C. 552 (Pub. L. 90-23 as amended by Pub. L. 93-502).
(d) Attestation refers to the authentication of copies of Commission documents by an affidavit or unsworn declaration from the records custodian without the Commission Seal.
(e) Certification refers to the authentication of copies of Commission documents by an affidavit or unsworn declaration from the records custodian under the Commission Seal.
(f) Agency record includes any information maintained for an agency by an entity under Government contract, for the purposes of records management.
(g) FOIA Public Liaison means an agency official who is responsible for assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.
[40 FR 8171, Feb. 26, 1975, as amended at 52 FR 13830, Apr. 27, 1987; 70 FR 57511, Oct. 3, 2005; 78 FR 36650, June 19, 2013; 81 FR 95870, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.2 | STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

(a) This subpart contains the rules that the Commission will follow in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. These rules should be read in conjunction with the text of the FOIA and the Uniform Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB Guidelines”). Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed in accordance with the Commission's Privacy Act regulations as well as under this subpart. The Commission should administer the FOIA with a presumption of openness.
(b) As referenced in this subpart, “component” means each separate office within the Commission that is responsible for processing FOIA requests. The rules described in this regulation that apply to the Commission also apply to its components.
[82 FR 45181, Sept. 28, 2017]

29 CFR §1610.3 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

(a) This subpart contains the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing 5 U.S.C. 552. The regulations of this subpart provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained from all organizational units within the Commission. Official records of the Commission made available pursuant to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552 shall be furnished to members of the public only as prescribed by this subpart. Officers and employees of the Commission may continue to furnish to the public, informally and without compliance with the procedures prescribed herein, information and records which prior to the enactment of 5 U.S.C. 552 were furnished customarily in the regular performance of their duties.
(b) Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any person, as of right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.
[81 FR 95871, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.4 | PUBLIC REFERENCE FACILITIES AND CURRENT INDEX

(a) Records that the FOIA requires the Commission to make available for public inspection in an electronic format may be accessed through the Commission's Web site. The Commission is responsible for determining which of its records must be made publicly available, for identifying additional records of interest to the public that are appropriate for public disclosure, and for posting and indexing such records. The Commission must ensure that its Web site of posted records and indices is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. The Commission has a FOIA Requester Service Center or FOIA Public Liaison who can assist individuals in locating records particular to the Commission. Contact information is located at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/index.cfm. A list of agency FOIA Public Liaisons is available at http://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html.
(b) The Commission offices designated in §1610.4(c) shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a copy of:
(1) The Commission's notices and regulatory amendments which are not yet published in the Code of Federal Regulations;
(2) The Commission's annual reports;
(3) The Commission's Compliance Manual;
(4) Blank forms relating to the Commission's procedures as they affect the public;
(5) The Commission's Orders (agency directives);
(6) “CCH Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Decisions” (1973 and 1983);
(7) Commission awarded contracts; and
(8) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, that because of the nature of their subject matter —
(i) The Commission determines have become, or are likely to become, the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records; or
(ii) That have been requested 3 or more times.


(c) The Commission's District Offices with public reading areas are:
Atlanta District Office, Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, 100 Alabama Street SW., Suite 4R30, Atlanta, GA 30303 (includes the Savannah Local Office).
Birmingham District Office, Ridge Park Place, 1130 22nd Street South, Suite 2000, Birmingham, AL 35205-2397 (includes the Jackson Area Office and the Mobile Local Office).
Charlotte District Office, 129 West Trade Street, Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28202 (includes the Raleigh Area Office, the Greensboro Local Office, the Greenville Local Office, the Norfolk Local Office, and the Richmond Local Office).
Chicago District Office, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60661 (includes the Milwaukee Area Office and the Minneapolis Area Office).
Dallas District Office, 207 S. Houston Street, 3rd Floor, Dallas, TX 75202-4726 (includes the San Antonio Field Office and the El Paso Area Office).
Houston District Office, Mickey Leland Building, 1919 Smith Street, 6th Floor, Houston, TX 77002 (includes the New Orleans Field Office).
Indianapolis District Office, 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 1900, Indianapolis, IN 46204-4203 (includes the Detroit Field Office, the Cincinnati Area Office, and the Louisville Area Office).
Los Angeles District Office, Roybal Federal Building, 255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (includes the Fresno Local Office, the Honolulu Local Office, the Las Vegas Local Office, and the San Diego Local Office).
Memphis District Office, 1407 Union Avenue, 9th Floor, Memphis, TN 38104 (includes the Little Rock Area Office, and the Nashville Area Office).
Miami District Office, Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 1500, Miami, FL 33131 (includes the Tampa Field Office, and the San Juan Local Office).
New York District Office, 33 Whitehall Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004 (includes the Boston Area Office, the Newark Area Office, and the Buffalo Local Office).
Philadelphia District Office, 801 Market Street, Suite 1300, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127 (includes the Baltimore Field Office, the Cleveland Field Office, and the Pittsburgh Area Office).
Phoenix District Office, 3300 N. Central Avenue, Suite 690, Phoenix, AZ 85012-2504 (includes the Denver Field Office, and the Albuquerque Area Office).
San Francisco District Office, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 5 West, P.O. Box 36025, San Francisco, CA 94102-3661 (includes the Seattle Field Office, the Oakland Local Office, and the San Jose Local Office).
St. Louis District Office, Robert A. Young Federal Building, 1222 Spruce Street, Room 8100, St. Louis, MO 63103 (includes the Kansas City Area Office, and the Oklahoma City Area Office).

[78 FR 36650, June 19, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 95871, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.5 | REQUEST FOR RECORDS

(a) General information.
(1) To make a request for records, a requester should write directly to the Commission's FOIA office that maintains the records sought. A request will receive the quickest possible response if it is addressed to the Commission FOIA office that maintains the records sought. Information concerning the Commission's FOIA offices is listed at: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/index.cfm and any additional requirements for submitting a request to the agency are listed at paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section. The Commission's Web site contains instructions for submitting FOIA requests and other resources to assist requesters in determining where to send their requests.
(2) Where a request for records pertains to another individual, a requester may receive greater access by submitting either a notarized authorization signed by that individual or a declaration made in compliance with the requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1746 by that individual authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting proof that the individual is deceased (for example, a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). As an exercise of administrative discretion, the Commission can require a requester to supply additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.

(b) Description of records sought. Requesters must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable Commission personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. To the extent possible, requesters should include specific information that may help the Commission identify the requested records, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, case number, file designation, or reference number. Before submitting their requests, requesters may contact the Commission's District Office FOIA contact or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records they seek and to receive assistance in describing the records. If after receiving a request the Commission determines that it does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Commission must inform the requester what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient. Requesters who are attempting to reformulate or modify such a request may discuss their request with the Commission's FOIA contact or FOIA Public Liaison. If a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, the agency's response to the request may be delayed.
(1) A written request for inspection or copying of a record of the Commission may be presented in person, by mail, by fax, by email at FOIA@eeoc.gov, online at https://publicportalfoiapal.eeoc.gov/palMain.aspx, or through the Commission employee designated in §1610.7.
(2) A request must be clearly and prominently identified as a request for information under the “Freedom of Information Act.” If submitted by mail, or otherwise submitted under any cover, the envelope or other cover must be similarly identified.
(3) A respondent must always provide a copy of the “Filed” stamped court complaint when requesting a copy of a charge file. The charging party must provide a copy of the “Filed” stamped court complaint when requesting a copy of the charge file if the Notice of Right to Sue has expired as of the date of the charging party's request.
(4) Each request must contain information which reasonably describes the records sought and, when known, should contain date, title or name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, case number, file designation, or reference number and location for the records requested in order to permit the records to be promptly located.

(c) Format. Requests may specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) for the records the requester seeks. The Commission will accommodate the request if the records are readily reproducible in that form or format.
(d) Requester information. Requesters must provide contact information, such as their phone number, email address, and/or mailing address, to assist the agency in communicating with them and providing released records.
[82 FR 45181, Sept. 28, 2017]

29 CFR §1610.6 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1610.7 | WHERE TO MAKE REQUEST; FORM

(a) In general. The Commission or component that first receives a request for a record and maintains that record is responsible for responding to the request. In determining which records are responsive to a request, the Commission ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that it begins its search. If any other date is used, the Commission must inform the requester of that date. A record that is excluded from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), is not considered responsive to a request. Requests for the following types of records, however, should be submitted to the District Director for the pertinent district, field, area, or local office, at the district office address listed in §1610.4(c) or, in the case of the Washington Field Office, shall be submitted to the Field Office Director at 131 M Street NE., Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20507:
(1) Information about current or former employees of an office;
(2) Existing non-confidential statistical data related to the case processing of an office;
(3) Agreements between the Commission and State or local fair employment agencies operating within the jurisdiction of an office; or
(4) Materials in office investigative files related to charges under: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.); the Equal Pay Act (29 U.S.C. 206(d)); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.); the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq.).

(b) Request for other records. A request for any record which does not fall within the ambit of paragraph (a) of this section, or a request for any record the location of which is unknown to the person making the request, shall be submitted in writing to the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, by mail to 131 M Street NE., Suite 5NW02E, Washington, DC 20507, by fax to (202) 653-6034, by email to FOIA@eeoc.gov, or by Internet to https://publicportalfoiapal.eeoc.gov/palMain.aspx.
(c) Authority to grant or deny requests. The Commission has granted this authority to the Legal Counsel. The Legal Counsel is authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records that are maintained by the Commission.
(d) Re-routing of misdirected requests. Where the Commission determines that a request was misdirected within the agency, the receiving component's FOIA office must route the request to the FOIA office of the proper component(s) within the Commission.
(e) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located by the Commission in response to a request, the Commission will determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. As to any such record, the Commission must proceed in one of the following ways:
(1) Consultation. When records originated with the Commission, but contain within them information of interest to another agency or other Federal Government office, the Commission will typically consult with that other entity prior to making a release determination.
(2) Referral.
(i) When the Commission believes that a different agency or component is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, the Commission typically will refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that agency. Ordinarily, the agency that originated the record is presumed to be the best agency to make the disclosure determination. However, if the Commission is processing the request and the originating agency agrees that the Commission is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.
(ii) Whenever the Commission refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, it must document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral, informing the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

(3) Coordination. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the agency to which the referral would be made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national security interests. For example, if a non-law enforcement agency responding to a request for records on a living third party locates within its files records originating with a law enforcement agency, and if the existence of that law enforcement interest in the third party was not publicly known, then to disclose that law enforcement interest could cause an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the third party. Similarly, if the Commission locates within its files material originating with an Intelligence Community agency and the involvement of that agency in the matter is classified and not publicly acknowledged, then to disclose or give attribution to the involvement of that Intelligence Community agency could cause national security harms. In such instances, in order to avoid harm to an interest protected by an applicable exemption, the Commission will coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the record. The release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination will then be conveyed to the requester by the Commission.

(e) Classified information. On receipt of any request involving information that is marked classified, the Commission must determine whether the information is currently and properly classified in accordance with applicable classification rules. Whenever a request involves a record containing information that has been marked as classified or may be appropriate for classification by another agency under any applicable executive order concerning the classification of records, the Commission must refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that information to the agency that classified the information, or that should consider the information for classification. Whenever an agency's record contains information that has been derivatively classified (for example, when it contains information classified by another agency), the Commission must refer the responsibility for responding to that portion of the request to the agency that classified the underlying information.
(f) Timing of responses to consultations and referrals. All consultations and referrals received by the Commission will be handled according to the date that the referring agency received the perfected FOIA request.
(g) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. The Commission may establish agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals with respect to particular types of records.
[81 FR 95872, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.8 | AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE

The Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, the District Director, or the District Director's designee, when receiving a request pursuant to these regulations, shall grant or deny such request. That decision shall be final, subject only to administrative review as provided in §1610.11 of this subpart. [78 FR 36651, June 19, 2013]

29 CFR §1610.9 | RESPONSES: TIMING

(a) In general. The Commission ordinarily will respond to requests according to their order of receipt. The various ways in which to submit a request to, or check on the status of a request with, EEOC are listed at: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/index.cfm. The information located at www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html contains a list of all agencies and components that are designated to accept requests. In instances involving misdirected requests that are re-routed pursuant to §1610.7(d), the response time will commence on the date that the request is received by the proper component office that is designated to receive requests, but in any event not later than 10 working days after the request is first received by the component office that is designated by these regulations to receive requests.
(b) Multitrack processing. The Commission designates a specific track for requests that are granted expedited processing, in accordance with the standards set forth in paragraph (f) of this section. The Commission also designates additional processing tracks that distinguish between simple and more complex requests based on the estimated amount of work or time needed to process the request. Among the factors considered are the number of records requested, the number of pages involved in processing the request and the need for consultations or referrals. The Commission must advise requesters of the track into which their request falls and, when appropriate, will offer the requesters an opportunity to narrow or modify their request so that it can be placed in a different processing track.
(c) Acknowledgment. The Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, the District Director, or the District Director's designee shall, within 10 days from receipt of a request, notify the requester in writing of the date the Commission received the request, the expected date of issuance of the determination, the individualized FOIA tracking number assigned to the request, and the telephone number or Internet site where requesters may inquire about the status of their request.
(d) Unusual circumstances. Whenever the Commission cannot meet the statutory time limit for processing a request because of “unusual circumstances,” as defined in the FOIA, and the Commission extends the time limit on that basis, the Commission must, before expiration of the 20-day period to respond, notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the date by which the agency estimates processing of the request will be completed. Where the extension exceeds 10 working days, the agency must, as described by the FOIA, provide the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an alternative time period for processing the original or modified request. The Commission must make available its designated FOIA contact or its FOIA Public Liaison for this purpose. The contact information for the EEOC FOIA Public Liaison is located at: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/index.cfm. A list of agency FOIA Public Liaisons is available at: http://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html. The Commission must also alert requesters to the availability of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to provide dispute resolution services.
(e) Aggregating requests. To satisfy unusual circumstances under the FOIA, the Commission may aggregate requests in cases where it reasonably appears that multiple requests, submitted either by a requester or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances. The Commission cannot aggregate multiple requests that involve unrelated matters.
(f) Expedited processing.
(1) The Commission must process requests and appeals on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve:
(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or
(ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity, if made by a person who is primarily engaged in disseminating information.

(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at any time. Requests based on paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section must be submitted to the Commission or component of the Commission that maintains the records requested. When making a request for expedited processing of an administrative appeal, the request should be submitted to the Commission's Office of Legal Counsel, the office that adjudicates appeals.
(3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the basis for making the request for expedited processing. For example, under paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section, a requester who is not a full-time member of the news media must establish that the requester is a person whose primary professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be the requester's sole occupation. Such a requester also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request—one that extends beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. Depending on the circumstances, the existence of numerous recently published articles on a given subject may be helpful in establishing the requirement that there be an “urgency to inform” the public on the topic. This factor is not dispositive. As a matter of administrative discretion, the Commission may waive the formal certification requirement.
(4) The Commission must notify the requester within 10 calendar days of the receipt of a request for expedited processing of its decision whether to grant or deny expedited processing. If expedited processing is granted, the request must be given priority, placed in the processing track for expedited requests, and must be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, the Commission must act on any appeal of that decision expeditiously.

(g) Tolling. The Commission may toll the statutory time period to issue its determination on a FOIA request one time during the processing of the request to obtain clarification from the requester. The statutory time period to issue the determination on disclosure is tolled until EEOC receives the information reasonably requested from the requester. The agency may also toll the statutory time period to issue the determination to clarify with the requester issues regarding fees. There is no limit on the number of times the agency may request clarifying fee information from the requester.
[81 FR 95873, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.10 | RESPONSES: FORM AND CONTENT

(a) In general. The Commission, to the extent practicable, will communicate with requesters having access to the Internet electronically, such as email or web portal.
(b) Acknowledgments of requests. The Commission must acknowledge the request in writing and assign it an individualized tracking number if it will take longer than 10 working days to process. The Commission must include in the acknowledgment a brief description of the records sought to allow requesters to more easily keep track of their requests.
(c) Estimated dates of completion and interim responses. Upon request, the Commission will provide an estimated date by which it expects to provide a response to the requester. If a request involves a voluminous amount of material, or searches in multiple locations, the Commission may provide interim responses, releasing the records on a rolling basis.
(d) Grants of requests. Once the Commission determines it will grant a request in full or in part, it must notify the requester in writing. The agency must also inform the requester of any fees charged under §1610.15 of this part and must disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees. The Commission must inform the requester of the availability of its FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance.
(e) Adverse determinations of requests. If the Commission makes an adverse determination denying a request in any respect, it must notify the requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that: The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.
(f) Content of denial. The denial must be signed by the head of the Commission or designee and must include:
(1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;
(2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any FOIA exemption applied by the Commission in denying the request;
(3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation (such an estimate is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption);
(4) A statement that the denial may be appealed under paragraph 1610.11 of this section, and a description of the appeal requirements; and
(5) A statement notifying the requester of the assistance available from the Commission's FOIA Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services offered by OGIS.

(g) Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part must be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted must also be indicated on the record, if technically feasible.
[81 FR 95874, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.11 | APPEALS TO THE LEGAL COUNSEL FROM INITIAL DENIALS

(a) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determination to the Legal Counsel, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs. Any appeal of a determination issued by a District Director or the District Director's designee must include a copy of the District Director's or the District Director's designee's determination. If a FOIA appeal is misdirected to a District Office, the District Office shall forward the appeal to the Legal Counsel, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, within 10 business days. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in §1610.10(e). Requesters can submit appeals by mail, by fax to (202) 653-6034, by email to FOIA@eeoc.gov, or online at https://publicportalfoiapal.eeoc.gov/palMain.aspx. The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the Commission determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(b) Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The Legal Counsel or designee, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, will decide all appeals under this section.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(c) Decisions on appeals. The Commission must provide its decision on an appeal in writing. A decision that upholds the Commission's determination in whole or in part must contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision must provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the dispute resolution services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If the Commission's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the Commission will notify the requester of that determination in writing. The Commission will then further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and will respond directly to the requester.
(d) Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Dispute resolution is a voluntary process. If the Commission agrees to participate in the dispute resolution services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
(e) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the Commission's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.
(f) No personal appearance, oral argument or hearing will ordinarily be permitted in connection with an appeal to the Legal Counsel or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs.
(g) On appeal, the Legal Counsel or designee, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, may reduce any fees previously assessed.
(h) In the event that the Commission terminates its proceedings on a charge after the District Director or the District Director's designee denies a request, in whole or in part, for the charge file but during consideration of the requester's appeal from that denial, the request may be remanded for redetermination. The requester retains a right to appeal to the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, from the decision on remand.
[78 FR 36652, June 19, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 95874, Dec. 29, 2016; 82 FR 45182, Sept. 28, 2017]

29 CFR §1610.13 | MAINTENANCE OF FILES

The Commission must preserve all correspondence pertaining to the requests that it receives under this subpart, as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized pursuant to Title 44 of the United States Code or the General Records Schedule 4.2 of the National Archives and Records Administration. The Commission must not dispose of or destroy records while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA. [82 FR 45182, Sept. 28, 2017]

29 CFR §1610.14 | WAIVER OF USER CHARGES

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the Legal Counsel or designee, the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, and the District Directors or designees shall assess fees where applicable in accordance with §1610.15 for search, review, and duplication of records requested. They shall also have authority to furnish documents without any charge or at a reduced charge if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
(b) District directors, field directors, area directors, local directors and the librarian are hereby authorized to collect fees where applicable in accordance with §1610.15 for duplication of records which are to be made available for public inspection and copying in the district, field, area or local office, or in the headquarters library in accordance with §1610.4(b). District directors, field directors, area directors, local directors and the librarian are hereby authorized to duplicate such records without charge, or at a reduced charge in accordance with the criteria of paragraph (a) of this section.
[52 FR 13830, Apr. 27, 1987, as amended at 54 FR 32062, Aug. 4, 1989; 56 FR 29578, June 28, 1991; 63 FR 1342, Jan. 9, 1998; 71 FR 26830, May 9, 2006; 78 FR 36653, June 19, 2013]

29 CFR §1610.15 | SCHEDULE OF FEES AND METHOD OF PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED

(a) In general.
(1) The Commission will charge for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this section and with the OMB Guidelines. For purposes of assessing fees, the FOIA establishes three categories of requesters:
(i) Commercial use requesters;
(ii) Non-commercial scientific or educational institutions or news media requesters; and
(iii) All other requesters.

(2) Different fees are assessed depending on the category. Requesters may seek a fee waiver. The Commission must consider requests for fee waiver in accordance with the requirements in paragraph (k) of this section. To resolve any fee issues that arise under this section, the Commission may contact a requester for additional information. The Commission must ensure that searches, review, and duplication are conducted in the most efficient and the least expensive manner. The Commission ordinarily will collect all applicable fees before sending copies of records to a requester. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States, or through Pay.gov.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) Commercial use request refers to a request that asks for information for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit interest, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. An agency's decision to place a requester in the commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the requester's intended use of the information. The Commission will notify requesters of their placement in this category.
(2) Direct costs refers to those expenses that the Commission incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requests, reviewing) records in order to respond to a FOIA request. For example, direct costs include the salary of the employee performing the work (for example, the basic rate of pay for the employee, plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating computers and other electronic equipment, such as photocopiers and scanners. Direct costs do not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space, and of heating or lighting a facility.
(3) Duplication refers to reproducing a copy of a record, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.
(4) Educational institution refers to any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the request is made in connection with his or her role at the educational institution. The Commission may seek verification from the requester that the request is in furtherance of scholarly research, and the Commission will advise requesters of their placement in this category.
Example 1. A request from a professor of sociology at a university for records relating to women in the workplace, written on letterhead of the Department of Sociology, would be presumed to be from an educational institution.
Example 2. A request from the same professor of sociology seeking candidate correspondence from the Commission in furtherance of a mystery book she is writing would not be presumed to be an institutional request, regardless of whether it was written on institutional stationery.
Example 3. A student who makes a request in furtherance of her coursework or other school-sponsored activities and provides a copy of a course syllabus or other reasonable documentation to indicate the research purpose for the request, would qualify as part of this fee category.

(5) Noncommercial scientific institution is an institution that is not operated on a “commercial basis,” as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A requester in this category must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to further scientific research and are not for a commercial use. The Commission will advise requesters of their placement in this category.
(6) Representative of the news media is any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations that broadcast “news” to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public, including news organizations that disseminate solely on the Internet. A request for records supporting the news-dissemination function of the requester will not be considered to be for a commercial use. “Freelance journalists” who demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through a news media entity will be considered representatives of the news media. A publishing contract would provide the clearest evidence that publication is expected; however, the Commission can also consider a requester's past publication record in making this determination. The Commission will advise requesters of their placement in this category.
(7) Review is the examination of a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for disclosure, including the process of redacting the record and marking the appropriate exemptions. Review costs are properly charged even if a record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time also includes time spent both obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a confidential commercial information submitter under §1610.19, but it does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.
(8) Search is the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records and the reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from electronic records.

(c) Charging fees. In responding to FOIA requests, the Commission will charge the following fees unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under paragraph (k) of this section. Because the fee amounts provided below already account for the direct costs associated with a given fee type, the Commission will not add any additional costs to charges calculated under this section.
(1) Search.
(i) Requests made by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media are not subject to search fees. The Commission will charge search fees for all other requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Commission may properly charge for time spent searching even if it does not locate any responsive records or if it determines that the records are entirely exempt from disclosure.
(ii) For each quarter hour spent by personnel searching for requested records, including electronic searches that do not require new programming, the fees will be charged as follows:
(A) By clerical personnel — at the rate of $5.00 per quarter hour.
(B) By paralegals — at the rate of $9.00 per quarter hour.
(C) By professional personnel — at the rate of $10.00 per quarter hour.
(D) By managers — at the rate of $17.50 per quarter hour.
(E) By SES employees — at the rate of $20.00 per quarter hour.

(iii) The Commission will charge the direct costs associated with conducting any search that requires the creation of a new computer program to locate the requested records. The Commission must notify the requester of the costs associated with creating such a program, and the requester must agree to pay the associated costs before the costs may be incurred.
(iv) For requests that require the retrieval of records stored by the Commission at a Federal Records Center operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Commission will charge additional costs in accordance with the Transactional Billing Rate Schedule established by NARA: http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/suitland/delivery-fees.html.

(2) Duplication. The Commission will charge duplication fees to all requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Commission must honor a requester's preference for receiving a record in a particular form or format where the Commission can readily reproduce it in the form or format requested. Where photocopies are supplied, the Commission will provide one copy per request at the cost of $.15/page. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, or other media, agencies will charge the direct costs of producing the copy, including operator time. Where paper documents must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, the requester must also pay the direct costs associated with scanning those materials. For other forms of duplication, the Commission will charge the direct costs.
(3) Review. The Commission will charge review fees to requesters who make commercial use requests. Review fees will be assessed in connection with the initial review of the record, for example, the review conducted by an agency to determine whether an exemption applies to a particular record or portion of a record. No charge will be made for review at the administrative appeal stage of exemptions applied at the initial review stage. However, if a particular exemption is deemed to no longer apply, any costs associated with an agency's re-review of the records in order to consider the use of other exemptions may be assessed as review fees. Review fees will be charged at the same rates as those charged for a search under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section.

(d) Restrictions on charging fees.
(1) When the Commission determines that a requester is an educational institution, non-commercial scientific institution, or representative of the news media, and the records are not sought for commercial use, it will not charge search fees.
(2)
(i) If the Commission fails to comply with the FOIA's time limits in which to respond to a request, it may not charge search fees, or, in instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, may not charge duplication fees, except as described in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section.
(ii) If the Commission has determined that unusual circumstances as defined by the FOIA apply and the Commission provided timely written notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limit shall be excused for an additional 10 days.
(iii) If the Commission has determined that unusual circumstances, as defined by the FOIA, apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the Commission may charge search fees, or, in the case of requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, may charge duplication fees, if the following steps are taken. The Commission must have provided timely written notice of unusual circumstances to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, and the Commission must have discussed with the requester via written mail, email or telephone (or not made less than three good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request in accordance with 5 U.S.C 552(a)(6)(B)(ii). If this exception is satisfied, the Commission may charge all applicable fees incurred in the processing of the request.
(iv) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, as defined by the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

(3) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.
(4) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use, the Commission must provide without charge:
(i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for other media); and
(ii) The first two hours of search.

(5) No fee will be charged when the total fee, after deducting the 100 free pages (or its cost equivalent) and the first two hours of search, is equal to or less than $25.00.

(e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00.
(1) When the Commission determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed in accordance with this section will exceed $25.00, the Commission must notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of the fees for search, review, or duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, the Commission will advise the requester accordingly. If the request is not for noncommercial use, the notice will specify that the requester is entitled to the statutory entitlements of 100 pages of duplication at no charge and, if the requester is charged search fees, two hours of search time at no charge, and will advise the requester whether those entitlements have been provided.
(2) If the agency notifies the requester that the actual or estimated fees are in excess of $25.00, the request will not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the requester commits in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or designates some amount of fees the requester is willing to pay, or in the case of a noncommercial use requester who has not yet been provided with the requester's statutory entitlements, designates that the requester seeks only that which can be provided by the statutory entitlements. The requester must provide the commitment or designation in writing, and must, when applicable, designate an exact dollar amount the requester is willing to pay. The Commission is not required to accept payments in installments.
(3) If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some designated amount of fees, but the Commission estimates that the total fee will exceed that amount, the Commission will toll the processing of the request when it notifies the requester of the estimated fees in excess of the amount the requester has indicated a willingness to pay. The Commission will inquire whether the requester wishes to revise the amount of fees the requester is willing to pay or modify the request. Once the requester responds, the time to respond will resume from where it was at the date of the notification.
(4) The Commission must make available its FOIA Public Liaison or other FOIA professional to assist any requester in reformulating a request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

(f) Charges for other services. Although not required to provide special services, if the Commission chooses to do so as a matter of administrative discretion, the direct costs of providing the service will be charged. Examples of such services include certifying that records are true copies, providing multiple copies of the same document, or sending records by means other than first class mail. The Commission charges for the following special services:
(1) For attestation of documents — $25.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration. Additionally, there may be search and review charges assessed in accordance with the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(2) For certification of document — $50.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration. Additionally, there may be search and review charges assessed in accordance with the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(g) Charging interest. The Commission may charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date of billing the requester. Interest charges will be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the billing date until payment is received by the agency. Agencies must follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, 5 U.S.C. 5514, as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

(h) Aggregating requests. When the Commission reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, the Commission may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. The Commission may presume that multiple requests of this type made within a 30-day period have been made in order to avoid fees. For requests separated by a longer period, the Commission will aggregate them only where there is a reasonable basis for determining that aggregation is warranted in view of all the circumstances involved. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters cannot be aggregated.
(i) Advance payments.
(1) For requests other than those described in paragraph (i)(2) or (3) of this section, the Commission cannot require the requester to make an advance payment before work is commenced or continued on a request. Payment owed for work already completed (for example, payment before copies are sent to a requester) is not an advance payment.
(2) When the Commission determines or estimates that a total fee to be charged under this section will exceed $250.00, it may require that the requester make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. The Commission may elect to process the request prior to collecting fees when it receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.
(3) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to the Commission within 30 calendar days of the billing date, the Commission may require that the requester pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest on that prior request, and the Commission may require that the requester make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before the Commission begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request or any pending appeal. Where the Commission has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented the requester's identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity.
(4) In cases in which the Commission requires advance payment, the request will not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the required payment is received. If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar days after the date of the Commission's fee determination, the request will be closed.

(j) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires an agency to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, the Commission must inform the requester of the contact information for that program.
(k) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees.
(1) Requesters may seek a waiver of fees by submitting a written application demonstrating how disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
(2) The Commission must furnish records responsive to a request without charge or at a reduced rate when it determines, based on all available information, that the factors described in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section are satisfied.
(i) Disclosure of the requested information would shed light on the operations or activities of the government. The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.
(ii) Disclosure of the requested information would be likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations or activities. This factor is satisfied when the following criteria are met:
(A) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully informative if nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.
(B) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public must be considered. The Commission will presume that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration.

(iii) The disclosure must not be primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the Commission will consider the following criteria:
(A) The Commission must identify whether the requester has any commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. A commercial interest includes any commercial, trade, or profit interest. Requesters must be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.
(B) If there is an identified commercial interest, the Commission must determine whether that is the primary interest furthered by the request. A waiver or reduction of fees is justified when the requirements of paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section are satisfied and any commercial interest is not the primary interest furthered by the request. The Commission ordinarily will presume that when a news media requester has satisfied factors set forth in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, the request is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return will not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.


(3) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver must be granted for those records.
(4) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the Commission and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester must pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received.

[81 FR 95875, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.16 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1610.17 | EXEMPTIONS

(a) 5 U.S.C. 552 exempts from all of its publication and disclosure requirements nine categories of records which are described in 552(b). These categories include such matters as national defense and foreign policy information, investigatory files, internal procedures and communications, materials exempted from disclosure by other statutes, information given in confidence, and matters involving personal privacy.
(b) The Commission shall withhold information under the FOIA only if:
(1) It reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption; or
(2) Disclosure is prohibited by law.

(c)
(1) The Commission shall consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever it determines that a full disclosure of a requested record is not possible; and
(2) Take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information.

(d) Paragraph (c) of this section does not require disclosure of information that is otherwise prohibited from disclosure by law, or otherwise exempted from disclosure under Exemption 3.
(e) Section 706(b) of title VII provides that the Commission shall not make public charges which have been filed. It also provides that (subsequent to the filing of a charge, an investigation, and a finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true) nothing said or done during and as a part of the Commission's endeavors to eliminate any alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion may be made public by the Commission without the written consent of the parties concerned; nor may it be used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding. Any officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public in any manner whatever any information in violation of section 706(b) shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year.
(f) Section 709 of title VII authorizes the Commission to conduct investigations of charges filed under section 706, engage in cooperative efforts with State and local agencies charged with the administration of State or local fair employment practices laws, and issue regulations concerning reports and record-keeping. Section (e) of section 709 provides that it shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the Commission to make public in any manner whatever any information obtained by the Commission pursuant to its authority under section 709 prior to the institution of any proceeding under the act involving such information. Any officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public in any manner whatever any information in violation of section 709(e) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year.
(g) Special disclosure rules apply to the case files for charging parties, aggrieved persons on whose behalf a charge has been filed, and entities against whom charges have been filed. The special disclosure rules are available in the public reading areas of the Commission. Under sections 706 and 709, case files involved in the administrative process of the Commission are not available to the public.
(h) Each executed statistical reporting form required under part 1602 of this chapter, such as Employer Information Report EEO-1, etc., relating to a particular employer is exempt from disclosure to the public prior to the institution of a proceeding under title VII involving information from such form.
(i) Section 107 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12117) and section 207(a) of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 2000ff-6) explicitly adopt the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in sections 706 and 709 of title VII. Accordingly, the prohibitions on disclosure contained in sections 706 and 709 of title VII as outlined in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section, apply with equal force to requests for information related to charges and executed statistical reporting forms filed with the Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
(j) Requests for information relating to open case files covering alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act (29 U.S.C. 206(b)) or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.) will ordinarily be denied under the seventh exemption of the Freedom of Information Act as investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
(k) The medical, financial, and personnel files of employees of the Commission are exempt from disclosure to the public.
(l) The deliberative process privilege attached to Exemption 5 shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.
[40 FR 8171, Feb. 26, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 40605, June 16, 1980; 56 FR 29579, June 28, 1991; 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009; 81 FR 95878, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.18 | INFORMATION TO BE DISCLOSED

The Commission will provide the following information to the public. This information will also be made available electronically:
(a) The Commission will make available for inspection and copying certain tabulations of aggregate industry, area, and other statistics derived from the Commission's reporting programs authorized by section 709(c) of title VII, provide that such tabulations: Were previously compiled by the Commission and are available in documentary form; comprise an aggregation of data from not less than three responding entities; and, do not reveal the identity of an individual or dominant entity in a particular industry or area;
(b) All blank forms used by the Commission;
(c) Subject to the restrictions and procedures set forth in §1610.19, all signed contracts, final bids on all signed contracts, and agreements between the Commission and State or local agencies charged with the administration of State or local fair employment practices laws;
(d) All final reports that do not contain statutorily confidential material in a recognizable form;
(e) All agency correspondence to members of the public, Members of Congress, or other persons not government employees or special government employees, except those containing information that would produce an invasion of privacy if made public;
(f) All administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect members of the public unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered for sale; and
(g) All final votes of each Commissioner, for every Commission meeting, except for votes pertaining to filing suit against respondents until such litigation is commenced.
(h) Underlying annual FOIA report data.
[56 FR 29579, June 28, 1991, as amended at 63 FR 1342, Jan. 9, 1998; 78 FR 36653, June 19, 2013]

29 CFR §1610.19 | PREDISCLOSURE NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR CONFIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL INFORMATION

(a) Definitions.
(1) Confidential commercial information means commercial or financial information obtained by the agency from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).
(2) Submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, State, or foreign government, but not including another Federal Government entity, that provides confidential commercial information, either directly or indirectly to the Federal Government.

(b) Designation of confidential commercial information. A submitter of confidential commercial information must use good faith efforts to designate by appropriate markings, at the time of submission, any portion of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4. These designations expire 10 years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests and provides justification for a longer designation period.
(c) When notice to submitters is required.
(1) The Commission must promptly provide written notice to the submitter of confidential commercial information whenever records containing such information are requested under the FOIA if the Commission determines that it may be required to disclose the records, provided —
(i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or
(ii) The Commission has a reason to believe that the requested information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure.

(2) The notice must either describe the commercial information requested or include a copy of the requested records or portions of records containing the information. In cases involving a voluminous number of submitters, the Commission may post or publish a notice in a place or manner reasonably likely to inform the submitters of the proposed disclosure, instead of sending individual notifications.

(d) Exceptions to submitter notice requirements. The notice requirements of this section do not apply if:
(1) The Commission determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA, and therefore will not be disclosed;
(2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;
(3) Disclosure of the information is required by a statute other than the FOIA or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 of June 23, 1987; or
(4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (b) of this section appears obviously frivolous. In such case, the Commission must give the submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information within 10 days prior to a specified disclosure date.

(e) Opportunity to object to disclosure.
(1) The Commission must specify a reasonable time period within which the submitter must respond to the notice referenced above.
(2) If a submitter has any objections to disclosure, it should provide the agency a detailed written statement that specifies all grounds for withholding the particular information under any exemption of the FOIA. In order to rely on Exemption 4 as basis for nondisclosure, the submitter must explain why the information constitutes a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is confidential.
(3) A submitter who fails to respond within the time period specified in the notice will be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. The Commission is not required to consider any information received after the date of any disclosure decision. Any information provided by a submitter under this subpart may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

(f) Analysis of objections. The Commission must consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose the requested information.
(g) Notice of intent to disclose. Whenever the Commission decides to disclose information over the objection of a submitter, the Commission must provide the submitter written notice, which must include:
(1) A statement of the reasons why each of the submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;
(2) A description of the information to be disclosed or copies of the records as the Commission intends to release them; and
(3) A specified disclosure date, which must be 10 days after the notice.

(h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, the Commission must promptly notify the submitter.
(i) Requester notification. The Commission must notify the requester whenever it provides the submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure; whenever it notifies the submitter of its intent to disclose the requested information; and whenever a submitter files a lawsuit to prevent the disclosure of the information.
[81 FR 95878, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.20 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1610.21 | ANNUAL REPORT

(a) The Legal Counsel shall, on or before February 1, submit individual Freedom of Information Act reports for each principal agency FOIA component and one for the entire agency covering the preceding fiscal year to the Attorney General of the United States and to the director of the Office of Information Government Services. The reports shall include those matters required by 5 U.S.C. 552(e), and shall be made available electronically on the agency Web site.
(b) The Commission will make each such report available for public inspection in an electronic format. In addition, the Commission will make the raw statistical data used in each report available in a timely manner for public inspection in an electronic format, which will be available —
(1) Without charge, license, or registration requirement;
(2) In an aggregated, searchable format; and
(3) In a format that may be downloaded in bulk.

(c) When and as directed by the Attorney General, the Chief FOIA Officer, through the Office of the Chair, shall review and report to the Attorney General on the agency's performance in implementing its responsibilities under FOIA.
[78 FR 36653, June 19, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 95879, Dec. 29, 2016]

29 CFR §1610.30 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This subpart contains the regulations of the Commission concerning procedures to be followed when a subpena, order, or other demand (hereinafter in this subpart referred to as a “demand”) of a court or other authority is issued for the production or disclosure of (a) any material contained in the files of the Commission; (b) any information relating to material contained in the files of the Commission; or (c) any information or material acquired by any person while such person was an employee of the Commission as a part of the performance of his official duties or because of his official status. [32 FR 16261, Nov. 29, 1967]

29 CFR §1610.32 | PRODUCTION PROHIBITED UNLESS APPROVED BY THE LEGAL COUNSEL

No employee or former employee of the Commission shall, in response to a demand of a court or other authority, produce any material contained in the files of the Commission or disclose any information or produce any material acquired as part of the performance of his official duties or because of his official status without the prior approval of the Legal Counsel. [32 FR 16261, Nov. 29, 1967, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982]

29 CFR §1610.34 | PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF A DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE

(a) Whenever a demand is made upon an employee or former employee of the Commission for the production of material or the disclosure of information described in §1610.30, he shall immediately notify the Legal Counsel. If possible, the Legal Counsel shall be notified before the employee or former employee concerned replies to or appears before the court or other authority.
(b) If response to the demand is required before instructions from the Legal Counsel are received, an attorney designated for that purpose by the Commission shall appear with the employee or former employee upon whom the demand has been made, and shall furnish the court or other authority with a copy of the regulations contained in this part and inform the court or other authority that the demand has been or is being, as the case may be, referred for prompt consideration by the Legal Counsel. The court or other authority shall be requested respectfully to stay the demand pending receipt of the requested instructions from the Legal Counsel.
[32 FR 16261, Nov. 29, 1967, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982; 63 FR 1342, Jan. 9, 1998]

29 CFR §1610.36 | PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF AN ADVERSE RULING

If the court or other authority declines to stay the effect of the demand in response to a request made in accordance with §1610.34(b) pending receipt of instructions from the Legal Counsel, or if the court or other authority rules that the demand must be complied with irrespective of the instructions from the Legal Counsel not to produce the material or disclose the information sought, the employee or former employee upon whom the demand has been made shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand (United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951)). [32 FR 16261, Nov. 29, 1967, as amended at 47 FR 46275, Oct. 18, 1982]




29 CFR §1611.1 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This part contains the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the Commission) implementing the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. It sets forth the basic responsibilities of the Commission under the Privacy Act (the Act) and offers guidance to members of the public who wish to exercise any of the rights established by the Act with regard to records maintained by the Commission. All records contained in system EEOC/GOVT-1, including those maintained by other agencies, are subject to the Commission's Privacy Act regulations. Requests for access to, an accounting of disclosures for, or amendment of records in EEOC/GOVT-1 must be processed by agency personnel in accordance with this part. Commission records that are contained in a government-wide system of records established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the General Services Administration (GSA), the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) or the Department of Labor (DOL) for which those agencies have published systems notices are subject to the publishing agency's Privacy Act regulations. Where the government-wide systems notices permit access to these records through the employing agency, an individual should submit requests for access to, for amendment of or for an accounting of disclosures to the Commission offices as indicated in §1611.3(b). [56 FR 29580, June 28, 1991]

29 CFR §1611.2 | DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this part, the terms individual, maintain, record, and system of records shall have the meanings set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a.

29 CFR §1611.3 | PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTS PERTAINING TO INDIVIDUAL RECORDS IN A RECORD SYSTEM

(a) Any person who wishes to be notified if a system of records maintained by the Commission contains any record pertaining to him or her, or to request access to such record or to request an accounting of disclosures made of such record, shall submit a written request, either in person or by mail, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the system notice published in the Federal Register. The request shall include:
(1) The name of the individual making the request;
(2) The name of the system of records (as set forth in the system notice to which the request relates);
(3) Any other information specified in the system notice; and
(4) When the request is for access to records, a statement indicating whether the requester desires to make a personal inspection of the records or be supplied with copies by mail.

(b) Requests pertaining to records contained in a system of records established by the Commission and for which the Commission has published a system notice should be submitted to the person or office indicated in the system notice. Requests pertaining to Commission records contained in the government-wide systems of records listed below should be submitted as follows:
(1) For systems OPM/GOVT-1 (General Personnel Records), OPM/GOVT-2 (Employee Performance File System Records), OPM/GOVT-3 (Records of Adverse Actions and Actions Based on Unacceptable Performance), OPM/GOVT-5 (Recruiting, Examining and Placement Records), OPM/GOVT-6 (Personnel Research and Test Validation Records), OPM/GOVT-9 (Files on Position Classification Appeals, Job Grading Appeals and Retained Grade or Pay Appeals), OPM/GOVT-10 (Employee Medical File System Records) and DOL/ESA-13 (Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Federal Employees' Compensation File), to the Director of Personnel Management Services, EEOC, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507;
(2) For systems OGE/GOVT-1 (Executive Branch Public Financial Disclosure Reports and Other Ethics Program Records), OGE/GOVT-2 (Confidential Statements of Employment and Financial Interests) and MSPB/GOVT-1 (Appeal and Case Records), to the Legal Counsel, EEOC, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507;
(3) For system OPM/GOVT-7 (Applicant Race, Sex, National Origin, and Disability Status Records), to the Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, EEOC, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507;
(4) For systems GSA/GOVT-3 (Travel Charge Card Program) and GSA/GOVT-4 (Contracted Travel Services Program) to the Director of Financial and Resource Management Services, EEOC, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507.

(c) Any person whose request for access under paragraph (a) of this section is denied, may appeal that denial in accordance with §1611.5(c).
[42 FR 7949, Feb. 8, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 29581, June 28, 1991; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1611.4 | TIMES, PLACES, AND REQUIREMENTS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUALS MAKING REQUESTS

(a) If a person submitting a request for access under §1611.3 has asked that the Commission authorize a personal inspection of records pertaining to that person, and the appropriate Commission official has granted that request the requester shall present himself or herself at the time and place specified in the Commission's response or arrange another, mutually convenient time with the appropriate Commission official.
(b) Prior to inspection of the records, the requester shall present sufficient personal identification (e.g., driver's license, employee identification card, social security card, credit cards). If the requester is unable to provide such identification, the requester shall complete and sign in the presence of a Commission official a signed statement asserting his or her identity and stipulating that he or she understands that knowingly or willfully seeking or obtaining access to records about another individual under false pretenses is a misdemeanor punishable by fine up to $5,000.
(c) Any person who has requested access under §1611.3 to records through personal inspection, and who wishes to be accompanied by another person or persons during this inspection, shall submit a written statement authorizing disclosure of the record in such person's or person's presence.
(d) If an individual submitting a request by mail under §1611.3 wishes to have copies furnished by mail, he or she must include with the request a signed and notarized statement asserting his or her identity and stipulating that he or she understands that knowlingly or willfully seeking or obtaining access to records about another individual under false pretenses is a misdemeanor punishable by fine up to $5,000.
(e) A request filed by the parent of any minor or the legal guardian of any incompetent person shall: state the relationship of the requester to the individual to whom the record pertains; present sufficient identification; and, if not evident from information already available to the Commission, present appropriate proof of the relationship or guardianship.
(f) A person making a request pursuant to a power of attorney must possess a specific power of attorney to make that request.
(g) No verification of identity will be required where the records sought are publicly available under the Freedom of Information Act.

29 CFR §1611.5 | DISCLOSURE OF REQUESTED INFORMATION TO INDIVIDUALS

(a) Upon receipt of request for notification as to whether the Commission maintains a record about an individual and/or request for access to such record:
(1) The appropriate Commission official shall acknowledge such request in writing within 10 working days of receipt of the request. Wherever practicable, the acknowledgement should contain the notification and/or determination required in paragraph (a) (2) of this section.
(2) The appropriate Commission official shall provide, within 30 working days of receipt of the request, written notification to the requester as to the existence of the records and/or a determination as to whether or not access will be granted. In some cases, such as where records have to be recalled from the Federal Records Center, notification and/or a determination of access may be delayed. In the event of such a delay, the Commission official shall inform the requester of this fact, the reasons for the delay, and an estimate of the date on which notification and/or a determination will be forthcoming.
(3) If access to a record is granted, the determination shall indicate when and where the record will be available for personal inspection. If a copy of the record has been requested, the Commission official shall mail that copy or retain it at the Commission to present to the individual, upon receipt of a check or money order in an amount computed pursuant to §1611.11.
(4) When access to a record is to be granted, the appropriate Commission official will normally provide access within 30 working days of receipt of the request unless, for good cause shown, he or she is unable to do so, in which case the requester shall be informed within 30 working days of receipt of the request as to those reasons and when it is anticipated that access will be granted.
(5) The Commission shall not deny any request under §1611.3 concerning the existence of records about the requester in any system of records it maintains, or any request for access to such records, unless that system is exempted from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a in §§1611.13, 1611.14, or 1611.15.
(6) If the Commission receives a request pursuant to §1611.3 for access to records in a system of records it maintains which is so exempt, the appropriate Commission official shall deny the request.

(b) Upon request, the appropriate Commission official shall make available an accounting of disclosures pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), unless that system is exempted from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a in §§1611.13, 1611.14, or 1611.15.
(c) If a request for access to records is denied pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the determination shall specify the reasons for the denial and advise the individual how to appeal the denial. If the request pertains to a system of records for which the Commission has published a system notice, any appeal must be submitted in writing to the Legal Counsel, EEOC, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507. If the request pertains to a government-wide system of records any appeal should be in writing, identified as a Privacy Act appeal and submitted as follows:
(1) For systems established by OPM and for which OPM has published a system notice, to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, OPM, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415. The OPM Privacy Act regulations, 5 CFR 297.207, shall govern such appeals.
(2) For systems established by OGE and for which OGE has published a system notice, to the Privacy Act Officer, Office of Government Ethics, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005-3917. The OGE Privacy Act regulations, 5 CFR part 2606, shall govern such appeals.
(3) For the system established by MSPB and for which MSPB has published a system notice, to the Deputy Executive Director for Management, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20419. The MSPB Privacy Act regulations, 5 CFR part 1205, shall govern such appeals.
(4) For systems established by GSA and for which GSA has published a system notice, to GSA Privacy Act Officer, General Services Administration (ATRAI), Washington, DC 20405. The GSA Privacy Act regulations, 41 CFR 105-64.301-5, shall govern such appeals.
(5) For the system established by DOL and for which DOL has published a system notice, to the Solicitor of Labor, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. The DOL Privacy Act regulations, 29 CFR 70a.9, shall govern such appeals.

(d) In the event that access to a record is denied on appeal by the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee, the requestor shall be advised of his or her right to bring a civil action in Federal district court for review of the denial in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(g).
(e) Nothing in 5 U.S.C. 552a or this part allows an individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.
[42 FR 7949, Feb. 8, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 29581, June 28, 1991; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009; 74 FR 6831, Feb. 11, 2009]

29 CFR §1611.6 | SPECIAL PROCEDURES: MEDICAL RECORDS

In the event the Commission receives a request pursuant to §1611.3 for access to medical records (including psychological records) whose disclosure of which the appropriate Commission official determines could be harmful to the individual to whom they relate, he or she may refuse to disclose the records directly to the requester but shall transmit them to a physician designated by that individual.

29 CFR §1611.7 | REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OR AMENDMENT TO RECORD

(a) Any person who wishes to request correction or amendment of any record pertaining to him or her which is contained in a system of records maintained by the Commission, shall submit that request in writing in accordance with the instructions set forth in the system notice for that system of records. If the request is submitted by mail, the envelope should be clearly labeled “Personal Information Amendment.” The request shall include:
(1) The name of the individual making the request;
(2) The name of the system of records as set forth in the system notice to which the request relates;
(3) A description of the nature (e.g., modification, addition or deletion) and substance of the correction or amendment requested; and
(4) Any other information specified in the system notice.

(b) Any person submitting a request pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall include sufficient information in support of that request to allow the Commission to apply the standards set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a (e).
(c) All requests to amend pertaining to personnel records described in §1611.3(b) shall conform to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and may be directed to the appropriate officials as indicated in §1611.3(b). Such requests may also be directed to the system manager specified in the OPM's systems notices.
(d) Any person whose request under paragraph (a) of this section is denied may appeal that denial in accordance with §1611.9(a).
[42 FR 7949, Feb. 8, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 29581, June 28, 1991]

29 CFR §1611.8 | AGENCY REVIEW OF REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OR AMENDMENT TO RECORD

(a) When the Commission receives a request for amendment or correction under §1611.7(a), the appropriate Commission official shall acknowledge that request in writing within 10 working days of receipt. He or she shall promptly either:
(1) Determine to grant all or any portion of a request for correction or amendment; and:
(i) Advise the individual of that determination;
(ii) Make the requested correction or amendment; and
(iii) Inform any person or agency outside the Commission to whom the record has been disclosed, and where an accounting of that disclosure is maintained in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(c), of the occurrence and substance of the correction or amendments, or;

(2) Inform the requester of the refusal to amend the record in accordance with the request; the reason for the refusal; and the procedures whereby the requester can appeal the refusal to the Legal Counsel of the Commission.

(b) If the Commission official informs the requester of the determination within the 10-day deadline, a separate acknowledgement is not required.
(c) In conducting the review of a request for correction or amendment, the Commission official shall be guided by the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(e).
(d) In the event that the Commission receives a notice of correction or amendment from another agency that pertains to records maintained by the Commission, the Commission shall make the appropriate correction or amendment to its records and comply with paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section.
(e) Requests for amendment or correction of records maintained in the government-wide systems of records listed in §1611.5(c) shall be governed by the appropriate agency's regulations cited in that paragraph. Requests for amendment or correction of records maintained by other agencies in system EEOC/GOVT-1 shall be governed by the Commission's regulations in this part.
[42 FR 7949, Feb. 8, 1977, as amended at 56 FR 29581, June 28, 1991]

29 CFR §1611.9 | APPEAL OF INITIAL ADVERSE AGENCY DETERMINATION ON CORRECTION OR AMENDMENT

(a) If a request for correction or amendment of a record in a system of records established by EEOC is denied, the requester may appeal the determination in writing to the Legal Counsel, EEOC, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507. If the request pertains to a record that is contained in the government-wide systems of records listed in §1611.5(c), an appeal must be made in accordance with the appropriate agency's regulations cited in that paragraph.
(b) The Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee shall make a final determination with regard to an appeal submitted under paragraph (a) of this section not later than 30 working days from the date on which the individual requests a review, unless for good cause shown, this 30-day period is extended and the requester is notified of the reasons for the extension and of the estimated date on which a final determination will be made. Such extensions will be used only in exceptional circumstances and will not normally exceed 30 working days.
(c) In conducting the review of an appeal submitted under paragraph (a) of this section, the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee shall be guided by the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(e).
(d) If the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee determines to grant all or any portion of a request on an appeal submitted under paragraph (a) of this section, he or she shall so inform the requester, and the appropriate Commission official shall comply with the procedures set forth in §1611.8(a)(1)(ii) and (iii).
(e) If the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee determines in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section not to grant all or any portion of a request on an appeal submitted under paragraph (a) of this section, he or she shall inform the requester:
(1) Of this determination and the reasons for it;
(2) Of the requester's right to file a concise statement of reasons for disagreement with the determination of the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee;
(3) That such statements of disagreement will be made available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, together with (if the Legal Counsel or Legal Counsel's designee deems it appropriate) a brief statement summarizing the Legal Counsel or Legal Counsel's designee's reasons for refusing to amend the record;
(4) That prior recipients of the disputed record will be provided with a copy of the statement of disagreement together with (if the Legal Counsel or Legal Counsel's designee deems it appropriate) a brief statement of the Legal Counsel or Legal Counsel's designee's reasons for refusing to amend the record, to the extent that an accounting of disclosure is maintained under 5 U.S.C. 552a(c); and
(5) Of the requester's right to file a civil action in Federal district court to seek a review of the determination of the Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(g).

(f) The Legal Counsel or the Legal Counsel's designee shall ensure that any statements of disagreement submitted by a requestor are made available or distributed in accordance with paragraphs (e) (3) and (4) of this section.
[56 FR 29582, June 28, 1991, as amended by; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1611.10 | DISCLOSURE OF RECORD TO PERSON OTHER THAN THE INDIVIDUAL TO WHOM IT PERTAINS

The Commission shall not disclose any record which is contained in a system of records it maintains, by any means of communication to any person or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of the individual to whom the record pertains, unless the disclosure is authorized by one or more provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(b).

29 CFR §1611.11 | FEES

(a) No fee shall be charged for searches necessary to locate records. No charge shall be made if the total fees authorized are less than $1.00. Fees shall be charged for services rendered under this part as follows:
(1) For copies made by photocopy — $0.15 per page (maximum of 10 copies). For copies prepared by computer, such as tapes or printouts, EEOC will charge the direct cost incurred by the agency, including operator time. For other forms of duplication, EEOC will charge the actual costs of that duplication.
(2) For attestation of documents — $25.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration.
(3) For certification of documents — $50.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration.

(b) All required fees shall be paid in full prior to issuance of requested copies of records. Fees are payable to “Treasurer of the United States.”
[71 FR 11309, Mar. 7, 2006]

29 CFR §1611.12 | PENALTIES

The criminal penalties which have been established for violations of the Privacy Act of 1974 are set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a(i). Penalties are applicable to any officer or employee of the Commission; to contractors and employees of such contractors who enter into contracts with the Commission on or after September 27, 1975, and who are considered to be employees of the Commission within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 552a(m); and to any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any record concerning an individual from the Commission under false pretenses.

29 CFR §1611.13 | SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS — CHARGE AND COMPLAINT FILES

Pursuant to subsection (k)(2) of the Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), systems EEOC-1 (Age and Equal Pay Act Discrimination Case Files), EEOC-3 (Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and GINA Discrimination Case Files), EEOC-15 (Internal Harassment Inquiries) and EEOC/GOVT-1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Records and Appeal Records) are exempt from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f) of the Privacy Act. The Commission has determined to exempt these systems from the above named provisions of the Privacy Act for the following reasons:
(a) The files in these systems contain information obtained by the Commission and other Federal agencies in the course of harassment inquiries, and investigations of charges and complaints that violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act have occurred. It would impede the law enforcement activities of the Commission and other agencies if these provisions of the Act applied to such records.
(b) The subject individuals of the files in these systems know that the Commission or their employing agencies are maintaining a file on their charge, complaint, or inquiry, and the general nature of the information contained in it.
(c) Subject individuals of the files in EEOC-1 (Age and Equal Pay Act Discrimination Case Files), EEOC-3 (Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and GINA Discrimination Case Files), and EEOC/GOVT-1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Records and Appeal Records) have been provided a means of access to their records by the Freedom of Information Act. Subject individuals of the charge files in system EEOC-3 have also been provided a means of access to their records by section 83 of the Commission's Compliance Manual. Subject individuals of the case files in system EEOC/GOVT-1 have also been provided a means of access to their records by the Commission's Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government regulation, 29 CFR 1614.108(f).
(d) Many of the records contained in system EEOC/GOVT-1 are obtained from other systems of records. If such records are incorrect, it would be more appropriate for an individual to seek to amend or correct those records in their primary filing location so that notice of the correction can be given to all recipients of that information.
(e) Subject individuals of the files in each of these systems have access to relevant information provided by the allegedly discriminating employer, accuser or harasser as part of the investigatory process and are given the opportunity to explain or contradict such information and to submit any responsive evidence of their own. To allow such individuals the additional right to amend or correct the records submitted by the allegedly discriminatory employer, accuser or harasser would undermine the investigative process and destroy the integrity of the administrative record.
(f) The Commission has determined that the exemption of these four systems of records from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I) and (f) of the Privacy Act is necessary for the agency's law enforcement efforts.
[67 FR 72373, Dec. 5, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 63983, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1611.14 | EXEMPTIONS — OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL FILES

(a) General. The system of records entitled Office of Inspector General Investigative Files consists, in part, of information compiled by the OIG for the purpose of criminal law enforcement investigations. Therefore, to the extent that information in this system falls within the scope of Exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), this system of records is exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act, for the reasons stated below.
(1) From subsection (c)(3), because release of an accounting of disclosures to an individual who is the subject of an investigation could reveal the nature and scope of the investigation and could result in the altering or destruction of evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, and other evasive actions that could impede or compromise the investigation.
(2) From subsection (d)(1), because release of investigative records to an individual who is the subject of an investigation could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties, reveal the identity of confidential sources, or reveal sensitive investigative techniques and procedures.
(3) From subsection (d)(2), because amendment or correction of investigative records could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, or could impose an impossible administrative and investigative burden by requiring the OIG to continuously retrograde its investigations attempting to resolve questions of accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness.
(4) From subsection (e)(1), because it is often impossible to determine relevance or necessity of information in the early stages of an investigation. The value of such information is a question of judgment and timing; what appears relevant and necessary when collected may ultimately be evaluated and viewed as irrelevant and unnecessary to an investigation. In addition, the OIG may obtain information concerning the violation of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, the OIG should retain this information because it may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity and provide leads for other law enforcement agencies. Further, in obtaining evidence during an investigation, information may be provided to the OIG which relates to matters incidental to the main purpose of the investigation but which may be pertinent to the investigative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be identified.
(5) From subsection (e)(2), because in a law enforcement investigation it is usually counterproductive to collect information to the greatest extent practicable from the subject thereof. It is not always feasible to rely upon the subject of an investigation as a source for information which may implicate him or her in illegal activities. In addition, collecting information directly from the subject could seriously compromise an investigation by prematurely revealing its nature and scope, or could provide the subject with an opportunity to conceal criminal activities, or intimidate potential sources, in order to avoid apprehension.
(6) From subsection (e)(3), because providing such notice to the subject of an investigation, or to other individual sources, could seriously compromise the investigation by prematurely revealing its nature and scope, or could inhibit cooperation, permit the subject to evade apprehension, or cause interference with undercover activities.

(b) Specific. The system of records entitled Office of Inspector General Investigative Files consists, in part, of investigatory material compiled by the OIG for law enforcement purposes. Therefore, to the extent that information in this system falls within the coverage of exemption (k)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), this system of records is exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act, for the reasons stated below.
(1) From subsection (c)(3), because release of an accounting of disclosures to an individual who is the subject of an investigation could reveal the nature and scope of the investigation and could result in the altering or destruction of evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, and other evasive actions that could impede or compromise the investigation.
(2) From subsection (d)(1), because release of investigative records to an individual who is the subject of an investigation could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties, reveal the identity of confidential sources, or reveal sensitive investigative techniques and procedures.
(3) From subsection (d)(2), because amendment or correction of investigative records could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, or could impose an impossible administrative and investigative burden by requiring the OIG to continuously retrograde its investigations attempting to resolve questions of accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness.
(4) From subsection (e)(1), because it is often impossible to determine relevance or necessity of information in the early stages of an investigation. The value of such information is a question of judgment and timing; what appears relevant and necessary when collected may ultimately be evaluated and viewed as irrelevant and unnecessary to investigation. In addition, the OIG may obtain information concerning the violation of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, the OIG could retain this information because it may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity and provide leads for other law enforcement agencies. Further, in obtaining evidence during an investigation, information may be provided to the OIG which relates to matters incidental to the main purpose of the investigation but which may be pertinent to the investigative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be identified.

[67 FR 72374, Dec. 5, 2002]

29 CFR §1611.15 | EXEMPTION — EEOC PERSONNEL SECURITY FILES

EEOC's system of records entitled EEOC Personnel Security Files contains records that document and support decisions regarding suitability, eligibility and fitness for service of applicants for EEOC employment and contract positions. The records include background investigation records. Pursuant to section (k)(5) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), this system of records is exempt from the provisions of sections (c)(3) and (d)(1) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d)(1), but only to the extent that the accounting of disclosures or the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence. [74 FR 6832, Feb. 11, 2009]




29 CFR §1612.1 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This part contains the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter, the Commission) implementing the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976, 5 U.S.C. 552b, which entitles the public to the fullest practicable information regarding the decision-making processes of the Commission. The provisions of this part set forth the basic responsibilities of the Commission with regard to the Commission's compliance with the requirements of the Sunshine Act and offers guidance to members of the public who wish to exercise any of the rights established by the Act.

29 CFR §1612.2 | DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply for purposes of this part:
(a) The term agency means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and any subdivision thereof authorized to act on its behalf.
(b) The term meeting means the deliberations of at least three of the members of the agency, which is a quorum of Commissioners, where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official agency business (including conference calls), but does not include:
(1) Individual members' consideration of official agency business circulated to the members in writing for disposition by notation or other separate, sequential consideration of Commission business by Commissioners,
(2) Deliberations to decide whether a meeting or portion(s) of a meeting or series of meetings should be open or closed.
(3) Deliberations to decide whether to withhold from disclosure information pertaining to a meeting or portions of a meeting or a series of meetings, or
(4) Deliberations pertaining to any change in any meeting or to changes in the public announcement of such meeting.

(c) The term member means each Commissioner of the agency.
(d) The term entire membership means the number of members holding office at the time of the meeting in question.
(e) The term person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or public or private organization.
(f) The term public observation means attendance at any meeting open to the public but does not include participation, or attempted participation, in such meeting in any manner.

29 CFR §1612.3 | OPEN MEETING POLICY

(a) All meetings of the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this part.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in §1612.4, every portion of every meeting shall be open to public observation. Public observation does not include participation or disruptive conduct by observers. Any attempted participation or disruptive conduct by observers shall be cause for removal of persons so engaged at the discretion of the presiding member of the agency.
(c) When holding open meetings, the Commission shall provide ample space, sufficient visibility, and adequate acoustics for persons in attendance at the meeting.
(d) Observers may take still photographs and use portable sound recorders which do not require electrical outlets. Persons may take pictures only at the beginning of a meeting and may not use flash equipment. Permission to use non-battery operated sound recorders and visual recorders must be sought reasonably in advance of a meeting. Such request must be made in writing to the Commission through the Office of the Executive Secretariat. The Commission may permit such activities to be conducted under specified limitations which insure proper decorum and minimum interference with the meeting. In all cases, audio or visual recording shall not disrupt or otherwise impede the meeting.

29 CFR §1612.4 | EXEMPTIONS TO OPEN MEETING POLICY

Except in a case where the agency finds that the public interest requires otherwise, the provisions of §1612.3 shall not apply to any meeting or portion of a meeting or portion of a meeting where the agency determines that an open meeting or the disclosure of information from such meeting or portions of a meeting is likely to:
(a) Disclose matters that are (1) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy and (2) in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order;
(b) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the agency;
(c) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552), provided that such statute (1) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (2) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(d) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(e) Involve accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
(f) Disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(g) Disclose investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, or information which if written would be contained in such records, but only to the extent that the production of such records or information would (1) interfere with enforcement proceedings, (2) deprive a persons of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (3) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (4) disclose the identity of a confidential source, and, in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source, (5) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or (6) endanger the life of physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(h) Disclose information contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;
(i) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action, except where the agency has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of the disclosed action, or where the agency is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final agency action on such proposal; or
(j) Specifically concern the agency's issuance of a subpoena, or the agency's participation in a civil action or proceeding, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the initiation, conduct, or disposition by the agency of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.

29 CFR §1612.5 | CLOSED MEETING PROCEDURES: AGENCY INITIATED REQUESTS

(a) Any member of the agency, the Legal Counsel, or any other Commission official submitting an agenda item for the subject meeting may request that any meeting or portion thereof be closed to public observation for any of the reasons provided in §1612.4 of this part by submitting a request in writing to the Commission through the Office of the Executive Secretariat no later than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the meeting.
(b) Upon receipt of any request made under paragraph (a) of this section, the Executive Secretary shall submit the request to the Legal Counsel for certification in accordance with §1612.9 of this part.
(c) No later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting the members of the agency shall, upon consideration of the request submitted and consideration of the certified opinion of the Legal Counsel, determine by recorded vote whether to close the meeting or portion of the meeting to public observation. The members may vote less than seven days prior to the scheduled meeting where:
(1) A majority of the members of the Commission determines by recorded vote that agency business requires that any such meeting or series of meetings be held at an earlier date.
(2) A meeting is closed under the Commission's regulation as set forth in §1612.13(a) of this part.
(3) A meeting is closed pursuant to a request made under §1612.6 of this part and submitted less than seven days prior to the meeting.
(4) There is a need to change the subject matter or the determination to open or close a meeting previously announced.

(d) The Commissioner shall, at the same time, vote on whether to withhold any information pertaining to the meeting and otherwise required to be announced (§1612.7(a)(3)) or made publicly available (paragraphs (f) (2) and (3) of this section).
(e) A meeting, portion of a meeting, or series of meetings may be closed to public observation only when a majority of the entire agency membership votes to take such action. Information pertaining to a meeting, portion of a meeting or series of meetings otherwise required to be announced (§1612.7(a)(3)) or made publicly available (paragraphs (f) (2) and (3) of this section) shall be withheld only when a majority of the entire agency membership votes to take such action.
(f) With respect to each vote taken on whether a meeting should be open or closed, the agency shall, within one day of such vote, make publicly available the following information:
(1) A written copy of the vote of each participating Commission member on the question.
(2) A written explanation of Commission action closing a meeting or portions thereof, and
(3) The name and affiliation of any persons who are expected to attend a closed meeting.

(g) The agency shall, within one day, make publicly available the vote of each Commission member on whether or not to withhold any of the information described in paragraphs (f) (2) or (3) of this section.
(h) A separate vote shall be taken for each meeting proposed to be closed to the public and with respect to any information proposed to be withheld from the public. However, a single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings proposed to be closed to the public, and with respect to information concerning such series of meetings, if each meeting involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the first meeting in the series.
[42 FR 13830, Mar. 14, 1977, as amended at 47 FR 46276, Oct. 18, 1982]

29 CFR §1612.6 | CLOSED MEETING PROCEDURES: REQUEST INITIATED BY AN INTERESTED PERSON

(a) Any person as defined in §1612.2 of this part whose interest may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting may request that the agency close that portion of the meeting to the public for any of the reasons listed in §1612.4(e), (f) or (g).
(b) Any person described in paragraph (a) of this section who submits a request that a portion of a meeting be closed, shall submit such request to the Chairman of the agency at the following address: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507. Such person shall state with particularity that portion of a meeting sought to be closed and the reasons for such request.
(c) The Chairman, upon receipt of any request made under paragraph (a) of this section, shall furnish a copy of the request to:
(1) Each member of the agency.
(2) The Legal Counsel for certification in accordance with §1612.9 of this part.

(d) Any member of the agency may request agency action upon such request.
(e) The Commission shall, upon the request of any one of its members and consideration of the certified opinion of the Legal Counsel, determine by recorded vote whether to close such meeting or portion thereof.
(f) The Chairman of the Commission shall promptly communicate to any person making a request to close a meeting or portion of a meeting under this section the agency's final disposition of such request.

29 CFR §1612.7 | PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF AGENCY MEETINGS

(a) Public announcement of each meeting by the agency shall be accomplished by recorded telephone message at telephone number 202-663-7100, and by posting such announcements on the Commission's public Web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov not later than one week prior to commencement of a meeting or the commencement of the first meeting in a series of meetings, except as otherwise provided in this section, and shall disclose:
(1) The time of the meeting.
(2) The place of the meeting.
(3) The subject matter of each portion of the meeting or series of meetings.
(4) Whether any portion(s) of a meeting will be open or closed to public observation.
(5) The name and telephone number of an official designated to respond to requests for information about the meeting.

(b) Where a meeting is closed to the public, the agency may withhold and not announce the information specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, if and to the extent that it finds that such action is justified under §1612.4. Information shall be withheld only by a recorded vote of a majority of the entire membership of the agency.
(c) The announcement described in paragraph (a) of this section may be accomplished less than one week prior to the commencement of any meeting or series of meetings where:
(1) A majority of the members of the Commission determines by recorded vote that agency business requires that any such meeting or series of meetings be held at an earlier date.
(2) A meeting is closed under the Commission's regulation as set forth in §1612.13(a) of this part.
(3) A meeting is closed pursuant to a request made under §1612.6 of this part and submitted less than seven days prior to the meeting.
(4) There has been a change in the subject matter or determination to open or close a meeting previously announced.
In these instances, the agency shall make public announcement at the earliest practicable time.

(d) Immediately following any public announcement accomplished under the provisions of this section, the agency shall submit a notice for publication in the Federal Register disclosing:
(1) The time of the meeting.
(2) The place of the meeting.
(3) The subject matter of each portion of each meeting or series of meetings.
(4) Whether any portion(s) of a meeting will be open or closed to public observation.
(5) The name and telephone number of an official designated to respond to requests for information about the meeting.

[42 FR 13830, Mar. 14, 1977, as amended at 55 FR 8140, Mar. 7, 1990; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009; 74 FR 42025, Aug. 20, 2009]

29 CFR §1612.8 | PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN MEETINGS

(a) The agency is required to make a public announcement of any changes in its meeting or portion(s) thereof. If, after the announcement provided for in §1612.7, the time or place of a meeting is changed or the meeting is cancelled, the agency will announce the change at the earliest practicable time. The subject matter or the determination to open or close the meeting may be changed only if (1) a majority of the entire membership of the agency determines by recorded vote that agency business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible and (2) the agency publicly announces the change and the vote of each member upon such change at the earliest practicable time.
(b) Immediately following any public announcement of any change accomplished under the provisions of this section, the agency shall submit a notice for publication in the Federal Register disclosing:
(1) The time of the meeting.
(2) The place of the meeting.
(3) The subject matter of each portion of each meeting or series of meetings.
(4) Whether any portion(s) of a meeting is open or closed to public observation.
(5) Any change in paragraphs (b) (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section.
(6) The name and telephone number of the official designated to respond to requests for information about any meeting.

29 CFR §1612.9 | LEGAL COUNSEL’S CERTIFICATION IN CLOSING A MEETING

(a) Upon any proper request made pursuant to this part, that the agency close a meeting or portion(s) thereof, the Legal Counsel shall certify in writing to the agency, whether in his or her opinion the closing of a meeting or portion(s) thereof is proper under the provisions of this part and the terms of the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b). If, in the opinion of the Legal Counsel, a meeting or portion(s) thereof is proper for closing under this part and the terms of the Government in the Sunshine Act, his or her certification of that opinion shall cite each applicable particular exemption of that Act and provision of this part.
(b) A copy of the certification of the Legal Counsel as described in paragraph (a) of this section together with a statement of the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth the time and place of the relevant meeting or meetings, and the persons present, shall be maintained by the agency in a public file.
[42 FR 13830, Mar. 14, 1977, as amended at 47 FR 46276, Oct. 18, 1982]

29 CFR §1612.10 | RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS

(a) In the case of any meeting or portion(s) thereof to be closed to public observation under the provisions of this part, the following records shall be maintained by the Executive Secretary of the agency:
(1) The certification of the Legal Counsel pursuant to §1612.9 of this part;
(2) A statement from the presiding officer of the meeting or portion(s) thereof setting forth the time and place of the meeting, and the persons present;
(3) A complete electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings of each meeting closed to the public observation, except that in a meeting closed pursuant to paragraph (h) or (j) of §1612.4, the agency may maintain minutes in lieu of a recording. Such minutes shall fully, and clearly describe all matters discussed and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any roll call vote. All documents considered in connection with any item shall be identified in the minutes.

(b) If the agency has determined that the meeting or portion(s) thereof may properly be closed to the public, the electronic recording or minutes shall not be made available to the public until such future time, if any, as it is determined by the Commission upon request, that the reasons for closing the meeting no longer pertain; Provided, however, that any separable portion of a recording or minutes will be made promptly available to the public if that portion does not contain information properly withheld under §1612.4.
(c) The agency shall maintain a copy of the electronic recording or minutes for a period of two years after the meeting, or until one year after the conclusion of the proceeding to which the meeting relates, whichever occurs later.
[42 FR 13830, Mar. 14, 1977, as amended at 47 FR 46276, Oct. 18, 1982]

29 CFR §1612.11 | PUBLIC ACCESS TO RECORDS

All requests for information shall be submitted in writing to the Chairman of the agency. Requests to inspect or copy the electronic recordings or minutes of agency meetings or portions thereof will be considered under the provisions of §1612.4 of this part.

29 CFR §1612.12 | FEES

(a) Records provided to the public under this part shall be furnished at the expense of the party requesting copies of the recording or minutes, upon payment of the actual cost of duplication.
(b) All required fees shall be paid in full prior to issuance of requested copies of records. Fees are payable to the “Treasurer of the United States.”

29 CFR §1612.13 | MEETINGS CLOSED BY REGULATION

(a) This paragraph constitutes the Commission's regulation promulgated pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of the Government in the Sunshine Act and may be invoked by the agency to close meetings or portions thereof where the subject matter of such meeting or portion of a meeting is likely to involve:
(1) Matters pertaining to the issuance of subpoenas;
(2) Subpoena modification and revocation requests, and
(3) The Agency's participation in civil actions or proceedings pertaining thereto.

(b) When closing a meeting or portion thereof under the Commission's regulation set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, a majority of the Commission membership shall vote at or before the beginning of such meeting or portion thereof to do so. The vote to close a meeting by regulation shall be recorded and made publicly available.
(c) The Commission's determination to promulgate the regulation in paragraph (a) of this section is based upon a review of the agenda of Commission meetings for the two years prior to the promulgation of these regulations.
(1) Since the Commission's practice of conducting weekly meetings began in 1975, proposed litigation against title VII respondents has been a regular agenda item. The tenth exemption of the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(10), exempts the discussion of these matters from the open meeting requirements of the Act.
(2) Thus, the Commission has determined that a majority of its meetings or portions thereof may properly be closed to the public under the tenth exemption of the Sunshine Act, and that paragraph (d)(4) of the Sunshine Act is properly relied upon in promulgating the Commission's regulation in paragraph (a) of this section.

29 CFR §1612.14 | JUDICIAL REVIEW

Any person may bring an action in a United States District Court to challenge or enforce the provisions of this part. Such action may be brought prior to or within sixty (60) calendar days after the meeting in question, except that if proper public announcement of the meeting is not made, the action may be instituted at any time within sixty (60) days after such announcement is made. An action may be brought where the agency meeting was held or in the District of Columbia.




29 CFR §1614.101 | GENERAL POLICY

(a) It is the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuing affirmative program in each agency.
(b) No person shall be subject to retaliation for opposing any practice made unlawful by title VII of the Civil Rights Act (title VII) (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), the Equal Pay Act (29 U.S.C. 206(d)), the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.), or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq.) or for participating in any stage of administrative or judicial proceedings under those statutes.
[74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1614.102 | AGENCY PROGRAM

(a) Each agency shall maintain a continuing affirmative program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. In support of this program, the agency shall:
(1) Provide sufficient resources to its equal employment opportunity program to ensure efficient and successful operation;
(2) Provide for the prompt, fair and impartial processing of complaints in accordance with this part and the instructions contained in the Commission's Management Directives;
(3) Conduct a continuing campaign to eradicate every form of prejudice or discrimination from the agency's personnel policies, practices and working conditions;
(4) Communicate the agency's equal employment opportunity policy and program and its employment needs to all sources of job candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, and solicit their recruitment assistance on a continuing basis;
(5) Review, evaluate and control managerial and supervisory performance in such a manner as to insure a continuing affirmative application and vigorous enforcement of the policy of equal opportunity, and provide orientation, training and advice to managers and supervisors to assure their understanding and implementation of the equal employment opportunity policy and program;
(6) Take appropriate disciplinary action against employees who engage in discriminatory practices;
(7) Make reasonable accommodation to the religious needs of applicants and employees when those accommodations can be made without undue hardship on the business of the agency;
(8) Make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified applicants and employees with handicaps unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the agency's program;
(9) Provide recognition to employees, supervisors, managers and units demonstrating superior accomplishment in equal employment opportunity;
(10) Establish a system for periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the agency's overall equal employment opportunity effort;
(11) Provide the maximum feasible opportunity to employees to enhance their skills through on-the-job training, work-study programs and other training measures so that they may perform at their highest potential and advance in accordance with their abilities;
(12) Inform its employees and recognized labor organizations of the affirmative equal employment opportunity policy and program and enlist their cooperation; and
(13) Participate at the community level with other employers, with schools and universities and with other public and private groups in cooperative action to improve employment opportunities and community conditions that affect employability.

(b) In order to implement its program, each agency shall:
(1) Develop the plans, procedures and regulations necessary to carry out its program;
(2) Establish or make available an alternative dispute resolution program. Such program must be available for both the pre-complaint process and the formal complaint process.
(3) Appraise its personnel operations at regular intervals to assure their conformity with its program, this part 1614 and the instructions contained in the Commission's management directives;
(4) Designate a Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO Director), EEO Officer(s), and such Special Emphasis Program Managers (e.g., People With Disabilities Program, Federal Women's Program and Hispanic Employment Program), clerical and administrative support as may be necessary to carry out the functions described in this part in all organizational units of the agency and at all agency installations. The EEO Director shall be under the immediate supervision of the agency head;
(5) Make written materials available to all employees and applicants informing them of the variety of equal employment opportunity programs and administrative and judicial remedial procedures available to them and prominently post such written materials in all personnel and EEO offices and throughout the workplace;
(6) Ensure that full cooperation is provided by all agency employees to EEO Counselors and agency EEO personnel in the processing and resolution of pre-complaint matters and complaints within an agency and that full cooperation is provided to the Commission in the course of appeals, including granting the Commission routine access to personnel records of the agency when required in connection with an investigation; and
(7) Publicize to all employees and post at all times the names, business telephone numbers and business addresses of the EEO Counselors (unless the counseling function is centralized, in which case only the telephone number and address need be publicized and posted), a notice of the time limits and necessity of contacting a Counselor before filing a complaint and the telephone numbers and addresses of the EEO Director, EEO Officer(s) and Special Emphasis Program Managers.

(c) Under each agency program, the EEO Director shall be responsible for:
(1) Advising the head of the agency with respect to the preparation of national and regional equal employment opportunity plans, procedures, regulations, reports and other matters pertaining to the policy in §1614.101 and the agency program;
(2) Evaluating from time to time the sufficiency of the total agency program for equal employment opportunity and reporting to the head of the agency with recommendations as to any improvement or correction needed, including remedial or disciplinary action with respect to managerial, supervisory or other employees who have failed in their responsibilities;
(3) When authorized by the head of the agency, making changes in programs and procedures designed to eliminate discriminatory practices and to improve the agency's program for equal employment opportunity;
(4) Providing for counseling of aggrieved individuals and for the receipt and processing of individual and class complaints of discrimination; and
(5) Assuring that individual complaints are fairly and thoroughly investigated and that final action is taken in a timely manner in accordance with this part.

(d) Directives, instructions, forms and other Commission materials referenced in this part may be obtained in accordance with the provisions of 29 CFR 1610.7 of this chapter.
(e) Agency programs shall comply with this part and the Management Directives and Bulletins that the Commission issues. The Commission will review agency programs from time to time to ascertain whether they are in compliance. If an agency program is found not to be in compliance, efforts shall be undertaken to obtain compliance. If those efforts are not successful, the Chair may issue a notice to the head of any federal agency whose programs are not in compliance and publicly identify each non-compliant agency.
(f) Unless prohibited by law or executive order, the Commission, in its discretion and for good cause shown, may grant agencies prospective variances from the complaint processing procedures prescribed in this Part. Variances will permit agencies to conduct pilot projects of proposed changes to the complaint processing requirements of this Part that may later be made permanent through regulatory change. Agencies requesting variances must identify the specific section(s) of this Part from which they wish to deviate and exactly what they propose to do instead, explain the expected benefit and expected effect on the process of the proposed pilot project, indicate the proposed duration of the pilot project, and discuss the method by which they intend to evaluate the success of the pilot project. Variances will not be granted for individual cases and will usually not be granted for more than 24 months. The Director of the Office of Federal Operations for good cause shown may grant requests for extensions of variances for up to an additional 12 months. Pilot projects must require that participants knowingly and voluntarily opt-in to the pilot project. Requests for variances should be addressed to the Director, Office of Federal Operations.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37655, July 12, 1999; 67 FR 35735, May 21, 2002; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 77 FR 43504, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.103 | COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION COVERED BY THIS PART

(a) Individual and class complaints of employment discrimination and retaliation prohibited by title VII (discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin), the ADEA (discrimination on the basis of age when the aggrieved individual is at least 40 years of age), the Rehabilitation Act (discrimination on the basis of disability), the Equal Pay Act (sex-based wage discrimination), or GINA (discrimination on the basis of genetic information) shall be processed in accordance with this part. Complaints alleging retaliation prohibited by these statutes are considered to be complaints of discrimination for purposes of this part.
(b) This part applies to:
(1) Military departments as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102;
(2) Executive agencies as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105;
(3) The United States Postal Service, Postal Rate Commission and Tennessee Valley Authority;
(4) All units of the judicial branch of the Federal government having positions in the competitive service, except for complaints under the Rehabilitation Act;
(5) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps;
(6) The Government Printing Office except for complaints under the Rehabilitation Act; and
(7) The Smithsonian Institution.

(c) Within the covered departments, agencies and units, this part applies to all employees and applicants for employment, and to all employment policies or practices affecting employees or applicants for employment including employees and applicants who are paid from nonappropriated funds, unless otherwise excluded.
(d) This part does not apply to:
(1) Uniformed members of the military departments referred to in paragraph (b)(1) of this section:
(2) Employees of the General Accounting Office;
(3) Employees of the Library of Congress;
(4) Aliens employed in positions, or who apply for positions, located outside the limits of the United States; or
(5) Equal Pay Act complaints of employees whose services are performed within a foreign country or certain United States territories as provided in 29 U.S.C. 213(f).

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37655, July 12, 1999; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 77 FR 43504, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.104 | AGENCY PROCESSING

(a) Each agency subject to this part shall adopt procedures for processing individual and class complaints of discrimination that include the provisions contained in §§1614.105 through 1614.110 and in §1614.204, and that are consistent with all other applicable provisions of this part and the instructions for complaint processing contained in the Commission's Management Directives.
(b) The Commission shall periodically review agency resources and procedures to ensure that an agency makes reasonable efforts to resolve complaints informally, to process complaints in a timely manner, to develop adequate factual records, to issue decisions that are consistent with acceptable legal standards, to explain the reasons for its decisions, and to give complainants adequate and timely notice of their rights.

29 CFR §1614.105 | PRE-COMPLAINT PROCESSING

(a) Aggrieved persons who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information must consult a Counselor prior to filing a complaint in order to try to informally resolve the matter.
(1) An aggrieved person must initiate contact with a Counselor within 45 days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory or, in the case of personnel action, within 45 days of the effective date of the action.
(2) The agency or the Commission shall extend the 45-day time limit in paragraph (a)(1) of this section when the individual shows that he or she was not notified of the time limits and was not otherwise aware of them, that he or she did not know and reasonably should not have been known that the discriminatory matter or personnel action occurred, that despite due diligence he or she was prevented by circumstances beyond his or her control from contacting the counselor within the time limits, or for other reasons considered sufficient by the agency or the Commission.

(b)
(1) At the initial counseling session, Counselors must advise individuals in writing of their rights and responsibilities, including the right to request a hearing or an immediate final decision after an investigation by the agency in accordance with §1614.108(f), election rights pursuant to §§1614.301 and 1614.302, the right to file a notice of intent to sue pursuant to §1614.201(a) and a lawsuit under the ADEA instead of an administrative complaint of age discrimination under this part, the duty to mitigate damages, administrative and court time frames, and that only the claims raised in precomplaint counseling (or issues or claims like or related to issues or claims raised in pre-complaint counseling) may be alleged in a subsequent complaint filed with the agency. Counselors must advise individuals of their duty to keep the agency and Commission informed of their current address and to serve copies of appeal papers on the agency. The notice required by paragraphs (d) or (e) of this section shall include a notice of the right to file a class complaint. If the aggrieved person informs the Counselor that he or she wishes to file a class complaint, the Counselor shall explain the class complaint procedures and the responsibilities of a class agent.
(2) Counselors shall advise aggrieved persons that, where the agency agrees to offer ADR in the particular case, they may choose between participation in the alternative dispute resolution program and the counseling activities provided for in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Counselors shall conduct counseling activities in accordance with instructions contained in Commission Management Directives. When advised that a complaint has been filed by an aggrieved person, the Counselor shall submit a written report within 15 days to the agency office that has been designated to accept complaints and the aggrieved person concerning the issues discussed and actions taken during counseling.
(d) Unless the aggrieved person agrees to a longer counseling period under paragraph (e) of this section, or the aggrieved person chooses an alternative dispute resolution procedure in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the Counselor shall conduct the final interview with the aggrieved person within 30 days of the date the aggrieved person contacted the agency's EEO office to request counseling. If the matter has not been resolved, the aggrieved person shall be informed in writing by the Counselor, not later than the thirtieth day after contacting the Counselor, of the right to file a discrimination complaint. The notice shall inform the complainant of the right to file a discrimination complaint within 15 days of receipt of the notice, of the appropriate official with whom to file a complaint and of the complainant's duty to assure that the agency is informed immediately if the complainant retains counsel or a representative.
(e) Prior to the end of the 30-day period, the aggrieved person may agree in writing with the agency to postpone the final interview and extend the counseling period for an additional period of no more than 60 days. If the matter has not been resolved before the conclusion of the agreed extension, the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section shall be issued.
(f) Where the aggrieved person chooses to participate in an alternative dispute resolution procedure in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the pre-complaint processing period shall be 90 days. If the claim has not been resolved before the 90th day, the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section shall be issued.
(g) The Counselor shall not attempt in any way to restrain the aggrieved person from filing a complaint. The Counselor shall not reveal the identity of an aggrieved person who consulted the Counselor, except when authorized to do so by the aggrieved person, or until the agency has received a discrimination complaint under this part from that person involving that same matter.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37656, July 12, 1999; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1614.106 | INDIVIDUAL COMPLAINTS

(a) A complaint must be filed with the agency that allegedly discriminated against the complainant.
(b) A complaint must be filed within 15 days of receipt of the notice required by §1614.105 (d), (e) or (f).
(c) A complaint must contain a signed statement from the person claiming to be aggrieved or that person's attorney. This statement must be sufficiently precise to identify the aggrieved individual and the agency and to describe generally the action(s) or practice(s) that form the basis of the complaint. The complaint must also contain a telephone number and address where the complainant or the representative can be contacted.
(d) A complainant may amend a complaint at any time prior to the conclusion of the investigation to include issues or claims like or related to those raised in the complaint. After requesting a hearing, a complainant may file a motion with the administrative judge to amend a complaint to include issues or claims like or related to those raised in the complaint.
(e) The agency shall acknowledge receipt of a complaint or an amendment to a complaint in writing and inform the complainant of the date on which the complaint or amendment was filed. The agency shall advise the complainant in the acknowledgment of the EEOC office and its address where a request for a hearing shall be sent. Such acknowledgment shall also advise the complainant that:
(1) The complainant has the right to appeal the final action on or dismissal of a complaint; and
(2) The agency is required to conduct an impartial and appropriate investigation of the complaint within 180 days of the filing of the complaint unless the parties agree in writing to extend the time period. When a complaint has been amended, the agency shall complete its investigation within the earlier of 180 days after the last amendment to the complaint or 360 days after the filing of the original complaint, except that the complainant may request a hearing from an administrative judge on the consolidated complaints any time after 180 days from the date of the first filed complaint.

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37656, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.107 | DISMISSALS OF COMPLAINTS

(a) Prior to a request for a hearing in a case, the agency shall dismiss an entire complaint:
(1) That fails to state a claim under §1614.103 or §1614.106(a) or states the same claim that is pending before or has been decided by the agency or Commission;
(2) That fails to comply with the applicable time limits contained in §§1614.105, 1614.106 and 1614.204(c), unless the agency extends the time limits in accordance with §1614.604(c), or that raises a matter that has not been brought to the attention of a Counselor and is not like or related to a matter that has been brought to the attention of a Counselor;
(3) That is the basis of a pending civil action in a United States District Court in which the complainant is a party provided that at least 180 days have passed since the filing of the administrative complaint, or that was the basis of a civil action decided by a United States District Court in which the complainant was a party;
(4) Where the complainant has raised the matter in a negotiated grievance procedure that permits allegations of discrimination or in an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board and §1614.301 or §1614.302 indicates that the complainant has elected to pursue the non-EEO process;
(5) That is moot or alleges that a proposal to take a personnel action, or other preliminary step to taking a personnel action, is discriminatory, unless the complaint alleges that the proposal or preliminary step is retaliatory;
(6) Where the complainant cannot be located, provided that reasonable efforts have been made to locate the complainant and the complainant has not responded within 15 days to a notice of proposed dismissal sent to his or her last known address;
(7) Where the agency has provided the complainant with a written request to provide relevant information or otherwise proceed with the complaint, and the complainant has failed to respond to the request within 15 days of its receipt or the complainant's response does not address the agency's request, provided that the request included a notice of the proposed dismissal. Instead of dismissing for failure to cooperate, the complaint may be adjudicated if sufficient information for that purpose is available;
(8) That alleges dissatisfaction with the processing of a previously filed complaint; or
(9) Where the agency, strictly applying the criteria set forth in Commission decisions, finds that the complaint is part of a clear pattern of misuse of the EEO process for a purpose other than the prevention and elimination of employment discrimination. A clear pattern of misuse of the EEO process requires:
(i) Evidence of multiple complaint filings; and
(ii) Allegations that are similar or identical, lack specificity or involve matters previously resolved; or
(iii) Evidence of circumventing other administrative processes, retaliating against the agency's in-house administrative processes or overburdening the EEO complaint system.


(b) Where the agency believes that some but not all of the claims in a complaint should be dismissed for the reasons contained in paragraphs (a)(1) through (9) of this section, the agency shall notify the complainant in writing of its determination, the rationale for that determination and that those claims will not be investigated, and shall place a copy of the notice in the investigative file. A determination under this paragraph is reviewable by an administrative judge if a hearing is requested on the remainder of the complaint, but is not appealable until final action is taken on the remainder of the complaint.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37656, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43504, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.108 | INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS

(a) The investigation of complaints shall be conducted by the agency against which the complaint has been filed.
(b) In accordance with instructions contained in Commission Management Directives, the agency shall develop an impartial and appropriate factual record upon which to make findings on the claims raised by the written complaint. An appropriate factual record is one that allows a reasonable fact finder to draw conclusions as to whether discrimination occurred. Agencies may use an exchange of letters or memoranda, interrogatories, investigations, fact-finding conferences or any other fact-finding methods that efficiently and thoroughly address the matters at issue. Agencies are encouraged to incorporate alternative dispute resolution techniques into their investigative efforts in order to promote early resolution of complaints.
(c) The procedures in paragraphs (c) (1) through (3) of this section apply to the investigation of complaints:
(1) The complainant, the agency, and any employee of a Federal agency shall produce such documentary and testimonial evidence as the investigator deems necessary.
(2) Investigators are authorized to administer oaths. Statements of witnesses shall be made under oath or affirmation or, alternatively, by written statement under penalty of perjury.
(3) When the complainant, or the agency against which a complaint is filed, or its employees fail without good cause shown to respond fully and in timely fashion to requests for documents, records, comparative data, statistics, affidavits, or the attendance of witness(es), the investigator may note in the investigative record that the decisionmaker should, or the Commission on appeal may, in appropriate circumstances:
(i) Draw an adverse inference that the requested information, or the testimony of the requested witness, would have reflected unfavorably on the party refusing to provide the requested information;
(ii) Consider the matters to which the requested information or testimony pertains to be established in favor of the opposing party;
(iii) Exclude other evidence offered by the party failing to produce the requested information or witness;
(iv) Issue a decision fully or partially in favor of the opposing party; or
(v) Take such other actions as it deems appropriate.


(d) Any investigation will be conducted by investigators with appropriate security clearances. The Commission will, upon request, supply the agency with the name of an investigator with appropriate security clearances.
(e) The agency shall complete its investigation within 180 days of the date of filing of an individual complaint or within the time period contained in an order from the Office of Federal Operations on an appeal from a dismissal pursuant to §1614.107. By written agreement within those time periods, the complainant and the respondent agency may voluntarily extend the time period for not more than an additional 90 days. The agency may unilaterally extend the time period or any period of extension for not more than 30 days where it must sanitize a complaint file that may contain information classified pursuant to Exec. Order No. 12356, or successor orders, as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, provided the investigating agency notifies the parties of the extension.
(f) Within 180 days from the filing of the complaint, or where a complaint was amended, within the earlier of 180 days after the last amendment to the complaint or 360 days after the filing of the original complaint, within the time period contained in an order from the Office of Federal Operations on an appeal from a dismissal, or within any period of extension provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, the agency shall provide the complainant with a copy of the investigative file, and shall notify the complainant that, within 30 days of receipt of the investigative file, the complainant has the right to request a hearing and decision from an administrative judge or may request an immediate final decision pursuant to §1614.110 from the agency with which the complaint was filed.
(g) If the agency does not send the notice required in paragraph (f) of this section within the applicable time limits, it shall, within those same time limits, issue a written notice to the complainant informing the complainant that it has been unable to complete its investigation within the time limits required by §1614.108(f) and estimating a date by which the investigation will be completed. Further, the notice must explain that if the complainant does not want to wait until the agency completes the investigation, he or she may request a hearing in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section, or file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court in accordance with §1614.407(b). Such notice shall contain information about the hearing procedures.
(h) Where the complainant has received the notice required in paragraph (f) of this section or at any time after 180 days have elapsed from the filing of the complaint, the complainant may request a hearing by submitting a written request for a hearing directly to the EEOC office indicated in the agency's acknowledgment letter. The complainant shall send a copy of the request for a hearing to the agency EEO office. Within 15 days of receipt of the request for a hearing, the agency shall provide a copy of the complaint file to EEOC and, if not previously provided, to the complainant.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37656, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.109 | HEARINGS

(a) When a complainant requests a hearing, the Commission shall appoint an administrative judge to conduct a hearing in accordance with this section. Upon appointment, the administrative judge shall assume full responsibility for the adjudication of the complaint, including overseeing the development of the record. Any hearing will be conducted by an administrative judge or hearing examiner with appropriate security clearances.
(b) Dismissals. Administrative judges may dismiss complaints pursuant to §1614.107, on their own initiative, after notice to the parties, or upon an agency's motion to dismiss a complaint.
(c) Offer of resolution.
(1) Any time after the filing of the written complaint but not later than the date an administrative judge is appointed to conduct a hearing, the agency may make an offer of resolution to a complainant who is represented by an attorney.
(2) Any time after the parties have received notice that an administrative judge has been appointed to conduct a hearing, but not later than 30 days prior to the hearing, the agency may make an offer of resolution to the complainant, whether represented by an attorney or not.
(3) The offer of resolution shall be in writing and shall include a notice explaining the possible consequences of failing to accept the offer. The agency's offer, to be effective, must include attorney's fees and costs and must specify any non-monetary relief. With regard to monetary relief, an agency may make a lump sum offer covering all forms of monetary liability, or it may itemize the amounts and types of monetary relief being offered. The complainant shall have 30 days from receipt of the offer of resolution to accept it. If the complainant fails to accept an offer of resolution and the relief awarded in the administrative judge's decision, the agency's final decision, or the Commission decision on appeal is not more favorable than the offer, then, except where the interest of justice would not be served, the complainant shall not receive payment from the agency of attorney's fees or costs incurred after the expiration of the 30-day acceptance period. An acceptance of an offer must be in writing and will be timely if postmarked or received within the 30-day period. Where a complainant fails to accept an offer of resolution, an agency may make other offers of resolution and either party may seek to negotiate a settlement of the complaint at any time.

(d) Discovery. The administrative judge shall notify the parties of the right to seek discovery prior to the hearing and may issue such discovery orders as are appropriate. Unless the parties agree in writing concerning the methods and scope of discovery, the party seeking discovery shall request authorization from the administrative judge prior to commencing discovery. Both parties are entitled to reasonable development of evidence on matters relevant to the issues raised in the complaint, but the administrative judge may limit the quantity and timing of discovery. Evidence may be developed through interrogatories, depositions, and requests for admissions, stipulations or production of documents. It shall be grounds for objection to producing evidence that the information sought by either party is irrelevant, overburdensome, repetitious, or privileged.
(e) Conduct of hearing. Agencies shall provide for the attendance at a hearing of all employees approved as witnesses by an administrative judge. Attendance at hearings will be limited to persons determined by the administrative judge to have direct knowledge relating to the complaint. Hearings are part of the investigative process and are thus closed to the public. The administrative judge shall have the power to regulate the conduct of a hearing, limit the number of witnesses where testimony would be repetitious, and exclude any person from the hearing for contumacious conduct or misbehavior that obstructs the hearing. The administrative judge shall receive into evidence information or documents relevant to the complaint. Rules of evidence shall not be applied strictly, but the administrative judge shall exclude irrelevant or repetitious evidence. The administrative judge or the Commission may refer to the Disciplinary Committee of the appropriate Bar Association any attorney or, upon reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard, suspend or disqualify from representing complainants or agencies in EEOC hearings any representative who refuses to follow the orders of an administrative judge, or who otherwise engages in improper conduct.
(f) Procedures.
(1) The complainant, an agency, and any employee of a Federal agency shall produce such documentary and testimonial evidence as the administrative judge deems necessary. The administrative judge shall serve all orders to produce evidence on both parties.
(2) Administrative judges are authorized to administer oaths. Statements of witnesses shall be made under oath or affirmation or, alternatively, by written statement under penalty of perjury.
(3) When the complainant, or the agency against which a complaint is filed, or its employees fail without good cause shown to respond fully and in timely fashion to an order of an administrative judge, or requests for the investigative file, for documents, records, comparative data, statistics, affidavits, or the attendance of witness(es), the administrative judge shall, in appropriate circumstances:
(i) Draw an adverse inference that the requested information, or the testimony of the requested witness, would have reflected unfavorably on the party refusing to provide the requested information;
(ii) Consider the matters to which the requested information or testimony pertains to be established in favor of the opposing party;
(iii) Exclude other evidence offered by the party failing to produce the requested information or witness;
(iv) Issue a decision fully or partially in favor of the opposing party; or
(v) Take such other actions as appropriate.


(g) Summary judgment.
(1) If a party believes that some or all material facts are not in genuine dispute and there is no genuine issue as to credibility, the party may, at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing or at such earlier time as required by the administrative judge, file a statement with the administrative judge prior to the hearing setting forth the fact or facts and referring to the parts of the record relied on to support the statement. The statement must demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any such material fact. The party shall serve the statement on the opposing party.
(2) The opposing party may file an opposition within 15 days of receipt of the statement in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The opposition may refer to the record in the case to rebut the statement that a fact is not in dispute or may file an affidavit stating that the party cannot, for reasons stated, present facts to oppose the request. After considering the submissions, the administrative judge may order that discovery be permitted on the fact or facts involved, limit the hearing to the issues remaining in dispute, issue a decision without a hearing or make such other ruling as is appropriate.
(3) If the administrative judge determines upon his or her own initiative that some or all facts are not in genuine dispute, he or she may, after giving notice to the parties and providing them an opportunity to respond in writing within 15 calendar days, issue an order limiting the scope of the hearing or issue a decision without holding a hearing.

(h) Record of hearing. The hearing shall be recorded and the agency shall arrange and pay for verbatim transcripts. All documents submitted to, and accepted by, the administrative judge at the hearing shall be made part of the record of the hearing. If the agency submits a document that is accepted, it shall furnish a copy of the document to the complainant. If the complainant submits a document that is accepted, the administrative judge shall make the document available to the agency representative for reproduction.
(i) Decisions by administrative judges. Unless the administrative judge makes a written determination that good cause exists for extending the time for issuing a decision, an administrative judge shall issue a decision on the complaint, and shall order appropriate remedies and relief where discrimination is found, within 180 days of receipt by the administrative judge of the complaint file from the agency. The administrative judge shall send copies of the hearing record, including the transcript, and the decision to the parties. If an agency does not issue a final order within 40 days of receipt of the administrative judge's decision in accordance with 1614.110, then the decision of the administrative judge shall become the final action of the agency.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37657, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.110 | FINAL ACTION BY AGENCIES

(a) Final action by an agency following a decision by an administrative judge. When an administrative judge has issued a decision under §1614.109(b), (g) or (i), the agency shall take final action on the complaint by issuing a final order within 40 days of receipt of the hearing file and the administrative judge's decision. The final order shall notify the complainant whether or not the agency will fully implement the decision of the administrative judge and shall contain notice of the complainant's right to appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the right to file a civil action in federal district court, the name of the proper defendant in any such lawsuit and the applicable time limits for appeals and lawsuits. If the final order does not fully implement the decision of the administrative judge, then the agency shall simultaneously file an appeal in accordance with §1614.403 and append a copy of the appeal to the final order. A copy of EEOC Form 573 shall be attached to the final order.
(b) Final action by an agency in all other circumstances. When an agency dismisses an entire complaint under §1614.107, receives a request for an immediate final decision or does not receive a reply to the notice issued under §1614.108(f), the agency shall take final action by issuing a final decision. The final decision shall consist of findings by the agency on the merits of each issue in the complaint, or, as appropriate, the rationale for dismissing any claims in the complaint and, when discrimination is found, appropriate remedies and relief in accordance with subpart E of this part. The agency shall issue the final decision within 60 days of receiving notification that a complainant has requested an immediate decision from the agency, or within 60 days of the end of the 30-day period for the complainant to request a hearing or an immediate final decision where the complainant has not requested either a hearing or a decision. The final action shall contain notice of the right to appeal the final action to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the right to file a civil action in federal district court, the name of the proper defendant in any such lawsuit and the applicable time limits for appeals and lawsuits. A copy of EEOC Form 573 shall be attached to the final action.
[64 FR 37657, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.201 | AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT

(a) As an alternative to filing a complaint under this part, an aggrieved individual may file a civil action in a United States district court under the ADEA against the head of an alleged discriminating agency after giving the Commission not less than 30 days' notice of the intent to file such an action. Such notice must be filed in writing with EEOC, at P.O. Box 77960, Washington, DC 20013, or by personal delivery or facsimile within 180 days of the occurrence of the alleged unlawful practice.
(b) The Commission may exempt a position from the provisions of the ADEA if the Commission establishes a maximum age requirement for the position on the basis of a determination that age is a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to the performance of the duties of the position.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37658, July 12, 1999; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009; 85 FR 35561, June 11, 2020]

29 CFR §1614.202 | EQUAL PAY ACT

(a) In its enforcement of the Equal Pay Act, the Commission has the authority to investigate an agency's employment practices on its own initiative at any time in order to determine compliance with the provisions of the Act. The Commission will provide notice to the agency that it will be initiating an investigation.
(b) Complaints alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act shall be processed under this part.

29 CFR §1614.203 | REHABILITATION ACT

(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:
(1) The term ADA means title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101 through 12117), title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12201 through 12213), as it applies to employment, and the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing titles I and V of the ADA at part 1630 of this chapter.
(2) The term disability means disability as defined under §1630.2(g) through (l) of this chapter.
(3) The term hiring authority that takes disability into account means a hiring authority that permits an agency to consider disability status during the hiring process, including the hiring authority for individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities, as set forth at 5 CFR 213.3102(u); the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment authority, as set forth at 5 CFR part 307; and the 30% or More Disabled Veteran authority, as set forth at 5 CFR 316.302(b)(4), 316.402(b)(4).
(4) The term personal assistance service provider means an employee or independent contractor whose primary job functions include provision of personal assistance services.
(5) The term personal assistance services means assistance with performing activities of daily living that an individual would typically perform if he or she did not have a disability, and that is not otherwise required as a reasonable accommodation, including, for example, assistance with removing and putting on clothing, eating, and using the restroom.
(6) The term Plan means an affirmative action plan for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities, as required under 29 U.S.C. 791(b).
(7) The term Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities means the hiring authority for individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities, as set forth at 5 CFR 213.3102(u).
(8) The term Section 501 means section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 791).
(9) The term targeted disability means a disability that is designated as a “targeted disability or health condition” on the Office of Personnel Management's Standard Form 256 or that falls under one of the first 12 categories of disability listed in Part A of question 5 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Demographic Information on Applicants form.
(10) The term undue hardship has the meaning set forth in part 1630 of this chapter.

(b) Nondiscrimination. Federal agencies shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in regard to the hiring, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The standards used to determine whether Section 501 has been violated in a complaint alleging employment discrimination under this part shall be the standards applied under the ADA.
(c) Model employer. The Federal Government shall be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. Agencies shall give full consideration to the hiring, advancement, and retention of qualified individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce. Agencies shall also take affirmative action to promote the recruitment, hiring, and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities, with the goal of eliminating under-representation of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce.
(d) Affirmative action plan. Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 791, each agency shall adopt and implement a Plan that provides sufficient assurances, procedures, and commitments to provide adequate hiring, placement, and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities at all levels of federal employment. An agency fails to satisfy this requirement unless it has adopted and implemented a Plan that meets the following criteria:
(1) ) Disability hiring and advancement program —
(i) Recruitment. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps to ensure that a broad range of individuals with disabilities, including individuals with targeted disabilities, will be aware of and be encouraged to apply for job vacancies when eligible. Such steps shall include, at a minimum —
(A) Use of programs and resources that identify job applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted disabilities, who are eligible to be appointed under a hiring authority that takes disability into account, consistent with applicable OPM regulations, examples of which could include programs that provide the qualifications necessary for particular positions within the agency to individuals with disabilities, databases of individuals with disabilities who previously applied to the agency but were not hired for the positions they applied for, and training and internship programs that lead directly to employment for individuals with disabilities; and
(B) Establishment and maintenance of contacts (which may include formal agreements) with organizations that specialize in providing assistance to individuals with disabilities, including individuals with targeted disabilities, in securing and maintaining employment, such as American Job Centers, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, Centers for Independent Living, and Employment Network service providers.

(ii) Application process. The Plan shall ensure that the agency has designated sufficient staff to handle any disability-related issues that arise during the application and selection processes, and shall require the agency to provide such individuals with sufficient training, support, and other resources to carry out their responsibilities under this section. Such responsibilities shall include, at a minimum —
(A) Ensuring that disability-related questions from members of the public regarding the agency's application and selection processes are answered promptly and correctly, including questions about reasonable accommodations needed by job applicants during the application and selection processes and questions about how individuals may apply for appointment under hiring authorities that take disability into account;
(B) Processing requests for reasonable accommodations needed by job applicants during the application and placement processes, and ensuring that the agency provides such accommodations when required to do so under the standards set forth in part 1630 of this chapter;
(C) Accepting applications for appointment under hiring authorities that take disability into account, consistent with applicable OPM regulations;
(D) If an individual has applied for appointment to a particular position under a hiring authority that takes disability into account, determining whether the individual is eligible for appointment under such authority, and, if so, forwarding the individual's application to the relevant hiring officials with an explanation of how and when the individual may be appointed, consistent with all applicable laws;
(E) Overseeing any other agency programs designed to increase hiring of individuals with disabilities.

(iii) Advancement program. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps to ensure that current employees with disabilities have sufficient opportunities for advancement. Such steps may include, for example —
(A) Efforts to ensure that employees with disabilities are informed of and have opportunities to enroll in relevant training, including management training when eligible;
(B) Development or maintenance of a mentoring program for employees with disabilities; and
(C) Administration of exit interviews that include questions on how the agency could improve the recruitment, hiring, inclusion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.


(2) Disability anti-harassment policy. The Plan shall require the agency to state specifically in its anti-harassment policy that harassment based on disability is prohibited, and to include in its training materials examples of the types of conduct that would constitute disability-based harassment.
(3) Reasonable accommodation —
(i) Procedures. The Plan shall require the agency to adopt, post on its public Web site, and make available to all job applicants and employees in written and accessible formats, reasonable accommodation procedures that are easy to understand and that, at a minimum —
(A) Explain relevant terms such as “reasonable accommodation,” “disability,” “interactive process,” “qualified,” and “undue hardship,” consistent with applicable statutory and regulatory definitions, using examples where appropriate;
(B) Explain that reassignment to a vacant position for which an employee is qualified, and not just permission to compete for such position, is a reasonable accommodation, and that the agency must consider providing reassignment to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation when it determines that no other reasonable accommodation will permit an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her current position;
(C) Notify supervisors and other relevant agency employees how and where they are to conduct searches for available vacancies when considering reassignment as a reasonable accommodation;
(D) Explain that an individual may request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing at any time, need not fill out any specific form in order for the interactive process to begin, and need not have a particular accommodation in mind before making a request, and that the request may be made to a supervisor or manager in the individual's chain of command, the office designated by the agency to oversee the reasonable accommodation process, any agency employee connected with the application process, or any other individual designated by the agency to accept such requests;
(E) Include any forms the agency uses in connection with a reasonable accommodation request as attachments, and indicate that such forms are available in alternative formats that are accessible to people with disabilities;
(F) Describe the agency's process for determining whether to provide a reasonable accommodation, including the interactive process, and provide contact information for the individual or program office from whom requesters will receive a final decision;
(G) Provide guidance to supervisors on how to recognize requests for reasonable accommodation;
(H) Require that decision makers communicate, early in the interactive process and periodically throughout the process, with individuals who have requested a reasonable accommodation;
(I) Explain when the agency may require an individual who requests a reasonable accommodation to provide medical information that is sufficient to explain the nature of the individual's disability, his or her need for reasonable accommodation, and how the requested accommodation, if any, will assist the individual to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of the workplace;
(J) Explain the agency's right to request relevant supplemental medical information if the information submitted by the requester is insufficient for the purposes specified in paragraph (d)(3)(i)(I) of this section;
(K) Explain the agency's right to have medical information reviewed by a medical expert of the agency's choosing at the agency's expense;
(L) Explain the agency's obligation to keep medical information confidential, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and the limited circumstances under which such information may be disclosed;
(M) Designate the maximum amount of time the agency has, absent extenuating circumstances, to either provide a requested accommodation or deny the request, and explain that the time limit begins to run when the accommodation is first requested;
(N) Explain that the agency will not be expected to adhere to its usual timelines if an individual's health professional fails to provide needed documentation in a timely manner;
(O) Explain that, where a particular reasonable accommodation can be provided in less than the maximum amount of time permitted under paragraph (d)(3)(i)(M) of this section, failure to provide the accommodation in a prompt manner may result in a violation of the Rehabilitation Act;
(P) Provide for expedited processing of requests for reasonable accommodations that are needed sooner than the maximum allowable time frame permitted under paragraph (d)(3)(i)(M) of this section;
(Q) Explain that, when all the facts and circumstances known to the agency make it reasonably likely that an individual will be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, but the accommodation cannot be provided immediately, the agency shall provide an interim accommodation that allows the individual to perform some or all of the essential functions of his or her job, if it is possible to do so without imposing undue hardship on the agency;
(R) Inform applicants and employees how they may track the processing of requests for reasonable accommodation;
(S) Explain that, where there is a delay in either processing a request for or providing a reasonable accommodation, the agency must notify the individual of the reason for the delay, including any extenuating circumstances that justify the delay;
(T) Explain that individuals who have been denied reasonable accommodations have the right to file complaints pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.106;
(U) Encourage the use of voluntary informal dispute resolution processes that individuals may use to obtain prompt reconsideration of denied requests for reasonable accommodation;
(V) Provide that the agency shall give the requester a notice consistent with the requirements of paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section at the time a request for reasonable accommodation is denied; and
(W) Provide information on how to access additional information regarding reasonable accommodation, including, at a minimum, Commission guidance and technical assistance documents.

(ii) Cost of accommodations. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps to ensure that requests for reasonable accommodation are not denied for reasons of cost, and that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from employment due to the anticipated cost of a reasonable accommodation, if the resources available to the agency as a whole, excluding those designated by statute for a specific purpose that does not include reasonable accommodation, would enable it to provide an effective reasonable accommodation without undue hardship. Such steps shall be reasonably designed to, at a minimum —
(A) Ensure that anyone who is authorized to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation or to make hiring decisions is aware that, pursuant to the regulations implementing the undue hardship defense at 29 CFR part 1630, all resources available to the agency as a whole, excluding those designated by statute for a specific purpose that does not include reasonable accommodation, are considered when determining whether a denial of reasonable accommodation based on cost is lawful; and
(B) Ensure that anyone authorized to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation or to make hiring decisions is aware of, and knows how to arrange for the use of, agency resources available to provide the accommodation, including any centralized fund the agency may have for that purpose.

(iii) Notification of basis for denial. The Plan shall require the agency to provide a job applicant or employee who is denied a reasonable accommodation with a written notice at the time of the denial, in an accessible format when requested, that —
(A) Explains the reasons for the denial and notifies the job applicant or employee of any available internal appeal or informal dispute resolution processes;
(B) Informs the job applicant or employee of the right to challenge the denial by filing a complaint of discrimination under this part;
(C) Provides instructions on how to file such a complaint; and
(D) Explains that, pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.105, the right to file a complaint will be lost unless the job applicant or employee initiates contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 days of the denial, regardless of whether the applicant or employee participates in an informal dispute resolution process.


(4) Accessibility of facilities and technology —
(i) Notice of rights. The Plan shall require the agency to adopt, post on its public Web site, and make available to all employees in written and accessible formats, a notice that —
(A) Explains their rights under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794d, concerning the accessibility of agency technology, and the Architectural Barriers Act, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157, concerning the accessibility of agency building and facilities;
(B) Provides contact information for an agency employee who is responsible for ensuring the physical accessibility of the agency's facilities under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, and an agency employee who is responsible for ensuring that the electronic and information technology purchased, maintained, or used by the agency is readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities, as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and
(C) Provides instructions on how to file complaints alleging violations of the accessibility requirements of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

(ii) Assistance with filing complaints at other agencies. If an agency's investigation of a complaint filed under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 shows that a different entity is responsible for the alleged violation, the Plan shall require the agency to inform the individual who filed the complaint where he or she may file a complaint against the other entity, if possible.

(5) Personal assistance services allowing employees to participate in the workplace —
(i) Obligation to provide personal assistance services. The Plan shall require the agency to provide an employee with, in addition to professional services required as a reasonable accommodation under the standards set forth in part 1630 of this chapter, personal assistance services during work hours and job-related travel if —
(A) The employee requires such services because of a targeted disability;
(B) Provision of such services would, together with any reasonable accommodations required under the standards set forth in part 1630 of this chapter, enable the employee to perform the essential functions of his or her position; and
(C) Provision of such services would not impose undue hardship on the agency.

(ii) Service providers. The Plan shall state that personal assistance services required under paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section must be performed by a personal assistance service provider. The Plan may permit the agency to require personal assistance service providers to provide personal assistance services to more than one individual. The Plan may also permit the agency to require personal assistance service providers to perform tasks unrelated to personal assistance services, but only to the extent that doing so does not result in failure to provide personal assistance services required under paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section in a timely manner.
(iii) No adverse action. The Plan shall prohibit the agency from taking adverse actions against job applicants or employees based on their need for, or perceived need for, personal assistance services.
(iv) Selection of personal assistance service providers. The Plan shall require the agency, when selecting someone who will provide personal assistance services to a single individual, to give primary consideration to the individual's preferences to the extent permitted by law.
(v) Written procedures. The Plan shall require the agency to adopt, post on its public Web site, and make available to all job applicants and employees in written and accessible formats, procedures for processing requests for personal assistance services. An agency may satisfy this requirement by stating, in the procedures required under paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, that the process for requesting personal assistance services, the process for determining whether such services are required, and the agency's right to deny such requests when provision of the services would pose an undue hardship, are the same as for reasonable accommodations.

(6) Utilization analysis —
(i) Current utilization. The Plan shall require the agency to perform a workforce analysis annually to determine the percentage of its employees at each grade and salary level who have disabilities, and the percentage of its employees at each grade and salary level who have targeted disabilities.
(ii) Source of data. For purposes of the analysis required under paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section, an employee may be classified as an individual with a disability or an individual with a targeted disability on the basis of — (A) The individual's self-identification as an individual with a disability or an individual with a targeted disability on a form, including but not limited to the Office of Personnel Management's Standard Form 256, which states that the information collected will be kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes, and that completion of the form is voluntary;
(B) Records relating to the individual's appointment under a hiring authority that takes disability into account, if applicable; and
(C) Records relating to the individual's requests for reasonable accommodation, if any.

(iii) Data accuracy. The Plan shall require the agency to take steps to ensure that data collected pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section are accurate.

(7) Goals —
(i) Adoption. The Plan shall commit the agency to the goal of ensuring that —
(A) No less than 12% of employees at the GS-11 level and above, together with employees who are not paid under the General Schedule but who have salaries equal to or greater than employees at the GS-11, step 1 level in the Washington, DC locality, are individuals with disabilities;
(B) No less than 12% of employees at the GS-10 level and below, together with employees who are not paid under the General Schedule but who have salaries less than employees at the GS-11, step 1 level in the Washington, DC locality, are individuals with disabilities;
(C) No less than 2% of employees at the GS-11 level and above, together with employees who are not paid under the General Schedule but who have salaries equal to or greater than employees at the GS-11, step 1 level in the Washington, DC locality, are individuals with targeted disabilities; and
(D) No less than 2% of employees at the GS-10 level and below, together with employees who are not paid under the General Schedule but who have salaries less than employees at the GS-11, step 1 level in the Washington, DC locality, are individuals with targeted disabilities.

(ii) Progression toward goals. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to gradually increase the number of persons with disabilities or targeted disabilities employed at the agency until it meets the goals established pursuant to paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section. Examples of such steps include, but are not limited to —
(A) Increased use of hiring authorities that take disability into account to hire or promote individuals with disabilities or targeted disabilities, as applicable;
(B) To the extent permitted by applicable laws, consideration of disability or targeted disability status as a positive factor in hiring, promotion, or assignment decisions;
(C) Disability-related training and education campaigns for all employees in the agency;
(D) Additional outreach or recruitment efforts;
(E) Increased efforts to hire and retain individuals who require supported employment because of a disability, who have retained the services of a job coach at their own expense or at the expense of a third party, and who may be given permission to use the job coach during work hours as a reasonable accommodation without imposing undue hardship on the agency; and
(F) Adoption of training, mentoring, or internship programs for individuals with disabilities.


(8) Recordkeeping. The Plan shall require the agency to keep records that it may use to determine whether it is complying with the nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements imposed under Section 501, and to make such records available to the Commission upon the Commission's request, including, at a minimum, records of —
(i) The number of job applications received from individuals with disabilities, and the number of individuals with disabilities who were hired by the agency;
(ii) The number of job applications received from individuals with targeted disabilities, and the number of individuals with targeted disabilities who were hired by the agency;
(iii) All rescissions of conditional job offers, demotions, and terminations taken against applicants or employees as a result of medical examinations or inquiries;
(iv) All agency employees hired under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities, and each such employee's date of hire, entering grade level, probationary status, and current grade level;
(v) The number of employees appointed under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities who have been converted to career or career-conditional appointments in the competitive service, and the number of such employees who were terminated prior to being converted to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service; and
(vi) Details about each request for reasonable accommodation including, at a minimum —
(A) The specific reasonable accommodation requested, if any;
(B) The job (occupational series, grade level, and agency component) sought by the requesting applicant or held by the requesting employee;
(C) Whether the accommodation was needed to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment;
(D) Whether the request was granted (which may include an accommodation different from the one requested) or denied;
(E) The identity of the deciding official;
(F) If denied, the basis for such denial; and
(G) The number of days taken to process the request.



(e) Reporting —
(1) Submission to the Commission. On an annual basis, each federal agency shall submit to the Commission for approval, at such time and in such manner as the Commission deems appropriate —
(i) A copy of its current Plan;
(ii) The results of the two most recent workforce analyses performed pursuant to paragraph (d)(6) of this section showing the percentage of employees with disabilities and employees with targeted disabilities in each of the designated pay groups;
(iii) The number of individuals appointed to positions within the agency under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities during the previous year, and the total number of employees whose employment at the agency began by appointment under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities; and
(iv) A list of changes made to the Plan since the prior submission, if any, and an explanation of why those changes were made.

(2) Availability to the public. Each agency shall make the information submitted to the Commission pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section available to the public by, at a minimum, posting a copy of the submission on its public Web site and providing a means by which members of the public may request copies of the submission in accessible formats.

(f) Commission approval and disapproval —
(1) Basis for approval. If the Commission determines that an agency has adopted and implemented a Plan that meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, the Commission shall approve the Plan.
(2) Basis for disapproval. If the Commission determines that an agency has failed to adopt and implement a Plan that meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, the Commission shall disapprove the Plan as required by 29 U.S.C. 791(b). Failure to achieve a goal set forth in paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section, by itself, is not grounds for disapproval unless the Plan fails to require the agency to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to achieve the goal.

[82 FR 677, Jan. 3, 2017]

29 CFR §1614.204 | CLASS COMPLAINTS

(a) Definitions.
(1) A class is a group of employees, former employees or applicants for employment who, it is alleged, have been or are being adversely affected by an agency personnel management policy or practice that discriminates against the group on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
(2) A class complaint is a written complaint of discrimination filed on behalf of a class by the agent of the class alleging that:
(i) The class is so numerous that a consolidated complaint of the members of the class is impractical;
(ii) There are questions of fact common to the class;
(iii) The claims of the agent of the class are typical of the claims of the class;
(iv) The agent of the class, or, if represented, the representative, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

(3) An agent of the class is a class member who acts for the class during the processing of the class complaint.

(b) Pre-complaint processing. An employee or applicant who wishes to file a class complaint must seek counseling and be counseled in accordance with §1614.105. A complainant may move for class certification at any reasonable point in the process when it becomes apparent that there are class implications to the claim raised in an individual complaint. If a complainant moves for class certification after completing the counseling process contained in §1614.105, no additional counseling is required. The administrative judge shall deny class certification when the complainant has unduly delayed in moving for certification.
(c) Filing and presentation of a class complaint.
(1) A class complaint must be signed by the agent or representative and must identify the policy or practice adversely affecting the class as well as the specific action or matter affecting the class agent.
(2) The complaint must be filed with the agency that allegedly discriminated not later than 15 days after the agent's receipt of the notice of right to file a class complaint.
(3) The complaint shall be processed promptly; the parties shall cooperate and shall proceed at all times without undue delay.

(d) Acceptance or dismissal.
(1) Within 30 days of an agency's receipt of a complaint, the agency shall: Designate an agency representative who shall not be any of the individuals referenced in §1614.102(b)(3), and forward the complaint, along with a copy of the Counselor's report and any other information pertaining to timeliness or other relevant circumstances related to the complaint, to the Commission. The Commission shall assign the complaint to an administrative judge or complaints examiner with a proper security clearance when necessary. The administrative judge may require the complainant or agency to submit additional information relevant to the complaint.
(2) The administrative judge may dismiss the complaint, or any portion, for any of the reasons listed in §1614.107 or because it does not meet the prerequisites of a class complaint under §1614.204(a)(2).
(3) If the allegation is not included in the Counselor's report, the administrative judge shall afford the agent 15 days to state whether the matter was discussed with the Counselor and, if not, explain why it was not discussed. If the explanation is not satisfactory, the administrative judge shall dismiss the allegation. If the explanation is satisfactory, the administrative judge shall refer the allegation to the agency for further counseling of the agent. After counseling, the allegation shall be consolidated with the class complaint.
(4) If an allegation lacks specificity and detail, the administrative judge shall afford the agent 15 days to provide specific and detailed information. The administrative judge shall dismiss the complaint if the agent fails to provide such information within the specified time period. If the information provided contains new allegations outside the scope of the complaint, the administrative judge shall advise the agent how to proceed on an individual or class basis concerning these allegations.
(5) The administrative judge shall extend the time limits for filing a complaint and for consulting with a Counselor in accordance with the time limit extension provisions contained in §§1614.105(a)(2) and 1614.604.
(6) When appropriate, the administrative judge may decide that a class be divided into subclasses and that each subclass be treated as a class, and the provisions of this section then shall be construed and applied accordingly.
(7) The administrative judge shall transmit his or her decision to accept or dismiss a complaint to the agency and the agent. The agency shall take final action by issuing a final order within 40 days of receipt of the hearing record and administrative judge's decision. The final order shall notify the agent whether or not the agency will implement the decision of the administrative judge. If the final order does not implement the decision of the administrative judge, the agency shall simultaneously appeal the administrative judge's decision in accordance with §1614.403 and append a copy of the appeal to the final order. A dismissal of a class complaint shall inform the agent either that the complaint is being filed on that date as an individual complaint of discrimination and will be processed under subpart A or that the complaint is also dismissed as an individual complaint in accordance with §1614.107. In addition, it shall inform the agent of the right to appeal the dismissal of the class complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or to file a civil action and shall include EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition.

(e) Notification.
(1) Within 15 days of receiving notice that the administrative judge has accepted a class complaint or a reasonable time frame specified by the administrative judge, the agency shall use reasonable means, such as delivery, mailing to last known address or distribution, to notify all class members of the acceptance of the class complaint.
(2) Such notice shall contain:
(i) The name of the agency or organizational segment, its location, and the date of acceptance of the complaint;
(ii) A description of the issues accepted as part of the class complaint;
(iii) An explanation of the binding nature of the final decision or resolution of the complaint on class members; and
(iv) The name, address and telephone number of the class representative.


(f) Obtaining evidence concerning the complaint.
(1) The administrative judge shall notify the agent and the agency representative of the time period that will be allowed both parties to prepare their cases. This time period will include at least 60 days and may be extended by the administrative judge upon the request of either party. Both parties are entitled to reasonable development of evidence on matters relevant to the issues raised in the complaint. Evidence may be developed through interrogatories, depositions, and requests for admissions, stipulations or production of documents. It shall be grounds for objection to producing evidence that the information sought by either party is irrelevant, overburdensome, repetitious, or privileged.
(2) If mutual cooperation fails, either party may request the administrative judge to rule on a request to develop evidence. If a party fails without good cause shown to respond fully and in timely fashion to a request made or approved by the administrative judge for documents, records, comparative data, statistics or affidavits, and the information is solely in the control of one party, such failure may, in appropriate circumstances, caused the administrative judge:
(i) To draw an adverse inference that the requested information would have reflected unfavorably on the party refusing to provide the requested information;
(ii) To consider the matters to which the requested information pertains to be established in favor of the opposing party;
(iii) To exclude other evidence offered by the party failing to produce the requested information;
(iv) To recommend that a decision be entered in favor of the opposing party; or
(v) To take such other actions as the administrative judge deems appropriate.

(3) During the period for development of evidence, the administrative judge may, in his or her discretion, direct that an investigation of facts relevant to the complaint or any portion be conducted by an agency certified by the Commission.
(4) Both parties shall furnish to the administrative judge copies of all materials that they wish to be examined and such other material as may be requested.

(g) Opportunity for resolution of the complaint.
(1) The administrative judge shall furnish the agent and the representative of the agency a copy of all materials obtained concerning the complaint and provide opportunity for the agent to discuss materials with the agency representative and attempt resolution of the complaint.
(2) The complaint may be resolved by agreement of the agency and the agent at any time pursuant to the notice and approval procedure contained in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.
(3) If the complaint is resolved, the terms of the resolution shall be reduced to writing and signed by the agent and the agency.
(4) Notice of the resolution shall be given to all class members in the same manner as notification of the acceptance of the class complaint and to the administrative judge. It shall state the relief, if any, to be granted by the agency and the name and address of the EEOC administrative judge assigned to the case. It shall state that within 30 days of the date of the notice of resolution, any member of the class may petition the administrative judge to vacate the resolution because it benefits only the class agent, or is otherwise not fair, adequate and reasonable to the class as a whole. The administrative judge shall review the notice of resolution and consider any petitions to vacate filed. If the administrative judge finds that the proposed resolution is not fair, adequate and reasonable to the class as a whole, the administrative judge shall issue a decision vacating the agreement and may replace the original class agent with a petitioner or some other class member who is eligible to be the class agent during further processing of the class complaint. The decision shall inform the former class agent or the petitioner of the right to appeal the decision to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and include EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition. If the administrative judge finds that the resolution is fair, adequate and reasonable to the class as a whole, the resolution shall bind all members of the class.

(h) Hearing. On expiration of the period allowed for preparation of the case, the administrative judge shall set a date for hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with 29 CFR 1614.109 (a) through (f).
(i) Decisions: The administrative judge shall transmit to the agency and class agent a decision on the complaint, including findings, systemic relief for the class and any individual relief, where appropriate, with regard to the personnel action or matter that gave rise to the complaint. If the administrative judge finds no class relief appropriate, he or she shall determine if a finding of individual discrimination is warranted and, if so, shall order appropriate relief.

(j) Agency final action.
(1) Within 60 days of receipt of the administrative judge's decision on the complaint, the agency shall take final action by issuing a final order. The final order shall notify the class agent whether or not the agency will fully implement the decision of the administrative judge and shall contain notice of the class agent's right to appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the right to file a civil action in federal district court, the name of the proper defendant in any such lawsuit, and the applicable time limits for appeals and lawsuits. If the final order does not fully implement the decision of the administrative judge, then the agency shall simultaneously file an appeal in accordance with §1614.403 and append a copy of the appeal to the final order. A copy of EEOC Form 573 shall be attached to the final order.
(2) If an agency does not issue a final order within 60 days of receipt of the administrative judge's decision, then the decision of the administrative judge shall become the final action of the agency.
(3) A final order on a class complaint shall, subject to subpart D of this part, be binding on all members of the class and the agency.

(k) Notification of final action: The agency shall notify class members of the final action and relief awarded, if any, through the same media employed to give notice of the existence of the class complaint. The notice, where appropriate, shall include information concerning the rights of class members to seek individual relief, and of the procedures to be followed. Notice shall be given by the agency within 10 days of the transmittal of the final action to the agent.
(l) Relief for individual class members.
(1) When discrimination is found, an agency must eliminate or modify the employment policy or practice out of which the complaint arose and provide individual relief, including an award of attorney's fees and costs, to the agent in accordance with §1614.501.
(2) When class-wide discrimination is not found, but it is found that the class agent is a victim of discrimination, §1614.501 shall apply. The agency shall also, within 60 days of the issuance of the final order finding no class-wide discrimination, issue the acknowledgement of receipt of an individual complaint as required by §1614.106(d) and process in accordance with the provisions of subpart A of this part, each individual complaint that was subsumed into the class complaint.
(3) When discrimination is found in the final order and a class member believes that he or she is entitled to individual relief, the class member may file a written claim with the head of the agency or its EEO Director within 30 days of receipt of notification by the agency of its final order. Administrative judges shall retain jurisdiction over the complaint in order to resolve any disputed claims by class members. The claim must include a specific detailed showing that the claimant is a class member who was affected by the discriminatory policy or practice, and that this discriminatory action took place within the period of time for which class-wide discrimination was found in the final order. Where a finding of discrimination against a class has been made, there shall be a presumption of discrimination as to each member of the class. The agency must show by clear and convincing evidence that any class member is not entitled to relief. The administrative judge may hold a hearing or otherwise supplement the record on a claim filed by a class member. The agency or the Commission may find class-wide discrimination and order remedial action for any policy or practice in existence within 45 days of the agent's initial contact with the Counselor. Relief otherwise consistent with this part may be ordered for the time the policy or practice was in effect. The agency shall issue a final order on each such claim within 90 days of filing. Such decision must include a notice of the right to file an appeal or a civil action in accordance with subpart D of this part and the applicable time limits.

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37658, July 12, 1999; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.301 | RELATIONSHIP TO NEGOTIATED GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

(a) When a person is employed by an agency subject to 5 U.S.C. 7121(d) and is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that permits allegations of discrimination to be raised in a negotiated grievance procedure, a person wishing to file a complaint or a grievance on a matter of alleged employment discrimination must elect to raise the matter under either part 1614 or the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both. An election to proceed under this part is indicated only by the filing of a written complaint; use of the pre-complaint process as described in §1614.105 does not constitute an election for purposes of this section. An aggrieved employee who files a complaint under this part may not thereafter file a grievance on the same matter. An election to proceed under a negotiated grievance procedure is indicated by the filing of a timely written grievance. An aggrieved employee who files a grievance with an agency whose negotiated agreement permits the acceptance of grievances which allege discrimination may not thereafter file a complaint on the same matter under this part 1614 irrespective of whether the agency has informed the individual of the need to elect or of whether the grievance has raised an issue of discrimination. Any such complaint filed after a grievance has been filed on the same matter shall be dismissed without prejudice to the complainant's right to proceed through the negotiated grievance procedure including the right to appeal to the Commission from a final decision as provided in subpart D of this part. The dismissal of such a complaint shall advise the complainant of the obligation to raise discrimination in the grievance process and of the right to appeal the final grievance decision to the Commission.
(b) When a person is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement that permits allegations of discrimination to be raised in a negotiated grievance procedure, allegations of discrimination shall be processed as complaints under this part.
(c) When a person is employed by an agency not subject to 5 U.S.C 7121(d) and is covered by a negotiated grievance procedure, allegations of discrimination shall be processed as complaints under this part, except that the time limits for processing the complaint contained in §1614.106 and for appeal to the Commission contained in §1614.402 may be held in abeyance during processing of a grievance covering the same matter as the complaint if the agency notifies the complainant in writing that the complaint will be held in abeyance pursuant to this section.

29 CFR §1614.302 | MIXED CASE COMPLAINTS

(a) Definitions —
(1) Mixed case complaint. A mixed case complaint is a complaint of employment discrimination filed with a federal agency based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information related to or stemming from an action that can be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The complaint may contain only an allegation of employment discrimination or it may contain additional allegations that the MSPB has jurisdiction to address.
(2) Mixed case appeals. A mixed case appeal is an appeal filed with the MSPB that alleges that an appealable agency action was effected, in whole or in part, because of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information.

(b) Election. An aggrieved person may initially file a mixed case complaint with an agency pursuant to this part or an appeal on the same matter with the MSPB pursuant to 5 CFR 1201.151, but not both. An agency shall inform every employee who is the subject of an action that is appealable to the MSPB and who has either orally or in writing raised the issue of discrimination during the processing of the action of the right to file either a mixed case complaint with the agency or to file a mixed case appeal with the MSPB. The person shall be advised that he or she may not initially file both a mixed case complaint and an appeal on the same matter and that whichever is filed first shall be considered an election to proceed in that forum. If a person files a mixed case appeal with the MSPB instead of a mixed case complaint and the MSPB dismisses the appeal for jurisdictional reasons, the agency shall promptly notify the individual in writing of the right to contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of receipt of this notice and to file an EEO complaint, subject to §1614.107. The date on which the person filed his or her appeal with MSPB shall be deemed to be the date of initial contact with the counselor. If a person files a timely appeal with MSPB from the agency's processing of a mixed case complaint and the MSPB dismisses it for jurisdictional reasons, the agency shall reissue a notice under §1614.108(f) giving the individual the right to elect between a hearing before an administrative judge and an immediate final decision.
(c) Dismissal.
(1) An agency may dismiss a mixed case complaint for the reasons contained in, and under the conditions prescribed in, §1614.107.
(2) An agency decision to dismiss a mixed case complaint on the basis of the complainant's prior election of the MSPB procedures shall be made as follows:
(i) Where neither the agency nor the MSPB administrative judge questions the MSPB's jurisdiction over the appeal on the same matter, it shall dismiss the mixed case complaint pursuant to §1614.107(a)(4) and shall advise the complainant that he or she must bring the allegations of discrimination contained in the rejected complaint to the attention of the MSPB, pursuant to 5 CFR 1201.155. The dismissal of such a complaint shall advise the complainant of the right to petition the EEOC to review the MSPB's final decision on the discrimination issue. A dismissal of a mixed case complaint is not appealable to the Commission except where it is alleged that §1614.107(a)(4) has been applied to a non-mixed case matter.
(ii) Where the agency or the MSPB administrative judge questions the MSPB's jurisdiction over the appeal on the same matter, the agency shall hold the mixed case complaint in abeyance until the MSPB's administrative judge rules on the jurisdictional issue, notify the complainant that it is doing so, and instruct him or her to bring the allegation of discrimination to the attention of the MSPB. During this period of time, all time limitations for processing or filing under this part will be tolled. An agency decision to hold a mixed case complaint in abeyance is not appealable to EEOC. If the MSPB's administrative judge finds that MSPB has jurisdiction over the matter, the agency shall dismiss the mixed case complaint pursuant to §1614.107(a)(4), and advise the complainant of the right to petition the EEOC to review the MSPB's final decision on the discrimination issue. If the MSPB's administrative judge finds that MSPB does not have jurisdiction over the matter, the agency shall recommence processing of the mixed case complaint as a non-mixed case EEO complaint.


(d) Procedures for agency processing of mixed case complaints. When a complainant elects to proceed initially under this part rather than with the MSPB, the procedures set forth in subpart A shall govern the processing of the mixed case complaint with the following exceptions:
(1) At the time the agency advises a complainant of the acceptance of a mixed case complaint, it shall also advise the complainant that:
(i) If a final decision is not issued within 120 days of the date of filing of the mixed case complaint, the complainant may appeal the matter to the MSPB at any time thereafter as specified at 5 CFR 1201.154(b)(2) or may file a civil action as specified at §1614.310(g), but not both; and
(ii) If the complainant is dissatisfied with the agency's final decision on the mixed case complaint, the complainant may appeal the matter to the MSPB (not EEOC) within 30 days of receipt of the agency's final decision;

(2) Upon completion of the investigation, the notice provided the complainant in accordance with §1614.108(f) will advise the complainant that a final decision will be issued within 45 days without a hearing; and
(3) At the time that the agency issues its final decision on a mixed case complaint, the agency shall advise the complainant of the right to appeal the matter to the MSPB (not EEOC) within 30 days of receipt and of the right to file a civil action as provided at §1614.310(a).

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 61 FR 17576, Apr. 22, 1996; 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.303 | PETITIONS TO THE EEOC FROM MSPB DECISIONS ON MIXED CASE APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS

(a) Who may file. Individuals who have received a final decision from the MSPB on a mixed case appeal or on the appeal of a final decision on a mixed case complaint under 5 CFR part 1201, subpart E and 5 U.S.C. 7702 may petition EEOC to consider that decision. The EEOC will not accept appeals from MSPB dismissals without prejudice.
(b) Method of filing. Filing shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Office of Federal Operations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, P.O. Box 77960, Washington, DC 20013.
(c) Time to file. A petition must be filed with the Commission either within 30 days of receipt of the final decision of the MSPB or within 30 days of when the decision of a MSPB field office becomes final.
(d) Service. The petition for review must be served upon all individuals and parties on the MSPB's service list by certified mail on or before the filing with the Commission, and the Clerk of the Board, MSPB, 1615 M Street, NW., Washington, DC 20419, and the petitioner must certify as to the date and method of service.
[74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009, as amended at 77 FR 51470, Aug. 24, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.304 | CONTENTS OF PETITION

(a) Form. Petitions must be written or typed, but may use any format including a simple letter format. Petitioners are encouraged to use EEOC Form 573, Notice Of Appeal/Petition.
(b) Contents. Petitions must contain the following:
(1) The name and address of the petitioner;
(2) The name and address of the petitioner's representative, if any;
(3) A statement of the reasons why the decision of the MSPB is alleged to be incorrect, in whole or in part, only with regard to issues of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information;
(4) A copy of the decision issued by the MSPB; and
(5) The signature of the petitioner or representative, if any.

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1614.305 | CONSIDERATION PROCEDURES

(a) Once a petition is filed, the Commission will examine it and determine whether the Commission will consider the decision of the MSPB. An agency may oppose the petition, either on the basis that the Commission should not consider the MSPB's decision or that the Commission should concur in the MSPB's decision, by filing any such argument with the Office of Federal Operations and serving a copy on the petitioner within 15 days of receipt by the Commission.
(b) The Commission shall determine whether to consider the decision of the MSPB within 30 days of receipt of the petition by the Commission's Office of Federal Operations. A determination of the Commission not to consider the decision shall not be used as evidence with respect to any issue of discrimination in any judicial proceeding concerning that issue.
(c) If the Commission makes a determination to consider the decision, the Commission shall within 60 days of the date of its determination, consider the entire record of the proceedings of the MSPB and on the basis of the evidentiary record before the Board as supplemented in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, either:
(1) Concur in the decision of the MSPB; or
(2) Issue in writing a decision that differs from the decision of the MSPB to the extent that the Commission finds that, as a matter of law:
(i) The decision of the MSPB constitutes an incorrect interpretation of any provision of any law, rule, regulation, or policy directive referred to in 5 U.S.C. 7702(a)(1)(B); or
(ii) The decision involving such provision is not supported by the evidence in the record as a whole.


(d) In considering any decision of the MSPB, the Commission, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7702(b)(4), may refer the case to the MSPB for the taking of additional evidence within such period as permits the Commission to make a decision within the 60-day period prescribed or provide on its own for the taking of additional evidence to the extent the Commission considers it necessary to supplement the record.
(e) Where the EEOC has differed with the decision of the MSPB under §1614.305(c)(2), the Commission shall refer the matter to the MSPB.

29 CFR §1614.306 | REFERRAL OF CASE TO SPECIAL PANEL

If the MSPB reaffirms its decision under 5 CFR 1201.162(a)(2) with or without modification, the matter shall be immediately certified to the Special Panel established pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7702(d). Upon certification, the Board shall, within five days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays), transmit to the Chairman of the Special Panel and to the Chairman of the EEOC the administrative record in the proceeding including —
(a) The factual record compiled under this section, which shall include a transcript of any hearing(s);
(b) The decisions issued by the Board and the Commission under 5 U.S.C. 7702; and
(c) A transcript of oral arguments made, or legal brief(s) filed, before the Board and the Commission.

29 CFR §1614.307 | ORGANIZATION OF SPECIAL PANEL

(a) The Special Panel is composed of:
(1) A Chairman appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and whose term is 6 years;
(2) One member of the MSPB designated by the Chairman of the Board each time a panel is convened; and
(3) One member of the EEOC designated by the Chairman of the Commission each time a panel is convened.

(b) Designation of Special Panel member —
(1) Time of designation. Within five days of certification of the case to the Special Panel, the Chairman of the MSPB and the Chairman of the EEOC shall each designate one member from their respective agencies to serve on the Special Panel.
(2) Manner of designation. Letters of designation shall be served on the Chairman of the Special Panel and the parties to the appeal.

29 CFR §1614.308 | PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES OF THE SPECIAL PANEL

(a) Scope. The rules in this subpart apply to proceedings before the Special Panel.
(b) Suspension of rules in this subpart. In the interest of expediting a decision, or for good cause shown, the Chairman of the Special Panel may, except where the rule in this subpart is required by statute, suspend the rules in this subpart on application of a party, or on his or her own motion, and may order proceedings in accordance with his or her direction.
(c) Time limit for proceedings. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7702(d)(2)(A), the Special Panel shall issue a decision within 45 days of the matter being certified to it.
(d) Administrative assistance to Special Panel.
(1) The MSPB and the EEOC shall provide the Panel with such reasonable and necessary administrative resources as determined by the Chairman of the Special Panel.
(2) Assistance shall include, but is not limited to, processing vouchers for pay and travel expenses.
(3) The Board and the EEOC shall be responsible for all administrative costs incurred by the Special Panel and, to the extent practicable, shall equally divide the costs of providing such administrative assistance. The Chairman of the Special Panel shall resolve the manner in which costs are divided in the event of a disagreement between the Board and the EEOC.

(e) Maintenance of the official record. The Board shall maintain the official record. The Board shall transmit two copies of each submission filed to each member of the Special Panel in an expeditious manner.
(f) Filing and service of pleadings.
(1) The parties shall file the original and six copies of all submissions with the Clerk, Merit Systems Protection Board, 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20419. One copy of each submission shall be served on the other parties.
(2) A certificate of service specifying how and when service was made must accompany all submissions of the parties.
(3) Service may be by mail or by personal delivery during normal business hours (8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m.). Due to the short statutory time limit, parties are required to file their submissions by overnight delivery service should they file by mail.
(4) The date of filing shall be determined by the date of mailing as indicated by the order date for the overnight delivery service. If the filing is by personal delivery, it shall be considered filed on that date it is received in the office of the Clerk, MSPB.

(g) Briefs and responsive pleadings. If the parties wish to submit written argument, briefs shall be filed with the Special Panel within 15 days of the date of the Board's certification order. Due to the short statutory time limit responsive pleadings will not ordinarily be permitted.
(h) Oral argument. The parties have the right to oral argument if desired. Parties wishing to exercise this right shall so indicate at the time of filing their brief, or if no brief is filed, within 15 days of the date of the Board's certification order. Upon receipt of a request for argument, the Chairman of the Special Panel shall determine the time and place for argument and the time to be allowed each side, and shall so notify the parties.
(i) Post-argument submissions. Due to the short statutory time limit, no post-argument submissions will be permitted except by order of the Chairman of the Special Panel.
(j) Procedural matters. Any procedural matters not addressed in this subpart shall be resolved by written order of the Chairman of the Special Panel.

29 CFR §1614.309 | ENFORCEMENT OF SPECIAL PANEL DECISION

The Board shall, upon receipt of the decision of the Special Panel, order the agency concerned to take any action appropriate to carry out the decision of the Panel. The Board's regulations regarding enforcement of a final order of the Board shall apply. These regulations are set out at 5 CFR part 1201, subpart E.

29 CFR §1614.310 | RIGHT TO FILE A CIVIL ACTION

An individual who has a complaint processed pursuant to 5 CFR part 1201, subpart E or this subpart is authorized by 5 U.S.C. 7702 to file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court:
(a) Within 30 days of receipt of a final decision issued by an agency on a complaint unless an appeal is filed with the MSPB; or
(b) Within 30 days of receipt of notice of the final decision or action taken by the MSPB if the individual does not file a petition for consideration with the EEOC; or
(c) Within 30 days of receipt of notice that the Commission has determined not to consider the decision of the MSPB; or
(d) Within 30 days of receipt of notice that the Commission concurs with the decision of the MSPB; or
(e) If the Commission issues a decision different from the decision of the MSPB, within 30 days of receipt of notice that the MSPB concurs in and adopts in whole the decision of the Commission; or
(f) If the MSPB does not concur with the decision of the Commission and reaffirms its initial decision or reaffirms its initial decision with a revision, within 30 days of the receipt of notice of the decision of the Special Panel; or
(g) After 120 days from the date of filing a formal complaint if there is no final action or appeal to the MSPB; or
(h) After 120 days from the date of filing an appeal with the MSPB if the MSPB has not yet made a decision; or
(i) After 180 days from the date of filing a petition for consideration with Commission if there is no decision by the Commission, reconsideration decision by the MSPB or decision by the Special Panel.

29 CFR §1614.401 | APPEALS TO THE COMMISSION

(a) A complainant may appeal an agency's final action or dismissal of a complaint.
(b) An agency may appeal as provided in §1614.110(a).
(c) A class agent or an agency may appeal an administrative judge's decision accepting or dismissing all or part of a class complaint; a class agent may appeal an agency's final action or an agency may appeal an administrative judge's decision on a class complaint; a class member may appeal a final decision on a claim for individual relief under a class complaint; and a class member, a class agent or an agency may appeal a final decision on a petition pursuant to §1614.204(g)(4).
(d) A grievant may appeal the final decision of the agency, the arbitrator or the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) on the grievance when an issue of employment discrimination was raised in a negotiated grievance procedure that permits such issues to be raised. A grievant may not appeal under this part, however, when the matter initially raised in the negotiated grievance procedure is still ongoing in that process, is in arbitration, is before the FLRA, is appealable to the MSPB or if 5 U.S.C. 7121(d) is inapplicable to the involved agency.
(e) A complainant, agent or individual class claimant may appeal to the Commission an agency's alleged noncompliance with a settlement agreement or final decision in accordance with §1614.504.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.402 | TIME FOR APPEALS TO THE COMMISSION

(a) Appeals described in §1614.401(a) and (c) must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the dismissal, final action or decision. Appeals described in §1614.401(b) must be filed within 40 days of receipt of the hearing file and decision. Appeals described in §1614.401(d) must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the final decision of the agency, the arbitrator or the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Where a complainant has notified the EEO Director of alleged noncompliance with a settlement agreement in accordance with §1614.504, the complainant may file an appeal 35 days after service of the allegations of noncompliance, but no later than 30 days after receipt of an agency's determination.
(b) If the complainant is represented by an attorney of record, then the 30-day time period provided in paragraph (a) of this section within which to appeal shall be calculated from the receipt of the required document by the attorney. In all other instances, the time within which to appeal shall be calculated from the receipt of the required document by the complainant.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.403 | HOW TO APPEAL

(a) The complainant, agency, agent, grievant or individual class claimant (hereinafter appellant) must file an appeal with the Director, Office of Federal Operations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at P.O. Box 77960, Washington, DC 20013, or electronically, or by personal delivery or facsimile. The appellant should use EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition, and should indicate what is being appealed.
(b) The appellant shall furnish a copy of the appeal to the opposing party at the same time it is filed with the Commission. In or attached to the appeal to the Commission, the appellant must certify the date and method by which service was made on the opposing party.
(c) If an appellant does not file an appeal within the time limits of this subpart, the appeal shall be dismissed by the Commission as untimely.
(d) Any statement or brief on behalf of a complainant in support of the appeal must be submitted to the Office of Federal Operations within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal. Any statement or brief on behalf of the agency in support of its appeal must be submitted to the Office of Federal Operations within 20 days of filing the notice of appeal. The Office of Federal Operations will accept statements or briefs in support of an appeal by facsimile transmittal, provided they are no more than 10 pages long.
(e) The agency must submit the complaint file to the Office of Federal Operations within 30 days of initial notification that the complainant has filed an appeal or within 30 days of submission of an appeal by the agency.
(f) Any statement or brief in opposition to an appeal must be submitted to the Commission and served on the opposing party within 30 days of receipt of the statement or brief supporting the appeal, or, if no statement or brief supporting the appeal is filed, within 60 days of receipt of the appeal. The Office of Federal Operations will accept statements or briefs in opposition to an appeal by facsimile provided they are no more than 10 pages long.
(g) Agencies are required to submit appeals, complaint files, and other filings to the Office of Federal Operations in a digital format acceptable to the Commission, absent a showing of good cause why an agency cannot submit digital records. Appellants are encouraged, but not required, to submit digital appeals and supporting documentation to the Office of Federal Operations in a format acceptable to the Commission.
[64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999, as amended at 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.404 | APPELLATE PROCEDURE

(a) On behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations shall review the complaint file and all written statements and briefs from either party. The Commission may supplement the record by an exchange of letters or memoranda, investigation, remand to the agency or other procedures.
(b) If the Office of Federal Operations requests information from one or both of the parties to supplement the record, each party providing information shall send a copy of the information to the other party.
(c) When either party to an appeal fails without good cause shown to comply with the requirements of this section or to respond fully and in timely fashion to requests for information, the Office of Federal Operations shall, in appropriate circumstances:
(1) Draw an adverse inference that the requested information would have reflected unfavorably on the party refusing to provide the requested information;
(2) Consider the matters to which the requested information or testimony pertains to be established in favor of the opposing party;
(3) Issue a decision fully or partially in favor of the opposing party; or
(4) Take such other actions as appropriate.

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.405 | DECISIONS ON APPEALS

(a) The Office of Federal Operations, on behalf of the Commission, shall issue a written decision setting forth its reasons for the decision. The Commission shall dismiss appeals in accordance with §§1614.107, 1614.403(c) and 1614.409. The decision shall be based on the preponderance of the evidence. The decision on an appeal from an agency's final action shall be based on a de novo review, except that the review of the factual findings in a decision by an administrative judge issued pursuant to §1614.109(i) shall be based on a substantial evidence standard of review. If the decision contains a finding of discrimination, appropriate remedy(ies) shall be included and, where appropriate, the entitlement to interest, attorney's fees or costs shall be indicated. The decision shall reflect the date of its issuance, inform the complainant of his or her or her civil action rights, and be transmitted to the complainant and the agency by first class mail.
(b) The Office of Federal Operations, on behalf of the Commission, shall issue decisions on appeals of decisions to accept or dismiss a class complaint issued pursuant to §1614.204(d)(7) within 90 days of receipt of the appeal.
(c) A decision issued under paragraph (a) of this section is final within the meaning of §1614.407 unless a timely request for reconsideration is filed by a party to the case. A party may request reconsideration within 30 days of receipt of a decision of the Commission, which the Commission in its discretion may grant, if the party demonstrates that:
(1) The appellate decision involved a clearly erroneous interpretation of material fact or law; or
(2) The decision will have a substantial impact on the policies, practices or operations of the agency.

[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43505, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1610.406 | [RESERVED]

[RESERVED]































29 CFR §1614.407 | CIVIL ACTION: TITLE VII, AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT, REHABILITATION ACT, AND GENETIC INFORMATION NONDISCRIMINATION ACT

A complainant who has filed an individual complaint, an agent who has filed a class complaint or a claimant who has filed a claim for individual relief pursuant to a class complaint is authorized under title VII, the ADEA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court:
(a) Within 90 days of receipt of the agency final action on an individual or class complaint;
(b) After 180 days from the date of filing an individual or class complaint if agency final action has not been taken;
(c) Within 90 days of receipt of the Commission's final decision on an appeal; or
(d) After 180 days from the date of filing an appeal with the Commission if there has been no final decision by the Commission.
(e) After filing an appeal with the Commission from an agency final action, the complainant, class agent, or class claimant may withdraw the appeal and file a civil action within 90 days of receipt of the agency final action. If the complainant, class agent, or class claimant files an appeal with the Commission from a final agency action and more than 90 days have passed since receipt of the agency final action, the appellant may file a civil action only in accordance with paragraph (c) or (d) of this section.
(f) After filing a request for reconsideration of a Commission decision on an appeal, the complainant, class agent, or class claimant may withdraw the request and file a civil action within 90 days of receipt of the Commission's decision on the appeal. If the complainant, class agent, or class claimant files a request for reconsideration of a Commission decision on an appeal and more than 90 days have passed since the appellant received the Commission's decision on the appeal, the appellant may file a civil action only in accordance with paragraph (c) or (d) of this section.
(g) A complainant, class agent, or class claimant who follows the procedures described in paragraph (e) or (f) of this section shall be deemed to have exhausted his or her administrative remedies.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999; 85 FR 35561, June 11, 2020]

29 CFR §1614.408 | CIVIL ACTION: EQUAL PAY ACT

A complainant is authorized under section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 216(b)) to file a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction within two years or, if the violation is willful, three years of the date of the alleged violation of the Equal Pay Act regardless of whether he or she pursued any administrative complaint processing. Recovery of back wages is limited to two years prior to the date of filing suit, or to three years if the violation is deemed willful; liquidated damages in an equal amount may also be awarded. The filing of a complaint or appeal under this part shall not toll the time for filing a civil action.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992. Redesignated at 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.409 | EFFECT OF FILING A CIVIL ACTION

Filing a civil action under §1614.407 or §1614.408 shall terminate Commission processing of the appeal. A Commission decision on an appeal issued after a complainant files suit in district court will not be enforceable by the Commission. If private suit is filed subsequent to the filing of an appeal and prior to a final Commission decision, the complainant should notify the Commission in writing. [85 FR 35562, June 11, 2020]

29 CFR §1614.501 | REMEDIES AND RELIEF

(a) When an agency, or the Commission, in an individual case of discrimination, finds that an applicant or an employee has been discriminated against, the agency shall provide full relief which shall include the following elements in appropriate circumstances:
(1) Notification to all employees of the agency in the affected facility of their right to be free of unlawful discrimination and assurance that the particular types of discrimination found will not recur;
(2) Commitment that corrective, curative or preventive action will be taken, or measures adopted, to ensure that violations of the law similar to those found will not recur;
(3) An unconditional offer to each identified victim of discrimination of placement in the position the person would have occupied but for the discrimination suffered by that person, or a substantially equivalent position;
(4) Payment to each identified victim of discrimination on a make whole basis for any loss of earnings the person may have suffered as a result of the discrimination; and
(5) Commitment that the agency shall cease from engaging in the specific unlawful employment practice found in the case.

(b) Relief for an applicant.
(1)
(i) When an agency, or the Commission, finds that an applicant for employment has been discriminated against, the agency shall offer the applicant the position that the applicant would have occupied absent discrimination or, if justified by the circumstances, a substantially equivalent position unless clear and convincing evidence indicates that the applicant would not have been selected even absent the discrimination. The offer shall be made in writing. The individual shall have 15 days from receipt of the offer within which to accept or decline the offer. Failure to accept the offer within the 15-day period will be considered a declination of the offer, unless the individual can show that circumstances beyond his or her control prevented a response within the time limit.
(ii) If the offer is accepted, appointment shall be retroactive to the date the applicant would have been hired. Back pay, computed in the manner prescribed by 5 CFR 550.805, shall be awarded from the date the individual would have entered on duty until the date the individual actually enters on duty unless clear and convincing evidence indicates that the applicant would not have been selected even absent discrimination. Interest on back pay shall be included in the back pay computation where sovereign immunity has been waived. The individual shall be deemed to have performed service for the agency during this period for all purposes except for meeting service requirements for completion of a required probationary or trial period.
(iii) If the offer of employment is declined, the agency shall award the individual a sum equal to the back pay he or she would have received, computed in the manner prescribed by 5 CFR 550.805, from the date he or she would have been appointed until the date the offer was declined, subject to the limitation of paragraph (b)(3) of this section. Interest on back pay shall be included in the back pay computation. The agency shall inform the applicant, in its offer of employment, of the right to this award in the event the offer is declined.

(2) When an agency, or the Commission, finds that discrimination existed at the time the applicant was considered for employment but also finds by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant would not have been hired even absent discrimination, the agency shall nevertheless take all steps necessary to eliminate the discriminatory practice and ensure it does not recur.
(3) Back pay under this paragraph (b) for complaints under title VII or the Rehabilitation Act may not extend from a date earlier than two years prior to the date on which the complaint was initially filed by the applicant.

(c) Relief for an employee. When an agency, or the Commission, finds that an employee of the agency was discriminated against, the agency shall provide relief, which shall include, but need not be limited to, one or more of the following actions:
(1) Nondiscriminatory placement, with back pay computed in the manner prescribed by 5 CFR 550.805, unless clear and convincing evidence contained in the record demonstrates that the personnel action would have been taken even absent the discrimination. Interest on back pay shall be included in the back pay computation where sovereign immunity has been waived. The back pay liability under title VII or the Rehabilitation Act is limited to two years prior to the date the discrimination complaint was filed.
(2) If clear and convincing evidence indicates that, although discrimination existed at the time the personnel action was taken, the personnel action would have been taken even absent discrimination, the agency shall nevertheless eliminate any discriminatory practice and ensure it does not recur.
(3) Cancellation of an unwarranted personnel action and restoration of the employee.
(4) Expunction from the agency's records of any adverse materials relating to the discriminatory employment practice.
(5) Full opportunity to participate in the employee benefit denied (e.g., training, preferential work assignments, overtime scheduling).

(d) The agency has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the complainant has failed to mitigate his or her damages.
(e) Attorney's fees or costs —
(1) Awards of attorney's fees or costs. The provisions of this paragraph relating to the award of attorney's fees or costs shall apply to allegations of discrimination prohibited by title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. In a decision or final action, the agency, administrative judge, or Commission may award the applicant or employee reasonable attorney's fees (including expert witness fees) and other costs incurred in the processing of the complaint.
(i) A finding of discrimination raises a presumption of entitlement to an award of attorney's fees.
(ii) Any award of attorney's fees or costs shall be paid by the agency.
(iii) Attorney's fees are allowable only for the services of members of the Bar and law clerks, paralegals or law students under the supervision of members of the Bar, except that no award is allowable for the services of any employee of the Federal Government.
(iv) Attorney's fees shall be paid for services performed by an attorney after the filing of a written complaint, provided that the attorney provides reasonable notice of representation to the agency, administrative judge or Commission, except that fees are allowable for a reasonable period of time prior to the notification of representation for any services performed in reaching a determination to represent the complainant. Agencies are not required to pay attorney's fees for services performed during the pre-complaint process, except that fees are allowable when the Commission affirms on appeal an administrative judge's decision finding discrimination after an agency takes final action by not implementing an administrative judge's decision. Written submissions to the agency that are signed by the representative shall be deemed to constitute notice of representation.

(2) Amount of awards.
(i) When the agency, administrative judge or the Commission determines an entitlement to attorney's fees or costs, the complainant's attorney shall submit a verified statement of attorney's fees (including expert witness fees) and other costs, as appropriate, to the agency or administrative judge within 30 days of receipt of the decision and shall submit a copy of the statement to the agency. A statement of attorney's fees and costs shall be accompanied by an affidavit executed by the attorney of record itemizing the attorney's charges for legal services. The agency may respond to a statement of attorney's fees and costs within 30 days of its receipt. The verified statement, accompanying affidavit and any agency response shall be made a part of the complaint file.
(ii)
(A) The agency or administrative judge shall issue a decision determining the amount of attorney's fees or costs due within 60 days of receipt of the statement and affidavit. The decision shall include a notice of right to appeal to the EEOC along with EEOC Form 573, Notice of Appeal/Petition and shall include the specific reasons for determining the amount of the award.
(B) The amount of attorney's fees shall be calculated using the following standards: The starting point shall be the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. There is a strong presumption that this amount represents the reasonable fee. In limited circumstances, this amount may be reduced or increased in consideration of the degree of success, quality of representation, and long delay caused by the agency.
(C) The costs that may be awarded are those authorized by 28 U.S.C. 1920 to include: Fees of the reporter for all or any of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the case; fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses; and fees for exemplification and copies necessarily obtained for use in the case.

(iii) Witness fees shall be awarded in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1821, except that no award shall be made for a Federal employee who is in a duty status when made available as a witness.


[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 60 FR 43372, Aug. 21, 1995; 64 FR 37659, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.502 | COMPLIANCE WITH FINAL COMMISSION DECISIONS

(a) Relief ordered in a final Commission decision is mandatory and binding on the agency except as provided in this section. Failure to implement ordered relief shall be subject to judicial enforcement as specified in §1614.503(g).
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, when the agency requests reconsideration and the case involves removal, separation, or suspension continuing beyond the date of the request for reconsideration, and when the decision orders retroactive restoration, the agency shall comply with the decision to the extent of the temporary or conditional restoration of the employee to duty status in the position specified by the Commission, pending the outcome of the agency request for reconsideration.
(1) Service under the temporary or conditional restoration provisions of this paragraph (b) shall be credited toward the completion of a probationary or trial period, eligibility for a within-grade increase, or the completion of the service requirement for career tenure, if the Commission upholds its decision after reconsideration.
(2) When the agency requests reconsideration, it may delay the payment of any amounts ordered to be paid to the complainant until after the request for reconsideration is resolved. If the agency delays payment of any amount pending the outcome of the request to reconsider and the resolution of the request requires the agency to make the payment, then the agency shall pay interest from the date of the original appellate decision until payment is made.
(3) The agency shall notify the Commission and the employee in writing at the same time it requests reconsideration that the relief it provides is temporary or conditional and, if applicable, that it will delay the payment of any amounts owed but will pay interest as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Failure of the agency to provide notification will result in the dismissal of the agency's request.

(c) When no request for reconsideration is filed or when a request for reconsideration is denied, the agency shall provide the relief ordered and there is no further right to delay implementation of the ordered relief. The relief shall be provided in full not later than 120 days after receipt of the final decision unless otherwise ordered in the decision.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37660, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43506, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.503 | ENFORCEMENT OF FINAL COMMISSION DECISIONS

(a) Petition for enforcement. A complainant may petition the Commission for enforcement of a decision issued under the Commission's appellate jurisdiction. The petition shall be submitted to the Office of Federal Operations. The petition shall specifically set forth the reasons that lead the complainant to believe that the agency is not complying with the decision.
(b) Compliance. On behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations shall take all necessary action to ascertain whether the agency is implementing the decision of the Commission. If the agency is found not to be in compliance with the decision, efforts shall be undertaken to obtain compliance.
(c) Clarification. On behalf of the Commission, the Office of Federal Operations may, on its own motion or in response to a petition for enforcement or in connection with a timely request for reconsideration, issue a clarification of a prior decision. A clarification cannot change the result of a prior decision or enlarge or diminish the relief ordered but may further explain the meaning or intent of the prior decision.
(d) Referral to the Commission. Where the Director, Office of Federal Operations, is unable to obtain satisfactory compliance with the final decision, the Director shall submit appropriate findings and recommendations for enforcement to the Commission, or, as directed by the Commission, refer the matter to another appropriate agency.
(e) Commission notice to show cause. The Commission may issue a notice to the head of any Federal agency that has failed to comply with a decision to show cause why there is noncompliance. Such notice may request the head of the agency or a representative to appear before the Commission or to respond to the notice in writing with adequate evidence of compliance or with compelling reasons for non-compliance.
(f) Certification to the Office of Special Counsel. Where appropriate and pursuant to the terms of a memorandum of understanding, the Commission may refer the matter to the Office of Special Counsel for enforcement action.
(g) Notification to complainant of completion of administrative efforts. Where the Commission has determined that an agency is not complying with a prior decision, or where an agency has failed or refused to submit any required report of compliance, the Commission shall notify the complainant of the right to file a civil action for enforcement of the decision pursuant to Title VII, the ADEA, the Equal Pay Act or the Rehabilitation Act and to seek judicial review of the agency's refusal to implement the ordered relief pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 701 et seq., and the mandamus statute, 28 U.S.C. 1361, or to commence de novo proceedings pursuant to the appropriate statutes.

29 CFR §1614.504 | COMPLIANCE WITH SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS AND FINAL ACTION

(a) Any settlement agreement knowingly and voluntarily agreed to by the parties, reached at any stage of the complaint process, shall be binding on both parties. Final action that has not been the subject of an appeal or civil action shall be binding on the agency. If the complainant believes that the agency has failed to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement or decision, the complainant shall notify the EEO Director, in writing, of the alleged noncompliance within 30 days of when the complainant knew or should have known of the alleged noncompliance. The complainant may request that the terms of settlement agreement be specifically implemented or, alternatively, that the complaint be reinstated for further processing from the point processing ceased.
(b) The agency shall resolve the matter and respond to the complainant, in writing. If the agency has not responded to the complainant, in writing, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the agency's attempt to resolve the matter, the complainant may appeal to the Commission for a determination as to whether the agency has complied with the terms of the settlement agreement or decision. The complainant may file such an appeal 35 days after he or she has served the agency with the allegations of noncompliance, but must file an appeal within 30 days of his or her receipt of an agency's determination. The complainant must serve a copy of the appeal on the agency and the agency may submit a response to the Commission within 30 days of receiving notice of the appeal.
(c) Prior to rendering its determination, the Commission may request that parties submit whatever additional information or documentation it deems necessary or may direct that an investigation or hearing on the matter be conducted. If the Commission determines that the agency is not in compliance with a decision or settlement agreement, and the noncompliance is not attributable to acts or conduct of the complainant, it may order such compliance with the decision or settlement agreement, or, alternatively, for a settlement agreement, it may order that the complaint be reinstated for further processing from the point processing ceased. Allegations that subsequent acts of discrimination violate a settlement agreement shall be processed as separate complaints under §1614.106 or §1614.204, as appropriate, rather than under this section.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37660, July 12, 1999; 77 FR 43506, July 25, 2012]

29 CFR §1614.505 | INTERIM RELIEF

(a)
(1) When the agency appeals and the case involves removal, separation, or suspension continuing beyond the date of the appeal, and when the administrative judge's decision orders retroactive restoration, the agency shall comply with the decision to the extent of the temporary or conditional restoration of the employee to duty status in the position specified in the decision, pending the outcome of the agency appeal. The employee may decline the offer of interim relief.
(2) Service under the temporary or conditional restoration provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be credited toward the completion of a probationary or trial period, eligibility for a within-grade increase, or the completion of the service requirement for career tenure, if the Commission upholds the decision on appeal. Such service shall not be credited toward the completion of any applicable probationary or trial period or the completion of the service requirement for career tenure if the Commission reverses the decision on appeal.
(3) When the agency appeals, it may delay the payment of any amount, other than prospective pay and benefits, ordered to be paid to the complainant until after the appeal is resolved. If the agency delays payment of any amount pending the outcome of the appeal and the resolution of the appeal requires the agency to make the payment, then the agency shall pay interest from the date of the original decision until payment is made.
(4) The agency shall notify the Commission and the employee in writing at the same time it appeals that the relief it provides is temporary or conditional and, if applicable, that it will delay the payment of any amounts owed but will pay interest as specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. Failure of the agency to provide notification will result in the dismissal of the agency's appeal.
(5) The agency may, by notice to the complainant, decline to return the complainant to his or her place of employment if it determines that the return or presence of the complainant will be unduly disruptive to the work environment. However, prospective pay and benefits must be provided. The determination not to return the complainant to his or her place of employment is not reviewable. A grant of interim relief does not insulate a complainant from subsequent disciplinary or adverse action.

(b) If the agency files an appeal and has not provided required interim relief, the complainant may request dismissal of the agency's appeal. Any such request must be filed with the Office of Federal Operations within 25 days of the date of service of the agency's appeal. A copy of the request must be served on the agency at the same time it is filed with EEOC. The agency may respond with evidence and argument to the complainant's request to dismiss within 15 days of the date of service of the request.
[64 FR 37660, July 12, 1999, as amended at 85 FR 35562, June 11, 2020]

29 CFR §1614.601 | EEO GROUP STATISTICS

(a) Each agency shall establish a system to collect and maintain accurate employment information on the race, national origin, sex and disability of its employees.
(b) Data on race, national origin and sex shall be collected by voluntary self-identification. If an employee does not voluntarily provide the requested information, the agency shall advise the employee of the importance of the data and of the agency's obligation to report it. If the employee still refuses to provide the information, the agency must make visual identification and inform the employee of the data it will be reporting. If an agency believes that information provided by an employee is inaccurate, the agency shall advise the employee about the solely statistical purpose for which the data is being collected, the need for accuracy, the agency's recognition of the sensitivity of the information and the existence of procedures to prevent its unauthorized disclosure. If, thereafter, the employee declines to change the apparently inaccurate self-identification, the agency must accept it.
(c) The information collected under paragraph (b) of this section shall be disclosed only in the form of gross statistics. An agency shall not collect or maintain any information on the race, national origin or sex of individual employees except when an automated data processing system is used in accordance with standards and requirements prescribed by the Commission to insure individual privacy and the separation of that information from personnel record.
(d) Each system is subject to the following controls:
(1) Only those categories of race and national origin prescribed by the Commission may be used;
(2) Only the specific procedures for the collection and maintenance of data that are prescribed or approved by the Commission may be used;
(3) The Commission shall review the operation of the agency system to insure adherence to Commission procedures and requirements. An agency may make an exception to the prescribed procedures and requirements only with the advance written approval of the Commission.

(e) The agency may use the data only in studies and analyses which contribute affirmatively to achieving the objectives of the equal employment opportunity program. An agency shall not establish a quota for the employment of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
(f) Data on disabilities shall be collected using a method permitted under §1614.203(d)(6)(ii) and §1614.203(d)(6)(iii).
(g) An agency shall report to the Commission on employment by race, national origin, sex and disability in the form and at such times as the Commission may require.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009; 82 FR 681, Jan. 3, 2017]

29 CFR §1614.602 | REPORTS TO THE COMMISSION

(a) Each agency shall report to the Commission information concerning pre-complaint counseling and the status, processing and disposition of complaints under this part at such times and in such manner as the Commission prescribes.
(b) Each agency shall advise the Commission whenever it is served with a Federal court complaint based upon a complaint that is pending on appeal at the Commission.
(c) Each agency shall submit annually for the review and approval of the Commission written national and regional equal employment opportunity plans of action. Plans shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the Commission and shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Provision for the establishment of training and education programs designed to provide maximum opportunity for employees to advance so as to perform at their highest potential;
(2) Description of the qualifications, in terms of training and experience relating to equal employment opportunity, of the principal and operating officials concerned with administration of the agency's equal employment opportunity program; and
(3) Description of the allocation of personnel and resources proposed by the agency to carry out its equal employment opportunity program.

29 CFR §1614.603 | VOLUNTARY SETTLEMENT ATTEMPTS

Each agency shall make reasonable efforts to voluntarily settle complaints of discrimination as early as possible in, and throughout, the administrative processing of complaints, including the pre-complaint counseling stage. Any settlement reached shall be in writing and signed by both parties and shall identify the claims resolved. [57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37661, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.604 | FILING AND COMPUTATION OF TIME

(a) All time periods in this part that are stated in terms of days are calendar days unless otherwise stated.
(b) A document shall be deemed timely if it is received or postmarked before the expiration of the applicable filing period, or, in the absence of a legible postmark, if it is received by mail within five days of the expiration of the applicable filing period.
(c) The time limits in this part are subject to waiver, estoppel and equitable tolling.
(d) The first day counted shall be the day after the event from which the time period begins to run and the last day of the period shall be included, unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday, in which case the period shall be extended to include the next business day.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37661, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.605 | REPRESENTATION AND OFFICIAL TIME

(a) At any stage in the processing of a complaint, including the counseling stage §1614.105, the complainant shall have the right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of complainant's choice.
(b) If the complainant is an employee of the agency, he or she shall have a reasonable amount of official time, if otherwise on duty, to prepare the complaint and to respond to agency and EEOC requests for information. If the complainant is an employee of the agency and he designates another employee of the agency as his or her representative, the representative shall have a reasonable amount of official time, if otherwise on duty, to prepare the complaint and respond to agency and EEOC requests for information. The agency is not obligated to change work schedules, incur overtime wages, or pay travel expenses to facilitate the choice of a specific representative or to allow the complainant and representative to confer. The complainant and representative, if employed by the agency and otherwise in a pay status, shall be on official time, regardless of their tour of duty, when their presence is authorized or required by the agency or the Commission during the investigation, informal adjustment, or hearing on the complaint.
(c) In cases where the representation of a complainant or agency would conflict with the official or collateral duties of the representative, the Commission or the agency may, after giving the representative an opportunity to respond, disqualify the representative.
(d) Unless the complainant states otherwise in writing, after the agency has received written notice of the name, address and telephone number of a representative for the complainant, all official correspondence shall be with the representative with copies to the complainant. When the complainant designates an attorney as representative, service of all official correspondence shall be made on the attorney and the complainant, but time frames for receipt of materials shall be computed from the time of receipt by the attorney. The complainant must serve all official correspondence on the designated representative of the agency.
(e) The Complainant shall at all times be responsible for proceeding with the complaint whether or not he or she has designated a representative.
(f) Witnesses who are Federal employees, regardless of their tour of duty and regardless of whether they are employed by the respondent agency or some other Federal agency, shall be in a duty status when their presence is authorized or required by Commission or agency officials in connection with a complaint.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 37661, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.606 | JOINT PROCESSING AND CONSOLIDATION OF COMPLAINTS

Complaints of discrimination filed by two or more complainants consisting of substantially similar allegations of discrimination or relating to the same matter may be consolidated by the agency or the Commission for joint processing after appropriate notification to the parties. Two or more complaints of discrimination filed by the same complainant shall be consolidated by the agency for joint processing after appropriate notification to the complainant. When a complaint has been consolidated with one or more earlier filed complaints, the agency shall complete its investigation within the earlier of 180 days after the filing of the last complaint or 360 days after the filing of the original complaint, except that the complainant may request a hearing from an administrative judge on the consolidated complaints any time after 180 days from the date of the first filed complaint. Administrative judges or the Commission may, in their discretion, consolidate two or more complaints of discrimination filed by the same complainant. [64 FR 37661, July 12, 1999]

29 CFR §1614.607 | DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

An agency head may delegate authority under this part, to one or more designees.

29 CFR §1614.701 | PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This subpart implements Title III of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), Pub. L. 107-174. It sets forth the basic responsibilities of Federal agencies and the Commission to post certain information on their public Web sites.

29 CFR §1614.702 | DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply for purposes of this subpart.
(a) The term Federal agency or agency means an Executive agency (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105), the United States Postal Service, and the Postal Rate Commission.
(b) The term Commission means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and any subdivision thereof authorized to act on its behalf.
(c) The term investigation refers to the step of the federal sector EEO process described in 29 CFR 1614.108 and 1614.106(e)(2) and, for purposes of this subpart, it commences when the complaint is filed and ceases when the complainant is given notice under §1614.108(f) of the right to request a hearing or to receive an immediate final decision without a hearing.
(d) The term hearing refers to the step of the federal sector EEO process described in 29 CFR 1614.109 and, for purposes of §1614.704(l)(2)(ii), it commences on the date the agency is informed by the complainant or EEOC, whichever occurs first, that the complainant has requested a hearing and ends on the date the agency receives from the EEOC notice that the EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) is returning the case to the agency to take final action. For all other purposes under this subpart, a hearing commences when the AJ receives the complaint file from the agency and ceases when the AJ returns the case to the agency to take final action.
(e) For purposes of §1614.704(i), (j), and (k) the phrase without a hearing refers to a final action by an agency that is rendered:
(1) When an agency does not receive a reply to a notice issued under §1614.108(f);
(2) After a complainant requests an immediate final decision;
(3) After a complainant withdraws a request for a hearing; and
(4) After an administrative judge cancels a hearing and remands the matter to the agency.

(f) For purposes of §1614.704(i), (j), and (k), the term after a hearing refers to a final action by an agency that is rendered following a decision by an administrative judge under §1614.109(f)(3)(iv), (g) or (i).
(g) The phrase final action by an agency refers to the step of the federal sector EEO process described in 29 CFR 1614.110 and, for purposes of this subpart, it commences when the agency receives a decision by an Administrative Judge (AJ), receives a request from the complainant for an immediate final decision without a hearing or fails to receive a response to a notice issued under §1614.108(f) and ceases when the agency issues a final order or final decision on the complaint.
(h) The phrase final action by an agency involving a finding of discrimination means:
(1) A final order issued by an agency pursuant to §1614.110(a) following a finding of discrimination by an administrative judge; and
(2) A final decision issued by an agency pursuant to §1614.110(b) in which the agency finds discrimination.

(i) The term appeal refers to the step of the federal sector EEO process described in 29 CFR 1614.401 and, for purposes of this subpart, it commences when the appeal is received by the Commission and ceases when the appellate decision is issued.
(j) The term basis of alleged discrimination refers to the individual's protected status (i.e., race, color, religion, reprisal, sex, national origin, Equal Pay Act, age, disability, or genetic information). Only those bases protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 791 et seq., and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., are covered by the federal EEO process.
(k) The term issue of alleged discrimination means one of the following challenged agency actions affecting a term or condition of employment as listed on EEOC Standard Form 462 (“Annual Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints”): Appointment/hire; assignment of duties; awards; conversion to full time; disciplinary action/demotion; disciplinary action/reprimand; disciplinary action/suspension; disciplinary action/removal; duty hours; evaluation/appraisal; examination/test; harassment/non-sexual; harassment/sexual; medical examination; pay/overtime; promotion/non-selection; reassignment/denied; reassignment/directed; reasonable accommodation; reinstatement; retirement; termination; terms/conditions of employment; time and attendance; training; and, other.
(l) The term subordinate component refers to any organizational sub-unit directly below the agency or department level which has 1,000 or more employees and is required to submit EEOC Form 715-01 to EEOC pursuant to EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Management Directive 715.
[57 FR 12646, Apr. 10, 1992, as amended at 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1614.703 | MANNER AND FORMAT OF DATA

(a) Agencies shall post their statistical data in the following two formats: Portable Document Format (PDF); and an accessible text format that complies with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(b) Agencies shall prominently post the date they last updated the statistical information on the Web site location containing the statistical data.
(c) In addition to providing aggregate agency-wide data, an agency shall include separate data for each subordinate component. Such data shall be identified as pertaining to the particular subordinate component.
(d) Data posted under this subpart will be titled “Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to Title III of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), Pub. L. 107-174,” and a hyperlink to the data, entitled “No FEAR Act Data” will be posted on the homepage of an agency's public Web site. In the case of agencies with subordinate components, the data shall be made available by hyperlinks from the homepages of the Web sites (if any exist) of the subordinate components as well as the homepage of the Web site of the parent agency.
(e) Agencies shall post cumulative data pursuant to §1614.704 for the current fiscal year. Agencies may not post separate quarterly statistics for the current fiscal year.
(f) Data posted pursuant to §1614.704 by agencies having 100 or more employees, and all subordinate component data posted pursuant to subsection 1614.703(c), shall be presented in the manner and order set forth in the template EEOC has placed for this purpose on its public Web site.
(1) Cumulative quarterly and fiscal year data shall appear in vertical columns. The oldest fiscal year data shall be listed first, reading left to right, with the other fiscal years appearing in the adjacent columns in chronological order. The current cumulative quarterly or year-end data shall appear in the last, or far-right, column.
(2) The categories of data as set forth in §1614.704(a) through (m) of this subpart shall appear in horizontal rows. When reading from top to bottom, the order of the categories shall be in the same order as those categories appear in §1614.704(a) through (m).
(3) When posting data pursuant to §1614.704(d) and (j), bases of discrimination shall be arranged in the order in which they appear in §1614.702(j). The category “non-EEO basis” shall be posted last, after the basis of “disability.”
(4) When posting data pursuant to §1614.704(e) and (k), issues of discrimination shall be arranged in the order in which they appear in §1614.702(k). Only those issues set forth in §1614.702(k) shall be listed.

(g) Agencies shall ensure that the data they post under this subpart can be readily accessed through one or more commercial search engines.
(h) Within 60 days of the effective date of this rule, an agency shall provide the Commission the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the data it posts under this subpart. Thereafter, new or changed URLs shall be provided within 30 days.
(i) Processing times required to be posted under this subpart shall be recorded using number of days.

29 CFR §1614.704 | INFORMATION TO BE POSTED — ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES

Commencing on January 31, 2004 and thereafter no later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal quarter beginning on or after January 1, 2004, each Federal agency shall post the following current fiscal year statistics on its public Internet Web site regarding EEO complaints filed under 29 CFR part 1614.
(a) The number of complaints filed in such fiscal year.
(b) The number of individuals filing those complaints (including as the agent of a class).
(c) The number of individuals who filed two or more of those complaints.
(d) The number of those complaints, whether initially or through amendment, raising each of the various bases of alleged discrimination and the number of complaints in which a non-EEO basis is alleged.
(e) The number of those complaints, whether initially or through amendment, raising each of the various issues of alleged discrimination.
(f) The average length of time it has taken an agency to complete, respectively, investigation and final action by an agency for:
(1) All complaints pending for any length of time during such fiscal year;
(2) All complaints pending for any length of time during such fiscal year in which a hearing was not requested; and
(3) All complaints pending for any length of time during such fiscal year in which a hearing was requested.

(g) The number of complaints dismissed by an agency pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.107(a), and the average length of time such complaints had been pending prior to dismissal.
(h) The number of complaints withdrawn by complainants.
(i)
(1) The total number of final actions by an agency rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination and, of that number,
(2) The number and percentage that were rendered without a hearing, and
(3) The number and percentage that were rendered after a hearing.

(j) Of the total number of final actions by an agency rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(1) The number and percentage of those based on each respective basis,
(2) The number and percentage for each respective basis that were rendered without a hearing, and
(3) The number and percentage for each respective basis that were rendered after a hearing.

(k) Of the total number of final actions by an agency rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(1) The number and percentage for each respective issue,
(2) The number and percentage for each respective issue that were rendered without a hearing, and
(3) The number and percentage for each respective issue that were rendered after a hearing.

(l) Of the total number of complaints pending for any length of time in such fiscal year,
(1) The number that were first filed before the start of the then current fiscal year,
(2) Of those complaints falling within subsection (l)(1),
(i) The number of individuals who filed those complaints, and
(ii) The number that are pending, respectively, at the investigation, hearing, final action by an agency, and appeal step of the process.


(m) Of the total number of complaints pending for any length of time in such fiscal year, the total number of complaints in which the agency has not completed its investigation within the time required by 29 CFR 1614.106(e)(2) plus any extensions authorized by that section or §1614.108(e).

29 CFR §1614.705 | COMPARATIVE DATA — ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES

Commencing on January 31, 2004 and no later than January 31 of each year thereafter, each Federal agency shall post year-end data corresponding to that required to be posted by §1614.704 for each of the five immediately preceding fiscal years (or, if not available for all five fiscal years, for however many of those five fiscal years for which data are available). For each category of data, the agency shall post a separate figure for each fiscal year.

29 CFR §1614.706 | OTHER DATA

Agencies shall not include or otherwise post with the data required to be posted under §1614.704 and 1614.705 of this subpart any other data, whether or not EEO related, but may post such other data on another, separate, Web page.

29 CFR §1614.707 | DATA TO BE POSTED BY EEOC

(a) Commencing on January 31, 2004 and thereafter no later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal quarter beginning on or after January 1, 2004, the Commission shall post the following current fiscal year statistics on its public Internet Web site regarding hearings requested under this part 1614.
(1) The number of hearings requested in such fiscal year.
(2) The number of individuals filing those requests.
(3) The number of individuals who filed two or more of those requests.
(4) The number of those hearing requests involving each of the various bases of alleged discrimination.
(5) The number of those hearing requests involving each of the various issues of alleged discrimination.
(6) The average length of time it has taken EEOC to complete the hearing step for all cases pending at the hearing step for any length of time during such fiscal year.
(7)
(i) The total number of administrative judge (AJ) decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination and, of that number,
(ii) The number and percentage that were rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage that were rendered after a hearing.

(8) Of the total number of AJ decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(i) The number and percentage of those based on each respective basis,
(ii) The number and percentage for each respective basis that were rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage for each respective basis that were rendered after a hearing.

(9) Of the total number of AJ decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(i) The number and percentage for each respective issue,
(ii) The number and percentage for each respective issue that were rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage for each respective issue that were rendered after a hearing.

(10) Of the total number of hearing requests pending for any length of time in such fiscal year,
(i) The number that were first filed before the start of the then current fiscal year, and
(ii) The number of individuals who filed those hearing requests in earlier fiscal years.

(11) Of the total number of hearing requests pending for any length of time in such fiscal year, the total number in which the Commission failed to complete the hearing step within the time required by §1614.109(i).

(b) Commencing on January 31, 2004 and thereafter no later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal quarter beginning on or after January 1, 2004, the Commission shall post the following current fiscal year statistics on its public Internet Web site regarding EEO appeals filed under part 1614.
(1) The number of appeals filed in such fiscal year.
(2) The number of individuals filing those appeals (including as the agent of a class).
(3) The number of individuals who filed two or more of those appeals.
(4) The number of those appeals raising each of the various bases of alleged discrimination.
(5) The number of those appeals raising each of the various issues of alleged discrimination.
(6) The average length of time it has taken EEOC to issue appellate decisions for:
(i) All appeals pending for any length of time during such fiscal year;
(ii) All appeals pending for any length of time during such fiscal year in which a hearing was not requested; and
(iii) All appeals pending for any length of time during such fiscal year in which a hearing was requested.

(7)
(i) The total number of appellate decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination and, of that number,
(ii) The number and percentage that involved a final action by an agency rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage that involved a final action by an agency after a hearing.

(8) Of the total number of appellate decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(i) The number and percentage of those based on each respective basis of discrimination,
(ii) The number and percentage for each respective basis that involved a final action by an agency rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage for each respective basis that involved a final action by an agency rendered after a hearing.

(9) Of the total number of appellate decisions rendered in such fiscal year involving a finding of discrimination,
(i) The number and percentage for each respective issue of discrimination,
(ii) The number and percentage for each respective issue that involved a final action by an agency rendered without a hearing, and
(iii) The number and percentage for each respective issue that involved a final action by an agency rendered after a hearing.

(10) Of the total number of appeals pending for any length of time in such fiscal year,
(i) The number that were first filed before the start of the then current fiscal year, and
(ii) The number of individuals who filed those appeals in earlier fiscal years.





29 CFR §1615.101 | PURPOSE

(a) The purpose of this part is to effectuate section 119 of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which amended section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service.
(b) The purpose of this part is also to effectuate section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that when Federal departments and agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure accessibility by individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees or applicants, or members of the public.
[54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.102 | APPLICATION

This part applies to all programs or activities conducted by the Commission and to its development, procurement, maintenance, and use of electronic and information technology. [73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.103 | DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this part, the term —
Assistant Attorney General means the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice.
Auxiliary aids means services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities conducted by the Commission. For example, auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired vision include readers, Brailled materials, audio recordings, and other similar services and devices. Auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired hearing include telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's), interpreters, notetakers, written materials, and other similar services and devices. Auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired ability to reach or grasp include goose neck telephone headsets, mechanical page turners, and raised or lowered furniture. These examples are not intended to be exclusive either as to the persons who are entitled to such aids or as to the type of aids that may be required. Although auxiliary aids are required explicitly only by §1615.160(a)(1), they may also be necessary to meet other requirements of this part.
Commission means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Complete complaint means a written statement that contains the complainant's name and address and describes the Commission's actions in sufficient detail to inform the Commission of the nature and date of the alleged violation of section 504 or section 508. It shall be signed by the complainant or by someone authorized to do so on his or her behalf. Complaints filed on behalf of classes or third parties shall describe or identify (by name, if possible) the alleged victims of discrimination.
Electronic and Information technology. Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. The term electronic and information technology includes, but is not limited to, telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For example, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment such as thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment where information technology is integral to its operation, are not information technology.
Facility means all or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, roads, walks, parking lots, rolling stock or other conveyances, or other real or personal property.
Individual with disabilities means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. As used in this definition, the phrase:
(1) Physical or mental impairment includes —
(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or
(ii) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term “physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic. visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and drug addiction and alcoholism.

(2) Major life activities includes functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
(3) Has a record of such an impairment means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(4) Is regarded as having such an impairment means —
(i) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by the agency as constituting such a limitation;
(ii) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or
(iii) Has none of the impairments defined in paragraph (1) of this definition but is treated by the agency as having an impairment.


Qualified individual with a disability means:
(1) With respect to any Commission program or activity (except employment), an individual with a disability who, with or without modifications or aids required by this part, meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt of benefits from, that program or activity.
(2) With respect to employment, a qualified individual with a disability as defined in 29 CFR 1630.2(m), which is made applicable to this part by §1615.140.

Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (29 U.S.C. 794)), as amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-516, 88 Stat. 1617), the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-602, 92 Stat. 2955) and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-506, 100 Stat. 1810). As used in this part, section 504 applies only to programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies and not to federally assisted programs.
Section 508 means section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L. 93-112, Title V, §508, as added Pub. L. 99-506, Title VI, §603(a), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1830, and amended Pub. L. 100-630, Title II, §206(f), Nov. 7, 1988, 102 Stat. 3312; Pub. L. 102-569, Title V, §509(a), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4430; Pub. L. 105-220, Title IV, §408(b), Aug. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1203.
[54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1610.104 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.105 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.106 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.107 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.108 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.109 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.110 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.111 | NOTICE

The Commission shall make available to employees, applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons such information regarding the provisions of this part and its applicability to the programs or activities conducted by the Commission, and make such information available to them in such manner as the Chair of the Commission finds necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by section 504 and this regulation. [54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.112 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.113 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.114 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.115 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.116 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.117 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.118 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.119 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.120 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.121 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.122 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.123 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.124 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.125 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.126 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.127 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.128 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.129 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.130 | GENERAL PROHIBITIONS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

(a) No qualified individual with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Commission.
(b)
(1) The Commission, in providing any aid, benefit, or service, may not, directly or through contractual, certifying, or other arrangements, on the basis of disability —
(i) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service;
(ii) Afford a qualified individual with disabilities an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service that is not equal to that afforded others;
(iii) Provide a qualified individual with disabilities with an aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others;
(iv) Provide different or separate aid, benefits, or services to individuals with disabilities or to any class of individuals with disabilities than is provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with aid, benefits, or services that are as effective as those provided to others;
(v) Deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards; or
(vi) Otherwise limit a qualified individual with disabilities in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving the aid, benefit, or service.

(2) The Commission may not deny a qualified individual with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs or activities that are not separate or different, despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programs or activities.
(3) The Commission may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration the purpose or effect of which would —
(i) Subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability; or
(ii) Defeat or substantially impair accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(4) The Commission may not, in determining the site or location of a facility, make selections the purpose or effect of which would —
(i) Exclude individuals with disabilities from, deny them the benefits of, or otherwise subject them to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Commission; or
(ii) Defeat or substantially impair the accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities.

(5) The Commission, in the selection of procurement contractors, may not use criteria that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability.

(c) The exclusion of individuals without disabilities from the benefits of a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to individuals with disabilities or the exclusion of a specific class of individuals with disabilities from a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to a different class of individuals with disabilities is not prohibited by this part.
(d) The Commission shall administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.
[54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.131 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.132 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.133 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.134 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.135 | ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS

(a) Development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and information technology. — When developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology, the Commission shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on it, that the electronic and information technology allows, regardless of the type of medium of the technology —
(1) Individuals with disabilities who are Commission employees to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by Commission employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and
(2) Individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from the Commission to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.

(b) Alternative means of access when undue burden is imposed. — When development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and information technology that meets the standards published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR part 1194 would impose an undue burden, the Commission shall provide individuals with disabilities covered by this section with the information and data involved by an alternative means of access that allows the individual to use the information and data.
[73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.136 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.137 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.138 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.139 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.141 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.142 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.143 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.144 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.145 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.146 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.147 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.148 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.152 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.153 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.154 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.155 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.156 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.157 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.158 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.159 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.160 | COMMUNICATIONS

(a) The Commission shall take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with applicants, participants, personnel of other Federal entities, and members of the public.
(1) The Commission shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids where necessary to afford an individual with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a program or activity conducted by the Commission.
(i) In determining what type of auxiliary aid is necessary, the Commission shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities.
(ii) The Commission need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices of a personal nature.

(2) Where the Commission communicates with applicants and beneficiaries by telephone, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's) or equally effective telecommunication systems shall be used.

(b) The Commission shall ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible services, activities, and facilities.
(c) The Commission shall provide signs at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing users to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international symbol for accessibility shall be used at each primary entrance of an accessible facility.
(d) This section does not require the Commission to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where Commission personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the Commission has the burden of proving that compliance with §1615.160 would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the Chair of the Commission after considering all Commission resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with this section would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the Commission shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.
[54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 73 FR 39866, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.161 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.162 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.163 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.164 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.165 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.166 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.167 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.168 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.169 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1615.170 | COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by the Commission in violation of section 504. This section also applies to all complaints alleging a violation of the agency's responsibility to procure electronic and information technology under section 508 whether filed by members of the public or EEOC employees or applicants.
(b) The Commission shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by EEOC in 29 CFR part 1614 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791). With regard to employee claims concerning agency procurements made in violation of section 508, the procedures set out in paragraphs (d) through (m) of this section shall be used.
(c) Responsibility for implementation and operation of this section shall be vested in the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity (Director of OEO).
(d) Filing a complaint.
(1) Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by this part or that the agency's procurement of electronic and information technology has violated section 508, or authorized representative of such person, may file a complaint with the Director of OEO. Any person who believes that any specific class of persons has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by this part and who is a member of that class or the authorized representative of a member of that class may file a complaint with the Director. A charge on behalf of a person or member of a class of persons claiming to be aggrieved may be made by any person, agency or organization.
(2) Where and when to file. Complaints shall be filed with the Director of OEO within one hundred and eighty calendar days of the alleged acts of discrimination. A complaint shall be deemed filed on the date it is postmarked, or, in the absence of a postmark, on the date it is received in the Office of the Director. The Commission shall extend the time period for filing a complaint upon a showing of good cause. For example, the Commission shall extend this time limit if a complainant shows that he or she was not notified of the time limits and was not otherwise aware of them, or that he or she was prevented by circumstances beyond his or her control from submitting the matter within the time limits. A technically incomplete complaint shall be deemed timely if the complainant cures any defect upon request.

(e) Acceptance of complaint.
(1) The Commission shall accept a complete complaint that is filed in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section and over which it has jurisdiction. The Director, Office of Equal Opportunity shall notify the complainant and the respondent of receipt and acceptance of the complaint.
(2) If the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity receives a complaint that is not complete, he or she shall notify the complainant, within 30 days of receipt of the incomplete complaint, that additional information is needed. If the complainant fails to complete the complaint within 30 days of receipt of this notice, the Director shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice and shall so inform the complainant.

(f) If the Commission receives a complaint over which it does not have jurisdiction, it shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate government entity.
(g) The Commission shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
(h) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, the Commission shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing —
(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;
(2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and
(3) A notice of the right to appeal.

(i) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed with the Chair of the Commission by the complainant within ninety calendar days of receipt from the Commission of the letter required by §1615.170(h). The Commission shall extend this time for good cause when a complainant shows that he or she was not notified of the prescribed time limit and was not otherwise aware of it or that circumstances beyond his or her control prevented the filing of an appeal within the prescribed time limit. An appeal shall be deemed filed on the date it is postmarked, or, in the absence of a postmark, on the date it is received by the Chair at EEOC headquarters. It should be clearly marked “Appeal of section 504 decision” or “Appeal of section 508 decision” and should contain specific objections explaining why the person believes the initial decision was factually or legally wrong. Attached to the appeal letter should be a copy of the initial decision being appealed.
(j) Timely appeals shall be decided by the Chair of the Commission unless the Commission determines that an appeal raises a policy issue which should be addressed by the full Commission.
(1) The Chair will draft a decision within 30 days of receipt of an appeal and circulate it to the Commission.
(2) If a Commissioner believes an appeal raises a policy issue that should be addressed by the full Commission, he or she shall so inform the Chair by notice in writing within ten calendar days of the circulation of the draft decision on appeal.
(3) If the Chair does not receive such written notice, the decision on appeal shall be issued.
(4) If the Chair receives written notice as described in subparagraph (2), the Commission shall resolve the appeal through a vote.

(k) The Commission shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within ninety calendar days of the receipt of the appeal from the complainant. If the Commission determines that it needs additional information from the complainant, it shall have sixty days from the date it receives the additional information to make its determination on the appeal.
(l) The time limits cited in paragraphs (h) and (k) of this section may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.
(m) The Commission may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to other Federal agencies, or may contract with non-Federal entities to conduct such investigations except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated.
(n) Civil actions. The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in sections 505(a)(2) and 505(b) of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794a(a)(2) and 794a(b) shall be the remedies, procedures, and rights available to any individual with a disability filing a complaint under this section.
Editorial Note: At 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009, §1615.170 was amended by removing the text “1801 'L' Street NW.” and adding, in its place, the text “131 M Street, NE.” in paragraphs (d)(2) and (i); however, the amendment could not be incorporated because the text does not exist.

[54 FR 22749, May 26, 1989, as amended at 71 FR 26830, May 9, 2006; 73 FR 39868, July 11, 2008]

29 CFR §1615.170 | [RESERVED]

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29 CFR §1620.1 | BASIC APPLICABILITY OF THE EQUAL PAY ACT

(a) Since the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d) (hereinafter referred to as the EPA), is a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq. (hereinafter referred to as the FLSA), it has the same basic coverage as the FLSA with two principal exceptions:
(1) The EPA applies to executive, administrative, and professional employees who are normally exempted from the FLSA for most purposes by section 13(a)(1) of that statute, and
(2) The EPA covers all State and local government employees unless they are specifically exempted under section 3(e)(2)(C) of the FLSA.

(b) The EPA does not apply where the employer has no employees who are engaged in commerce or in the handling of goods that have moved in commerce and the employer is not an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.
(c) Men are protected under the Act equally with women. While the EPA was motivated by concern for the weaker bargaining position of women, the Act by its express terms applies to both sexes.
(d) Most employees of the United States Government, as described in section 3(e)(2) (A) and (B) of the FLSA, are covered by the EPA. Accordingly, these interpretations and principles may generally be applied to Federal sector employment.

29 CFR §1620.2 | GENERAL COVERAGE OF EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN COMMERCE

(a) Like the FLSA, the EPA applies to employees “engaged in commerce.” “Commerce” is broadly defined in section 3(b) of the FLSA. It includes both interstate and foreign commerce and is not limited to transportation across State lines, or to activity of a commercial character. All parts of the movement among the several States, or between any State and any place outside thereof, of persons or things, tangibles or intangibles, including communication of information and intelligence, constitute movement in “commerce” within the statutory definition. This includes those parts of any such activity which take place wholly within a single State. In addition, the instrumentalities for carrying on such commerce are so inseparable from the commerce itself that employees working on such instrumentalities within the borders of a single State, by virtue of the contribution made by their work to the movement of the commerce, are “engaged in commerce” within the meaning of the FLSA.
(b) Consistent with the purpose of the FLSA to apply Federal standards “throughout the farthest reaches of the channels of interstate commerce,” the courts have made it clear that the employees “engaged in commerce” include every employee employed in the channels of such commerce or in activities so closely related to such commerce as to be considered a part of it as a practical matter. Engaging “in commerce” includes activities connected therewith such as management and control of the various physical processes, together with the accompanying accounting and clerical activities. Thus, employees engaged in interstate or foreign commerce will typically include, among others, employees in distributing industries such as wholesaling or retailing who sell, transport, handle, or otherwise work on goods moving in interstate or foreign commerce as well as workers who order, receive, guard, pack, ship or keep records of such goods; employees who handle payroll or personnel functions for workers engaged in such activities; clerical and other workers who regularly use the mails, telephone, or telegraph for communication across State lines; and employees who regularly travel across State lines while working. For other examples, see 29 CFR part 776.

29 CFR §1620.3 | GENERAL COVERAGE OF EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN * * * THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS FOR COMMERCE

(a) Like the FLSA, the EPA applies to employees “engaged in * * * the production of goods for commerce.” The broad meaning of “commerce” as defined in section 3(b) of the FLSA has been outlind in §1620.2. “Goods” is also comprehensively defined in section 3(i) of the FLSA and includes “articles or subjects of commerce of any character, or any part or ingredient thereof” not expressly excepted by the statute. The activities constituting “production” of the goods for commerce are defined in section 3(j) of the FLSA. These are not limited to such work as manufacturing but include handling or otherwise working on goods intended for shipment out of the State either directly or indirectly or for use within the State to serve the needs of the instrumentalities or facilities by which interstate or foreign commerce is carried on. Employees engaged in any closely related process or occupation directly essential to such production of any goods, whether employed by the producer or by an independent employer, are also engaged, by definition, in “production.” Thus, employees engaged in the administration, planning, management, and control of the various physical processes together with the accompanying clerical and accounting activities are, from a productive standpoint and for purposes of the FLSA, “engaged in the production of goods for commerce.”
(b) Employees engaged in the production of goods for interstate or foreign commerce include those who work in manufacturing, processing, and distributing establishments, including wholesale and retail establishments that “produce” (including handling or working on) goods for such commerce. This includes everyone employed in such establishments, or elsewhere in the enterprises by which they are operated, whose activities constitute “production” of such goods under the principles outlined in paragraph (a) of this section. Thus, employees who sell, process, load, pack, or otherwise handle or work on goods which are to be shipped or delivered outside the State either by their employer or by another firm, and either in the same form or as a part or ingredient of other goods, are engaged in the production of goods for commerce within the coverage of the FLSA. So also are the office, management, sales, and shipping personnel, and maintenance, custodial, and protective employees who perform as a part of the integrated effort for the production of the goods for commerce, services related to such production or to such goods or to the plant, equipment, or personnel by which the production is accomplished.

29 CFR §1620.4 | CLOSELY RELATED AND DIRECTLY ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES

An employee is engaged in the production of goods for interstate or foreign commerce within the meaning of the FLSA even if the employees's work is not an actual and direct part of such production, so long as the employee is engaged in a process or occupation which is “closely related” and “directly essential” to it. This is true whether the employee is employed by the producer of the goods or by someone else who provides goods or services to the producer. Typical of employees covered under these principles are computer operators, bookkeepers, stenographers, clerks, accountants, and auditors and other office and whitecollar workers, and employees doing payroll, timekeeping, and time study work for the producer of goods; employees in the personnel, labor relations, employee benefits, safety and health, advertising, promotion, and public relations activities of the producing enterprise; work instructors for the producers; employees maintaining, servicing, repairing or improving the buildings, machinery, equipment, vehicles or other facilities used in the production of goods for commerce, and such custodial and productive employees as watchmen, guards, firemen, patrolmen, caretakers, stockroom workers and warehousemen; and transportation workers bringing supplies, materials, or equipment to the producer's premises, removing waste materials therefrom, or transporting materials or other goods, or performing such other transportation activities, as the needs of production may require. These examples are illustrative, rather than exhaustive, of the employees who are “engaged in the production of goods for commerce” by reason of performing activities closely related and directly essential to such production.

29 CFR §1620.5 | WHAT GOODS ARE CONSIDERED AS PRODUCED FOR COMMERCE

Goods (as defined in section 3(i) of the FLSA) are “produced for commerce” if they are “produced, manufactured, mined, handled or in any other manner worked on” in any State for sale, trade, transportation, transmission, shipment, or delivery, to any place outside thereof. Goods are produced for commerce where the producer intends, hopes, expects, or has reason to believe that the goods or any unsegregated part of them will move (in the same or in an altered form or as a part of ingredient of other goods) in interstate or foreign commerce. If such movement of the goods in commerce can reasonably be anticipated by the producer when the goods are produced, it makes no difference whether the producer or the person to whom the goods are transferred puts the goods in interstate or foreign commerce. The fact that goods do move in interstate or foreign commerce is strong evidence that the producer intended, hoped, expected, or had reason to believe that they would so move. Goods may also be produced “for commerce” where they are to be used within the State and not transported in any form across State lines. This is true where the goods are used to serve the needs of the instrumentalities or facilities by which interstate or foreign commerce is carried on within the State. For examples, see 29 CFR 776.20.

29 CFR §1620.6 | COVERAGE IS NOT BASED ON AMOUNT OF COVERED ACTIVITY

The FLSA makes no distinction as to the percentage, volume, or amount of activities of either the employee or the employer which constitute engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. Every employee whose activities in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, even though small in amount, are regular and recurring, is considered “engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce”.

29 CFR §1620.7 | ENTERPRISE COVERAGE

(a) The terms “enterprise” and “enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce” are defined in subsections 3(r) and 3(s) of the FLSA. Under the enterprise concept, if a business is an “enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce,” every employee employed in such enterprise or by such enterprise is within the coverage of the EPA unless specifically exempted in the FLSA, regardless of whether the individual employee is actually engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. The term “enterprise” is not synonymous with the terms “employer” or “establishment” although on occasion the three terms may apply to the same business entity. An enterprise may consist of a single establishment operated by one or more employers. (See definitions of “employer” and “establishment” in §§1620.8 and 1620.9.)
(b) In order to constitute an enterprise, the activities sought to be aggregated must be related to each other, they must be performed under a unified operation or common control, and they must be performed for a common business purpose. Activities are related when they are the same or similar, or when they are auxiliary services necessary to the operation and maintenance of the particular business. Activities constitute a unified operation when the activities are operated as a single business unit or economic entity. Activities are performed under common control when the power to direct, restrict, regulate, govern or administer the performance of the activities resides in a single person or entity or when it is shared by a group of persons or entities. Activities are performed for a common business purpose when they are directed to the same or similar business objectives. A determination whether the statutory characteristics of an enterprise are present in any particular case must be made on a case-by-case basis. See generally, subpart C of 29 CFR part 779 for a detailed discussion of the term “enterprise” under the FLSA.

29 CFR §1620.8 | EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE, AND EMPLOY DEFINED

The words “employer,” “employee,” and “employ” as used in the EPA are defined in the FLSA. Economic reality rather than technical concepts determines whether there is employment within the meaning of the EPA. The common law test based upon the power to control the manner of performance is not applicable to the determination of whether an employment relationship subject to the EPA exists. An “employer,” as defined in section 3(d) of the FLSA, means “any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee” and includes a “public agency,” as defined in section 3(x). An “employee,” as defined in section 3(e) of the FLSA, “means any individual employed by an employer.” “Employ,” as used in the EPA, is defined in section 3(g) of the FLSA to include “to suffer or permit to work.” Two or more employers may be both jointly or severally responsible for compliance with the statutory requirements applicable to employment of a particular employee.

29 CFR §1620.9 | MEANING OF ESTABLISHMENT

(a) Although not expressly defined in the FLSA, the term “establishment” had acquired a well settled meaning by the time of enactment of the Equal Pay Act. It refers to a distinct physical place of business rather than to an entire business or “enterprise” which may include several separate places of business. Accordingly, each physically separate place of business is ordinarily considered a separate establishment.
(b) In unusual circumstances, two or more portions of a business enterprise, even though located in a single physical place of business, may constitute more than one establishment. For example, the facts might reveal that these portions of the enterprise are physically segregated, engaged in functionally separate operations, and have separate employees and maintain separate records. Conversely, unusual circumstances may call for two or more distinct physical portions of a business enterprise being treated as a single establishment. For example, a central administrative unit may hire all employees, set wages, and assign the location of employment; employees may frequently interchange work locations; and daily duties may be virtually identical and performed under similar working conditions. Barring unusual circumstances, however, the term “establishment” will be applied as described in paragraph (a) of this section.

29 CFR §1620.10 | MEANING OF WAGES

Under the EPA, the term “wages” generally includes all payments made to [or on behalf of] an employee as remuneration for employment. The term includes all forms of compensation irrespective of the time of payment, whether paid periodically or deferred until a later date, and whether called wages, salary, profit sharing, expense account, monthly minimum, bonus, uniform cleaning allowance, hotel accommodations, use of company car, gasoline allowance, or some other name. Fringe benefits are deemed to be remuneration for employment. “Wages” as used in the EPA (the purpose of which is to assure men and women equal remuneration for equal work) will therefore include payments which may not be counted under section 3(m) of the FLSA toward the minimum wage (the purpose of which is to assure employees a minimum amount of remuneration unconditionally available in cash or in board, lodging or other facilities). Similarly, the provisions of section 7(e) of the FLSA under which some payments may be excluded in computing an employee's “regular rate” of pay for purposes of section 7 do not authorize the exclusion of any such remuneration from the “wages” of an employee in applying the EPA. Thus, vacation and holiday pay, and premium payments for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, regular days of rest or other days or hours in excess or outside of the employee's regular days or hours of work are deemed remuneration for employment and therefore wage payments that must be considered in applying the EPA, even though not a part of the employee's “regular rate.”

29 CFR §1620.11 | FRINGE BENEFITS

(a) “Fringe benefits” includes, e.g., such terms as medical, hospital, accident, life insurance and retirement benefits; profit sharing and bonus plans; leave; and other such concepts.
(b) It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate between men and women performing equal work with regard to fringe benefits. Differences in the application of fringe benefit plans which are based upon sex-based actuarial studies cannot be justified as based on “any other factor other than sex.”
(c) Where an employer conditions benefits available to employees and their spouses and families on whether the employee is the “head of the household” or “principal wage earner” in the family unit, the overall implementation of the plan will be closely scrutinized.
(d) It is unlawful for an employer to make available benefits for the spouses or families of employees of one gender where the same benefits are not made available for the spouses or families of opposite gender employees.
(e) It shall not be a defense under the EPA to a charge of sex discrimination in benefits that the cost of such benefits is greater with respect to one sex than the other.
(f) It is unlawful for an employer to have a pension or retirement plan which, with respect to benefits, establishes different optional or compulsory retirement ages based on sex or which otherwise differentiates in benefits on the basis of sex.
[51 FR 29816, Aug. 20, 1986; 51 FR 32636, Sept. 15, 1986]

29 CFR §1620.12 | WAGE RATE

(a) The term wage “rate,” as used in the EPA, refers to the standard or measure by which an employee's wage is determined and is considered to encompass all rates of wages whether calculated on a time, commission, piece, job incentive, profit sharing, bonus, or other basis. The term includes the rate at which overtime compensation or other special remuneration is paid as well as the rate at which straight time compensation for ordinary work is paid. It further includes the rate at which a draw, advance, or guarantee is paid against a commission settlement.
(b) Where a higher wage rate is paid to one gender than the other for the performance of equal work, the higher rate serves as a wage standard. When a violation of the Act is established, the higher rate paid for equal work is the standard to which the lower rate must be raised to remedy a violation of the Act.

29 CFR §1620.13 | EQUAL WORK — WHAT IT MEANS

(a) In general. The EPA prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of sex in the wages paid for “equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions * * *.” The word “requires” does not connote that an employer must formally assign the equal work to the employee; the EPA applies if the employer knowingly allows the employee to perform the equal work. The equal work standard does not require that compared jobs be identical, only that they be substantially equal.
(b) “Male jobs” and “female jobs.”
(1) Wage classification systems which designate certain jobs as “male jobs” and other jobs as “female jobs” frequently specify markedly lower rates for the “females jobs.” Such practices indicate a pay practice of discrimination based on sex. It should also be noted that it is an unlawful employment practice under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to classify a job as “male” or “female” unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job.
(2) The EPA prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages to employees for work on jobs which are equal under the standards which the Act provides. For example, where an employee of one sex is hired or assigned to a particular job to replace an employee of the opposite sex but receives a lower rate of pay than the person replaced, a prima facie violation of the EPA exists. When a prima facie violation of the EPA exists, it is incumbent on the employer to show that the wage differential is justified under one or more of the Act's four affirmative defenses.
(3) The EPA applies when all employees of one sex are removed from a particular job (by transfer or discharge) so as to retain employees of only one sex in a job previously performed interchangeably or concurrently by employees of both sexes. If a prohibited sex-based wage differential had been established or maintained in violation of the EPA when the job was being performed by employees of both sexes, the employer's obligation to pay the higher rate for the job cannot be avoided or evaded by the device of later confining the job to members of the lower paid sex.
(4) If a person of one sex succeeds a person of the opposite sex on a job at a higher rate of pay than the predecessor, and there is no reason for the higher rate other than difference in gender, a violation as to the predecessor is established and that person is entitled to recover the difference between his or her pay and the higher rate paid the successor employee.
(5) It is immaterial that a member of the higher paid sex ceased to be employed prior to the period covered by the applicable statute of limitations period for filing a timely suit under the EPA. The employer's continued failure to pay the member of the lower paid sex the wage rate paid to the higher paid predecessor constitutes a prima facie continuing violation. Also, it is no defense that the unequal payments began prior to the statutory period.

(c) Standards for determining rate of pay. The rate of pay must be equal for persons performing equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. When factors such as seniority, education, or experience are used to determine the rate of pay, then those standards must be applied on a sex neutral basis.
(d) Inequalities in pay that raise questions under the Act. It is necessary to scrutinize those inequalities in pay between employees of opposite sexes which may indicate a pattern of discrimination in wage payment that is based on sex. Thus, a serious question would be raised where such an inequality, allegedly based on a difference in job content, is in fact one in which the employee occupying the job purportedly requiring the higher degree of skill, effort, or responsibility receives the lower wage rate. Likewise, because the EPA was designed to eliminate wage rate differentials which are based on sex, situations will be carefully scrutinized where employees of only one sex are concentrated in the lower levels of the wage scale, and where there does not appear to be any material relationship other than sex between the lower wage rates paid to such employees and the higher rates paid to employees of the opposite sex.
(e) Job content controlling. Application of the equal pay standard is not dependent on job classifications or titles but depends rather on actual job requirements and performance. For example, the fact that jobs performed by male and female employees may have the same total point value under an evaluation system in use by the employer does not in itself mean that the jobs concerned are equal according to the terms of the statute. Conversely, although the point values allocated to jobs may add up to unequal totals, it does not necessarily follow that the work being performed in such jobs is unequal when the statutory tests of the equal pay standard are applied. Job titles are frequently of such a general nature as to provide very little guidance in determining the application of the equal pay standard. For example, the job title “clerk” may be applied to employees who perform a variety of duties so dissimilar as to place many of them beyond the scope of comparison under the Act. Similarly, jobs included under the title “stock clerk” may include an employee of one sex who spends all or most of his or her working hours in shifting and moving goods in the establishment whereas another employee, of the opposite sex, may also be described as a “stock clerk” but be engaged entirely in checking inventory. In the case of jobs identified by the general title “retail clerk”, the facts may show that equal skill, effort, and responsibility are required in the jobs of male and female employees notwithstanding that they are engaged in selling different kinds of merchandise. In all such situations, the application of the equal pay standard will have to be determined by applying the terms of the Act to the specific facts involved.

29 CFR §1620.14 | TESTING EQUALITY OF JOBS

(a) In general. What constitutes equal skill, equal effort, or equal responsibility cannot be precisely defined. In interpreting these key terms of the statute, the broad remedial purpose of the law must be taken into consideration. The terms constitute separate tests, each of which must be met in order for the equal pay standard to apply. It should be kept in mind that “equal” does not mean “identical.” Insubstantial or minor differences in the degree or amount of skill, or effort, or responsibility required for the performance of jobs will not render the equal pay standard inapplicable. On the other hand, substantial differences, such as those customarily associated with differences in wage levels when the jobs are performed by persons of one sex only, will ordinarily demonstrate an inequality as between the jobs justifying differences in pay. However, differences in skill, effort or responsibility which might be sufficient to justify a finding that two jobs are not equal within the meaning of the EPA if the greater skill, effort, or responsibility has been required of the higher paid sex, do not justify such a finding where the greater skill, effort, or responsibility is required of the lower paid sex. In determining whether job differences are so substantial as to make jobs unequal, it is pertinent to inquire whether and to what extent significance has been given to such differences in setting the wage levels for such jobs. Such an inquiry may, for example, disclose that apparent differences between jobs have not been recognized as relevant for wage purposes and that the facts as a whole support the conclusion that the differences are too insubstantial to prevent the jobs from being equal in all significant respects under the law.
(b) Illustrations of the concept. Where employees of opposite sexes are employed in jobs in which the duties they are required to perform and the working conditions are substantially the same, except that an employee of one sex is required to perform some duty or duties involving a higher skill which an employee of the other sex is not required to perform, the fact that the duties are different in this respect is insufficient to remove the jobs from the application of the equal pay standard if it also appears that the employer is paying a lower wage rate to the employee performing the additional duties notwithstanding the additional skill which they involve. In other situations, where employees of the opposite sex are employed in jobs which are equal in the levels of skill, effort, and responsibility required for their performance, it may be alleged that the assignment to employees of one sex but not the other of certain duties requiring less skill makes the jobs too different for comparison under the equal pay provisions. But so long as the higher level of skill is required for the performance of the jobs occupied by employees of both sexes, the fact that some of the duties assigned to employees of one sex require less skill than the employee must have for the job as a whole does not warrant any conclusion that the jobs are outside the purview of the equal pay standard.
(c) Determining equality of job content in general. In determining whether employees are performing equal work within the meaning of the EPA, the amounts of time which employees spend in the performance of different duties are not the sole criteria. It is also necessary to consider the degree of difference in terms of skill, effort, and responsibility. These factors are related in such a manner that a general standard to determine equality of jobs cannot be set up solely on the basis of a percentage of time. Consequently, a finding that one job requires employees to expend greater effort for a certain percentage of their working time than employees performing another job, would not in itself establish that the two jobs do not constitute equal work. Similarly, the performance of jobs on different machines or equipment would not necessarily result in a determination that the work so performed is unequal within the meaning of the statute if the equal pay provisions otherwise apply. If the difference in skill or effort required for the operation of such equipment is inconsequential, payment of a higher wage rate to employees of one sex because of a difference in machines or equipment would constitute a prohibited wage rate differential. Where greater skill or effort is required from the lower paid sex, the fact that the machines or equipment used to perform substantially equal work are different does not defeat a finding that the EPA has been violated. Likewise, the fact that jobs are performed in different departments or locations within the establishment would not necessarily be sufficient to demonstrate that unequal work is involved where the equal pay standard otherwise applies. This is particularly true in the case of retail establishments, and unless a showing can be made by the employer that the sale of one article requires such higher degree of skill or effort than the sale of another article as to render the equal pay standard inapplicable, it will be assumed that the salesmen and saleswomen concerned are performing equal work. Although the equal pay provisions apply on an establishment basis and the jobs to be compared are those in the particular establishment, all relevant evidence that may demonstrate whether the skill, effort, and responsibility required in the jobs in the particular establishment are equal should be considered, whether this relates to the performance of like jobs in other establishments or not.

29 CFR §1620.15 | JOBS REQUIRING EQUAL SKILL IN PERFORMANCE

(a) In general. The jobs to which the equal pay standard is applicable are jobs requiring equal skill in their performance. Where the amount or degree of skill required to perform one job is substantially greater than that required to perform another job, the equal pay standard cannot apply even though the jobs may be equal in all other respects. Skill includes consideration of such factors as experience, training, education, and ability. It must be measured in terms of the performance requirements of the job. If an employee must have essentially the same skill in order to perform either of two jobs, the jobs will qualify under the EPA as jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, even though the employee in one of the jobs may not exercise the required skill as frequently or during as much of his or her working time as the employee in the other job. Possession of a skill not needed to meet the requirements of the job cannot be considered in making a determination regarding equality of skill. The efficiency of the employee's performance in the job is not in itself an appropriate factor to consider in evaluating skill.
(b) Comparing skill requirements of jobs. As a simple illustration of the principle of equal skill, suppose that a man and a woman have jobs classified as administrative assistants. Both jobs require them to spend two-thirds of their working time facilitating and supervising support-staff duties, and the remaining one-third of their time in diversified tasks, not necessarily the same. Since there is no difference in the skills required for the vast majority of their work, whether or not these jobs require equal skill in performance will depend upon the nature of the work performed during the latter period to meet the requirements of the jobs.

29 CFR §1620.16 | JOBS REQUIRING EQUAL EFFORT IN PERFORMANCE

(a) In general. The jobs to which the equal pay standard is applicable are jobs that require equal effort to perform. Where substantial differences exist in the amount or degree of effort required to be expended in the performance of jobs, the equal pay standard cannot apply even though the jobs may be equal in all other respects. Effort is concerned with the measurement of the physical or mental exertion needed for the performance of a job. Job factors which cause mental fatigue and stress, as well as those which alleviate fatigue, are to be considered in determining the effort required by the job. “Effort” encompasses the total requirements of a job. Where jobs are otherwise equal under the EPA, and there is no substantial difference in the amount or degree of effort which must be expended in performing the jobs under comparison, the jobs may require equal effort in their performance even though the effort may be exerted in different ways on the two jobs. Differences only in the kind of effort required to be expended in such a situation will not justify wage differentials.
(b) Comparing effort requirements of jobs. To illustrate the principle of equal effort exerted in different ways, suppose that a male checker employed by a supermarket is required to spend part of his time carrying out heavy packages or replacing stock involving the lifting of heavy items whereas a female checker is required to devote an equal degree of effort during a similar portion of her time to performing fill-in work requiring greater dexterity — such as rearranging displays of spices or other small items. The difference in kind of effort required of the employees does not appear to make their efforts unequal in any respect which would justify a wage differential, where such differences in kind of effort expended to perform the job are not ordinarily considered a factor in setting wage levels. Further, the occasional or sporadic performance of an activity which may require extra physical or mental exertion is not alone sufficient to justify a finding of unequal effort. Suppose, however, that men and women are working side by side on a line assembling parts. Suppose further that one of the men who performs the operations at the end of the line must also lift the assembly, as he completes his part of it, and places it on a waiting pallet. In such a situation, a wage rate differential might be justified for the person (but only for the person) who is required to expend the extra effort in the performance of his job, provided that the extra effort so expended is substantial and is performed over a considerable portion of the work cycle. In general, a wage rate differential based on differences in the degree or amount of effort required for performance of jobs must be applied uniformly to men and women. For example, if all women and some men performing a particular type of job never perform heavy lifting, but some men do, payment of a higher wage rate to all of the men would constitute a prohibited wage rate differential if the equal pay provisions otherwise apply.

29 CFR §1620.17 | JOBS REQUIRING EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY IN PERFORMANCE

(a) In general. The equal pay standard applies to jobs the performance of which requires equal responsibility. Responsibility is concerned with the degree of accountability required in the performance of the job, with emphasis on the importance of the job obligation. Differences in the degree of responsibility required in the performance of otherwise equal jobs cover a wide variety of situations. The following illustrations in subsection (b), while by no means exhaustive, may suggest the nature or degree of differences in responsibility which will constitute unequal work.
(b) Comparing responsibility requirements of jobs.
(1) There are many situations where one employee of a group performing jobs which are equal in other respects is required from time to time to assume supervisory duties for reasons such as the absence of the regular supervisor. Suppose, for instance, that it is the employer's practice to pay a higher wage rate to such a “relief” supervisor with the understanding that during the intervals in which the employee performs supervisory duties the employee is in training for a supervisory position. In such a situation, payment of the higher rate to the employee might well be based solely on the additional responsibility required to perform the job and the equal pay provisions would not require the same rates to be paid to an employee of the opposite sex in the group who does not have an equal responsibility. There would clearly be no question concerning such a wage rate differential if the employer pays the higher rate to both men and women who are called upon from time to time to assume such supervisory responsibilities.
(2) Other differences in responsibilities of employees in generally similar jobs may require similar conclusions. Sales clerks, for example, who are engaged primarily in selling identical or similar merchandise may be given different responsibilities. Suppose that one employee of such a group (who may be either a man or a woman) is authorized and required to determine whether to accept payment for purchases by personal checks of customers. The person having this authority to accept personal checks may have a considerable, additional degree of responsibility which may materially affect the business operations of the employer. In this situation, payment of a higher wage rate to this employee would be permissible.
(3) On the other hand, there are situations where one employee of the group may be given some minor responsibility which the others do not have (e.g., turning out the lights in his or her department at the end of the business day) but which is not of sufficient consequence or importance to justify a finding of unequal responsibility. As another example of a minor difference in responsibility, suppose that office employees of both sexes work in jobs essentially alike but at certain intervals a male and female employee performing otherwise equal work within the meaning of the statute are responsible for the office payroll. One of these employees may be assigned the job of checking time cards and compiling the payroll list. The other, of the opposite sex, may be required to make out paychecks, or divide up cash and put the proper amounts into pay envelopes after drawing a payroll check. In such circumstances, although some of the employees' duties are occasionally dissimilar, the difference in responsibility involved would not appear to be of a kind that is recognized in wage administration as a significant factor in determining wage rates. Under such circumstances, this difference would seem insufficient to justify a wage rate differential between the man's and woman's job if the equal pay provisions otherwise apply.

29 CFR §1620.18 | JOBS PERFORMED UNDER SIMILAR WORKING CONDITIONS

(a) In general. In order for the equal pay standard to apply, the jobs are required to be performed under similar working conditions. It should be noted that the EPA adopts the flexible standard of similarity as a basis for testing this requirement. In determining whether the requirement is met, a practical judgment is required in light of whether the differences in working conditions are the kind customarily taken into consideration in setting wage levels. The mere fact that jobs are in different departments of an establishment will not necessarily mean that the jobs are performed under dissimilar working conditions. This may or may not be the case. The term “similar working conditions” encompasses two subfactors: “surroundings” and “hazards.” “Surroundings” measure the elements, such as toxic chemicals or fumes, regularly encountered by a worker, their intensity and their frequency. “Hazards” take into account the physical hazards regularly encountered, their frequency and the severity of injury they can cause. The phrase “working conditions” does not encompass shift differentials.
(b) Determining similarity of working conditions. Generally, employees performing jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility are likely to be performing them under similar working conditions. However, in situations where some employees performing work meeting these standards have working conditions substantially different from those required for the performance of other jobs, the equal pay principle would not apply. On the other hand, slight or inconsequential differences in working conditions which are not usually taken into consideration by employers or in collective bargaining in setting wage rates would not justify a differential in pay.

29 CFR §1620.19 | EQUALITY OF WAGES—APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE

Equal wages must be paid in the same medium of exchange. In addition, an employer would be prohibited from paying higher hourly rates to all employees of one sex and then attempting to equalize the differential by periodically paying employees of the opposite sex a bonus. Comparison can be made for equal pay purposes between employees employed in equal jobs in the same establishment although they work in different departments.

29 CFR §1620.20 | PAY DIFFERENTIALS CLAIMED TO BE BASED ON EXTRA DUTIES

Additional duties may not be a defense to the payment of higher wages to one sex where the higher pay is not related to the extra duties. The Commission will scrutinize such a defense to determine whether it is bona fide. For example, an employer cannot successfully assert an extra duties defense where:
(a) Employees of the higher paid sex receive the higher pay without doing the extra work;
(b) Members of the lower paid sex also perform extra duties requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility;
(c) The proffered extra duties do not in fact exist;
(d) The extra task consumes a minimal amount of time and is of peripheral importance; or
(e) Third persons (i.e., individuals who are not in the two groups of employees being compared) who do the extra task as their primary job are paid less than the members of the higher paid sex for whom there is an attempt to justify the pay differential.

29 CFR §1620.21 | HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD

Since a “head of household” or “head of family” status bears no relationship to the requirements of the job or to the individual's performance on the job, such a claimed defense to an alleged EPA violation will be closely scrutinized as stated in §1620.11(c).

29 CFR §1620.22 | EMPLOYMENT COST NOT A FACTOR OTHER THAN SEX

A wage differential based on claimed differences between the average cost of employing workers of one sex as a group and the average cost of employing workers of the opposite sex as a group is discriminatory and does not qualify as a differential based on any “factor other than sex,” and will result in a violation of the equal pay provisions, if the equal pay standard otherwise applies.

29 CFR §1620.23 | COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS NOT A DEFENSE

The establishment by collective bargaining or inclusion in a collective bargaining agreement of unequal rates of pay does not constitute a defense available to either an employer or to a labor organization. Any and all provisions in a collective bargaining agreement which provide unequal rates of pay in conflict with the requirements of the EPA are null and void and of no effect.

29 CFR §1620.24 | TIME UNIT FOR DETERMINING VIOLATIONS

In applying the various tests of equality to the requirements for the performance of particular jobs, it is necessary to scrutinize each job as a whole and to look at the characteristics of the jobs being compared over a full work cycle. For the purpose of such a comparison, the appropriate work cycle to be determined would be that performed by members of the lower paid sex and a comparison then made with job duties performed by members of the higher paid sex during a similar work cycle. The appropriate work cycle will be determined by an examination of the facts of each situation. For example, where men and women custodial workers in a school system perform equal work during the academic year, but the men perform additional duties in the summer months, the appropriate work cycle for EPA purposes would be the academic year. In that instance, the additional summer duties would not preclude the application of the equal pay standard or justify the higher wage rate for men for the period when the work was equal.

29 CFR §1620.25 | EQUALIZATION OF RATES

Under the express terms of the EPA, when a prohibited sex-based wage differential has been proved, an employer can come into compliance only by raising the wage rate of the lower paid sex. The rate-reduction provision of the EPA prohibits an employer from attempting to cure a violation by hiring or transferring employees to perform the previously lower-paid job at the lower rate. Similarly, the departure of the higher paid sex from positions where a violation occurred, leaving only members of the lower paid sex being paid equally among themselves, does not cure the EPA violations.

29 CFR §1620.26 | RED CIRCLE RATES

(a) The term “red circle” rate is used to describe certain unusual, higher than normal, wage rates which are maintained for reasons unrelated to sex. An example of bona fide use of a “red circle” rate might arise in a situation where a company wishes to transfer a long-service employee, who can no longer perform his or her regular job because of ill health, to different work which is now being performed by opposite gender-employees. Under the “red circle” principle the employer may continue to pay the employee his or her present salary, which is greater than that paid to the opposite gender employees, for the work both will be doing. Under such circumstances, maintaining an employee's established wage rate, despite a reassignment to a less demanding job, is a valid reason for the differential even though other employees performing the less demanding work would be paid at a lower rate, since the differential is based on a factor other than sex. However, where wage rate differentials have been or are being paid on the basis of sex to employees performing equal work, rates of the higher paid employees may not be “red circled” in order to comply with the EPA. To allow this would only continue the inequities which the EPA was intended to cure.
(b) For a variety of reasons an employer may require an employee, for a short period, to perform the work of a job classification other than the employee's regular classification. If the employee's rate for his or her regular job is higher than the rate usually paid for the work to which the employee is temporarily reassigned, the employer may continue to pay the higher rate under the “red circle” principle. For instance, an employer who must reduce help in a skilled job may transfer employees to less demanding work without reducing their pay, in order to have them available when they are again needed for their former jobs. Although employees traditionally engaged in performing the less demanding work would be paid at a lower rate than those employees transferred from the more skilled jobs, the resultant wage differential would not constitute a violation of the equal pay provisions since the differential is based on factors other than sex. This would be true during the period of time for which the “red circle” rate is bona fide. Temporary reassignments may also involve the opposite relationship of wage rates. Thus, an employee may be required, during the period of temporary reassignment, to perform work for which employees of the opposite sex are paid a higher wage rate than that paid for the duties of the employee's regular job classification. In such a situation, the employer may continue to pay the reassigned employee at the lower rate, if the rate is not based on quality or quantity of production , and if the reassignment is in fact a temporary one. If, however, a piece rate is paid employees of the opposite sex who perform the work to which the employee in question is reassigned, failure to pay the reassigned employee the same piece rate paid such other employees would raise questions of discrimination based on sex. Also, failure to pay the higher rate to a reassigned employee after it becomes known that the reassignment will not be of a temporary nature would raise a question whether sex rather than the temporary nature of the assignment is the real basis for the wage differential. Generally, failure to pay the higher rate to an employee reassigned for a period longer than one month will raise questions as to whether the reassignment was in fact intended to be temporary.

29 CFR §1620.27 | RELATIONSHIP TO THE EQUAL PAY ACT OF TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

(a) In situations where the jurisdictional prerequisites of both the EPA and title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 200e et seq., are satisfied, any violation of the Equal Pay Act is also a violation of title VII. However, title VII covers types of wage discrimination not actionable under the EPA. Therefore, an act or practice of an employer or labor organization that is not a violation of the EPA may nevertheless be a violation of title VII.
(b) Recovery for the same period of time may be had under both the EPA and title VII so long as the same individual does not receive duplicative relief for the same wrong. Relief is computed to give each individual the highest benefit which entitlement under either statute would provide. (e.g., liquidated damages may be available under the EPA but not under title VII.) Relief for the same individual may be computed under one statute for one or more periods of the violation and under the other statute for other periods of the violation.
(c) The right to equal pay under the Equal Pay Act has no relationship to whether the employee is in the lower paying job as a result of discrimination in violation of title VII. Under the EPA a prima facie violation is established upon a showing that an employer pays different wages to employees of opposite sexes for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions. Thus, the availability of a remedy under title VII which would entitle the lower paid employee to be hired into, or to transfer to, the higher paid job does not defeat the right of each person employed on the lower paid job to the same wages as are paid to a member of the opposite sex who receives higher pay for equal work.

29 CFR §1620.28 | RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER EQUAL PAY LAWS

The provisions of various State or local laws may differ from the equal pay provisions set forth in the FLSA. No provisions of the EPA will excuse noncompliance with any State or other law establishing fewer defenses or more liberal work criteria than those of the EPA. On the other hand, compliance with other applicable legislation will not excuse violations of the EPA.

29 CFR §1620.29 | RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LABOR LAWS

If a higher minimum wage than that required under the FLSA is applicable to a particular sex pursuant to State law, and the employer pays the higher State minimum wage to male or female employees, it must also pay the higher rate to employees of the opposite sex for equal work in order to comply with the EPA. Similarly, if overtime premiums are paid to members of one sex because of a legal requirement, such premiums must also be paid to employees of the other sex.

29 CFR §1620.30 | INVESTIGATIONS AND COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE

(a) As provided in sections 9, 11, 16, and 17 of the FLSA, the Commission and its authorized representatives under the Act may (1) investigate and gather data; (2) enter and inspect establishments and records, and make transcriptions thereof, and interview individuals; (3) advise employers regarding any changes necessary or desirable to comply with the Act; (4) subpoena witnesses and order production of documents and other evidence; (5) supervise the payment of amounts owing pursuant to section 16(c) of the FLSA; (6) initiate and conduct litigation.
(b) The General Counsel, District Directors, Washington Field Office Director, and the Program Director, Office of Program Operations, or the designees of any of them are hereby delegated authority to exercise the powers enumerated in paragraphs (a) (1), (2), (3), and (5) of this section and to serve subpoenas. The General Counsel is delegated authority to seek preliminary relief under the Act. The General Counsel is hereby delegated authority to initiate other litigation at the direction of the Commission and to conduct such litigation.
(c) The identity or identifying details of persons giving information in confidence as to violations of the Act shall not be disclosed unless necessary in a court proceeding.
[46 FR 4888, Jan. 19, 1981, as amended at 47 FR 46276, Oct. 18, 1982; 50 FR 30700, July 29, 1985. Redesignated at 51 FR 29819, Aug. 20, 1986, and amended at 54 FR 32063, Aug. 4, 1989]

29 CFR §1620.31 | ISSUANCE OF SUBPOENAS

(a) With respect to the enforcement of the Equal Pay Act, any member of the Commission shall have the authority to sign a subpoena requiring:
(1) The attendance and testimony of witnesses;
(2) The production of evidence including, but not limited to, books, records, correspondence, or documents, in the possession or under the control of the person subpoenaed; and
(3) Access to evidence for the purposes of examination and the right to copy.

(b) There is no right of appeal to the Commission from the issuance of such a subpoena.
(c) Upon the failure of any person to comply with a subpoena issued under this section, the Commission may utilize the provisions of sections 49 and 50 of title 15 of the United States Code to compel enforcement of the subpoena.
[46 FR 4888, Jan. 19, 1981. Redesignated at 51 FR 29819, Aug. 20, 1986]

29 CFR §1620.32 | RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS

(a) Employers having employees subject to the Act are required to keep records in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor regulations found at 29 CFR part 516 (Records To Be Kept by Employers Under the FLSA). The regulations of that part are adopted herein by reference.
(b) Every employer subject to the equal pay provisions of the Act shall maintain and preserve all records required by the applicable sections of 29 CFR part 516 and in addition, shall preserve any records which he makes in the regular course of his business operation which relate to the payment of wages, wage rates, job evaluations, job descriptions, merit systems, seniority systems, collective bargaining agreements, description of practices or other matters which describe or explain the basis for payment of any wage differential to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment, and which may be pertinent to a determination whether such differential is based on a factor other than sex.
(c) Each employer shall preserve for at least two years the records he makes of the kind described in §1620.32(b) which explain the basis for payment of any wage differential to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3046-0019)

(Pub. L. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.))

[46 FR 4888, Jan. 19, 1981, as amended at 46 FR 63268, Dec. 31, 1981. Redesignated at 51 FR 29819, Aug. 20, 1986]

29 CFR §1620.33 | RECOVERY OF WAGES DUE; INJUNCTIONS; PENALTIES FOR WILLFUL VIOLATIONS

(a) Wages withheld in violation of the Act have the status of unpaid minimum wages or unpaid overtime compensation under the FLSA. This is true both of the additional wages required by the Act to be paid to an employee to meet the equal pay standard, and of any wages that the employer should have paid an employee whose wages he reduced in violation of the Act in an attempt to equalize his or her pay with that of an employee of the opposite sex performing equal work, on jobs subject to the Act.
(b) The following methods are provided under sections 16 and 17 of the FLSA for recovery of unpaid wages: The Commission may supervise payment of the back wages and may bring suit for back pay and an equal amount as liquidated damages. The employee may sue for back pay and an additional sum, up to the amount of back pay, as liquidated damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs. The employee may not bring suit if he or she has been paid back wages in full under supervision of the Commission, or if the Commission has filed suit under the Act to collect the wages due the employee. The Commission may also obtain a court injunction to restrain any person from violating the law, including the unlawful withholding by an employer of proper compensation. A 2-year statute of limitations applies to the recovery of unpaid wages, except that an action on a cause of action arising out of a willful violation may be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrued.
(c) Willful violations of the Act may be prosecuted criminally and the violator fined up to $10,000. A second conviction for such a violation may result in imprisonment.
(d) Violation of any provision of the Act by any person, including any labor organization or agent thereof, is unlawful, as provided in section 15(a) of the FLSA. Accordingly, any labor organization, or agent thereof, who violates any provision of the Act is subject to injunction proceedings in accordance with the applicable provisions of section 17 of the FLSA. Any such labor organization, or agent thereof, who willfully violates the provisions of section 15 is liable to the penalties set forth in section 16(a) of the FLSA.
[46 FR 4888, Jan. 19, 1981. Redesignated at 51 FR 29819, Aug. 20, 1986]

29 CFR §1620.34 | RULES TO BE LIBERALLY CONSTRUED

(a) These rules and regulations shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose and provisions of this Act and any other Act administered by the Commission.
(b) Any person claiming to be aggrieved or the agent for such person may advise the Commission of the statute or statutes under which he or she wishes the Commission to commence its inquiry.
(c) Whenever the Commission is investigating a charge or allegation relating to a possible violation of one of the statutes which it administers and finds a violation of one or more of the other statutes which it administers, the Commission may seek to remedy such violation in accordance with the procedures of all relevant statutes.
[46 FR 4888, Jan. 19, 1981. Redesignated at 51 FR 29819, Aug. 20, 1986]




29 CFR §1621.1 | PURPOSE

The regulations set forth in this part contain the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for issuing opinion letters under the Equal Pay Act.

29 CFR §1621.2 | DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this part, the term the Act shall mean the Equal Pay Act the Commission shall mean the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or any of its designated representatives.

29 CFR §1621.3 | PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING AN OPINION LETTER

(a) A request for an opinion letter should be submitted in writing to the Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507, and shall contain:
(1) A concise statement of the issues for which an opinion is requested;
(2) A full statement of the relevant facts and law; and
(3) The names and addresses of the person(s) making the request and other interested persons.

(b) Issuance of an opinion letter by the Commission is discretionary.
(c) Informal advice: When the Commission, at its discretion, determines that it will not issue an opinion letter as defined in §1621.4, the Commission may provide informal advice or guidance to the requestor. An informal letter of advice does not represent the formal position of the Commission and does not commit the Commission to the views expressed therein. Any letter other than those defined in §1621.4 will be considered a letter of advice and may not be relied upon by any employer within the meaning of section 10 of the Portal to Portal Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. 255.
[49 FR 31411, Aug. 7, 1984, as amended at 71 FR 26831, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

29 CFR §1621.4 | EFFECT OF OPINIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF THE COMMISSION

(a) Section 10 of the Portal to Portal Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. 255, which applies to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), provides that:
In any action or proceeding based on any act or omission on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, no employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment * * * if he pleads and proves that the act or omission complained of was in good faith in conformity with and in reliance on any written administrative regulation, order, ruling, approval or interpretation * * * or any administrative practice or enforcement policy of [the Commission].
The Commission has determined that only the following documents may be relied upon by any employer as a “ruling, approval or interpretation” or as “evidence of any administrative practice or enforcement policy” of the Commission within the meaning of the statutory provisions quoted above.
(1) A written document, entitled “opinion letter,” signed by the Legal Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission;
(2) A written document issued in the conduct of litigation, entitled “opinion letter,” signed by the General Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission;
(3) A matter published and specifically designated as such in the Federal Register.

(b) An opinion letter issued pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, when issued to a specific addressee, has no effect upon circumstances beyond the situation of the specific addressee.




29 CFR §1625.1 | DEFINITIONS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is hereinafter referred to as the Commission. The terms person, employer, employment agency, labor organization, and employee shall have the meanings set forth in section 11 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., hereinafter referred to as the Act. References to employers in this part state principles that are applicable not only to employers but also to labor organizations and to employment agencies.

29 CFR §1625.2 | DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED BY THE ACT

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual in any aspect of employment because that individual is 40 years old or older, unless one of the statutory exceptions applies. Favoring an older individual over a younger individual because of age is not unlawful discrimination under the ADEA, even if the younger individual is at least 40 years old. However, the ADEA does not require employers to prefer older individuals and does not affect applicable state, municipal, or local laws that prohibit such preferences. [72 FR 36875, July 6, 2007]

29 CFR §1625.3 | EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

(a) As long as an employment agency regularly procures employees for at least one covered employer, it qualifies under section 11(c) of the Act as an employment agency with respect to all of its activities whether or not such activities are for employers covered by the act.
(b) The prohibitions of section 4(b) of the Act apply not only to the referral activities of a covered employment agency but also to the agency's own employment practices, regardless of the number of employees the agency may have.

29 CFR §1625.4 | HELP WANTED NOTICES OR ADVERTISEMENTS

(a) Help wanted notices or advertisements may not contain terms and phrases that limit or deter the employment of older individuals. Notices or advertisements that contain terms such as age 25 to 35, young, college student, recent college graduate, boy, girl, or others of a similar nature violate the Act unless one of the statutory exceptions applies. Employers may post help wanted notices or advertisements expressing a preference for older individuals with terms such as over age 60, retirees, or supplement your pension.
(b) Help wanted notices or advertisements that ask applicants to disclose or state their age do not, in themselves, violate the Act. But because asking applicants to state their age may tend to deter older individuals from applying, or otherwise indicate discrimination against older individuals, employment notices or advertisements that include such requests will be closely scrutinized to assure that the requests were made for a lawful purpose.
[72 FR 36875, July 6, 2007]

29 CFR §1625.5 | EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS

A request on the part of an employer for information such as Date of Birth or age on an employment application form is not, in itself, a violation of the Act. But because the request that an applicant state his age may tend to deter older applicants or otherwise indicate discrimination against older individuals, employment application forms that request such information will be closely scrutinized to assure that the request is for a permissible purpose and not for purposes proscribed by the Act. That the purpose is not one proscribed by the statute should be made known to the applicant by a reference on the application form to the statutory prohibition in language to the following effect:
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age with respect to individuals who are at least 40 years of age,” or by other means. The term “employment applications,” refers to all written inquiries about employment or applications for employment or promotion including, but not limited to, résumés or other summaries of the applicant's background. It relates not only to written preemployment inquiries, but to inquiries by employees concerning terms, conditions, or privileges of employment as specified in section 4 of the Act.
[46 FR 47726, Sept. 29, 1981, as amended at 53 FR 5972, Feb. 29, 1988; 72 FR 36875, July 6, 2007]

29 CFR §1625.6 | BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

(a) Whether occupational qualifications will be deemed to be “bona fide” to a specific job and “reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business,” will be determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts surrounding each particular situation. It is anticipated that this concept of a bona fide occupational qualification will have limited scope and application. Further, as this is an exception to the Act it must be narrowly construed.
(b) An employer asserting a BFOQ defense has the burden of proving that (1) the age limit is reasonably necessary to the essence of the business, and either (2) that all or substantially all individuals excluded from the job involved are in fact disqualified, or (3) that some of the individuals so excluded possess a disqualifying trait that cannot be ascertained except by reference to age. If the employer's objective in asserting a BFOQ is the goal of public safety, the employer must prove that the challenged practice does indeed effectuate that goal and that there is no acceptable alternative which would better advance it or equally advance it with less discriminatory impact.
(c) Many State and local governments have enacted laws or administrative regulations which limit employment opportunities based on age. Unless these laws meet the standards for the establishment of a valid bona fide occupational qualification under section 4(f)(1) of the Act, they will be considered in conflict with and effectively superseded by the ADEA.

29 CFR §1625.7 | DIFFERENTIATIONS BASED ON REASONABLE FACTORS OTHER THAN AGE

(a) Section 4(f)(1) of the Act provides that
* * * it shall not be unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization * * * to take any action otherwise prohibited under paragraphs (a), (b), (c), or (e) of this section * * * where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age * * *.
(b) When an employment practice uses age as a limiting criterion, the defense that the practice is justified by a reasonable factor other than age is unavailable.
(c) Any employment practice that adversely affects individuals within the protected age group on the basis of older age is discriminatory unless the practice is justified by a “reasonable factor other than age.” An individual challenging the allegedly unlawful practice is responsible for isolating and identifying the specific employment practice that allegedly causes any observed statistical disparities.
(d) Whenever the “reasonable factors other than age” defense is raised, the employer bears the burdens of production and persuasion to demonstrate the defense. The “reasonable factors other than age” provision is not available as a defense to a claim of disparate treatment.
(e)
(1) A reasonable factor other than age is a non-age factor that is objectively reasonable when viewed from the position of a prudent employer mindful of its responsibilities under the ADEA under like circumstances. Whether a differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age must be decided on the basis of all the particular facts and circumstances surrounding each individual situation. To establish the RFOA defense, an employer must show that the employment practice was both reasonably designed to further or achieve a legitimate business purpose and administered in a way that reasonably achieves that purpose in light of the particular facts and circumstances that were known, or should have been known, to the employer.
(2) Considerations that are relevant to whether a practice is based on a reasonable factor other than age include, but are not limited to:
(i) The extent to which the factor is related to the employer's stated business purpose;
(ii) The extent to which the employer defined the factor accurately and applied the factor fairly and accurately, including the extent to which managers and supervisors were given guidance or training about how to apply the factor and avoid discrimination;
(iii) The extent to which the employer limited supervisors' discretion to assess employees subjectively, particularly where the criteria that the supervisors were asked to evaluate are known to be subject to negative age-based stereotypes;
(iv) The extent to which the employer assessed the adverse impact of its employment practice on older workers; and
(v) The degree of the harm to individuals within the protected age group, in terms of both the extent of injury and the numbers of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the employer took steps to reduce the harm, in light of the burden of undertaking such steps.

(3) No specific consideration or combination of considerations need be present for a differentiation to be based on reasonable factors other than age. Nor does the presence of one of these considerations automatically establish the defense.

(f) A differentiation based on the average cost of employing older employees as a group is unlawful except with respect to employee benefit plans which qualify for the section 4(f)(2) exception to the Act.
[46 FR 47726, Sept. 29, 1981, as amended at 77 FR 19095, Mar. 30, 2012]

29 CFR §1625.8 | BONA FIDE SENIORITY SYSTEMS

Section 4(f)(2) of the Act provides that
* * * It shall not be unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization * * * to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system * * * which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this Act except that no such seniority system * * * shall require or permit the involuntary retirement of any individual specified by section 12(a) of this Act because of the age of such individual. * * *
(a) Though a seniority system may be qualified by such factors as merit, capacity, or ability, any bona fide seniority system must be based on length of service as the primary criterion for the equitable allocation of available employment opportunities and prerogatives among younger and older workers.
(b) Adoption of a purported seniority system which gives those with longer service lesser rights, and results in discharge or less favored treatment to those within the protection of the Act, may, depending upon the circumstances, be a “subterfuge to evade the purposes” of the Act.
(c) Unless the essential terms and conditions of an alleged seniority system have been communicated to the affected employees and can be shown to be applied uniformly to all of those affected, regardless of age, it will not be considered a bona fide seniority system within the meaning of the Act.
(d) It should be noted that seniority systems which segregate, classify, or otherwise discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, are prohibited under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where that Act otherwise applies. The “bona fides” of such a system will be closely scrutinized to ensure that such a system is, in fact, bona fide under the ADEA.
[53 FR 15673, May 3, 1988]

29 CFR §1625.9 | PROHIBITION OF INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT

(a)
(1) As originally enacted in 1967, section 4(f)(2) of the Act provided:
It shall not be unlawful * * * to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system or any bona fide employee benefit plan such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this Act, except that no such employee benefit plan shall excuse the failure to hire any individual * * *.

The Department of Labor interpreted the provision as “Authoriz[ing] involuntary retirement irrespective of age: Provided, That such retirement is pursuant to the terms of a retirement or pension plan meeting the requirements of section 4(f)(2).” See 34 FR 9709 (June 21, 1969). The Department took the position that in order to meet the requirements of section 4(f)(2), the involuntary retirement provision had to be (i) contained in a bona fide pension or retirement plan, (ii) required by the terms of the plan and not optional, and (iii) essential to the plan's economic survival or to some other legitimate business purpose—i.e., the provision was not in the plan as the result of arbitrary discrimination on the basis of age.
(2) As revised by the 1978 amendments, section 4(f)(2) was amended by adding the following clause at the end:
and no such seniority system or employee benefit plan shall require or permit the involuntary retirement of any individual specified by section 12(a) of this Act because of the age of such individual * * *.

The Conference Committee Report expressly states that this amendment is intended “to make absolutely clear one of the original purposes of this provision, namely, that the exception does not authorize an employer to require or permit involuntary retirement of an employee within the protected age group on account of age” (H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 8).

(b)
(1) The amendment applies to all new and existing seniority systems and employee benefit plans. Accordingly, any system or plan provision requiring or permitting involuntary retirement is unlawful, regardless of whether the provision antedates the 1967 Act or the 1978 amendments.
(2) Where lawsuits pending on the date of enactment (April 6, 1978) or filed thereafter challenge involuntary retirements which occurred either before or after that date, the amendment applies.

(c)
(1) The amendment protects all individuals covered by section 12(a) of the Act. Section 12(a) was amended in October of 1986 by the Age Discrimination in Employment Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. 99-592, 100 Stat. 3342 (1986), which removed the age 70 limit. Section 12(a) provides that the Act's prohibitions shall be limited to individuals who are at least forty years of age. Accordingly, unless a specific exemption applies, an employer can no longer force retirement or otherwise discriminate on the basis of age against an individual because (s)he is 70 or older.
(2) The amendment to section 12(a) of the Act became effective on January 1, 1987, except with respect to any employee subject to a collective bargaining agreement containing a provision that would be superseded by such amendment that was in effect on June 30, 1986, and which terminates after January 1, 1987. In that case, the amendment is effective on the termination of the agreement or January 1, 1990, whichever comes first.

(d) Neither section 4(f)(2) nor any other provision of the Act makes it unlawful for a plan to permit individuals to elect early retirement at a specified age at their own option. Nor is it unlawful for a plan to require early retirement for reasons other than age.
[46 FR 47726, Sept. 29, 1981, as amended at 52 FR 23811, June 25, 1987; 53 FR 5973, Feb. 29, 1988]

29 CFR §1625.10 | COSTS AND BENEFITS UNDER EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS

(a)
(1) General. Section 4(f)(2) of the Act provides that it is not unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization
to observe the terms of * * * any bona fide employee benefit plan such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this Act, except that no such employee benefit plan shall excuse the failure to hire any individual, and no such * * * employee benefit plan shall require or permit the involuntary retirement of any individual specified by section 12(a) of this Act because of the age of such individuals. The legislative history of this provision indicates that its purpose is to permit age-based reductions in employee benefit plans where such reductions are justified by significant cost considerations. Accordingly, section 4(f)(2) does not apply, for example, to paid vacations and uninsured paid sick leave, since reductions in these benefits would not be justified by significant cost considerations. Where employee benefit plans do meet the criteria in section 4(f)(2), benefit levels for older workers may be reduced to the extent necessary to achieve approximate equivalency in cost for older and younger workers. A benefit plan will be considered in compliance with the statute where the actual amount of payment made, or cost incurred, in behalf of an older worker is equal to that made or incurred in behalf of a younger worker, even though the older worker may thereby receive a lesser amount of benefits or insurance coverage. Since section 4(f)(2) is an exception from the general non-discrimination provisions of the Act, the burden is on the one seeking to invoke the exception to show that every element has been clearly and unmistakably met. The exception must be narrowly construed. The following sections explain three key elements of the exception:
(i) What a “bona fide employee benefit plan” is;
(ii) What it means to “observe the terms” of such a plan; and
(iii) What kind of plan, or plan provision, would be considered “a subterfuge to evade the purposes of [the] Act.”
There is also a discussion of the application of the general rules governing all plans with respect to specific kinds of employee benefit plans.

(2) Relation of section 4(f)(2) to sections 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c). Sections 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c) prohibit specified acts of discrimination on the basis of age. Section 4(a) in particular makes it unlawful for an employer to “discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's age * * *.” Section 4(f)(2) is an exception to this general prohibition. Where an employer under an employee benefit plan provides the same level of benefits to older workers as to younger workers, there is no violation of section 4(a), and accordingly the practice does not have to be justified under section 4(f)(2).

(b) Bona fide employee benefit plan. Section 4(f)(2) applies only to bona fide employee benefit plans. A plan is considered “bona fide” if its terms (including cessation of contributions or accruals in the case of retirement income plans) have been accurately described in writing to all employees and if it actually provides the benefits in accordance with the terms of the plan. Notifying employees promptly of the provisions and changes in an employee benefit plan is essential if they are to know how the plan affects them. For these purposes, it would be sufficient under the ADEA for employers to follow the disclosure requirements of ERISA and the regulations thereunder. The plan must actually provide the benefits its provisions describe, since otherwise the notification of the provisions to employees is misleading and inaccurate. An “employee benefit plan” is a plan, such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, which provides employees with what are frequently referred to as “fringe benefits.” The term does not refer to wages or salary in cash; neither section 4(f)(2) nor any other section of the Act excuses the payment of lower wages or salary to older employees on account of age. Whether or not any particular employee benefit plan may lawfully provide lower benefits to older employees on account of age depends on whether all of the elements of the exception have been met. An “employee-pay-all” employee benefit plan is one of the “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” with respect to which discrimination on the basis of age is forbidden under section 4(a)(1). In such a plan, benefits for older workers may be reduced only to the extent and according to the same principles as apply to other plans under section 4(f)(2).
(c) “To observe the terms” of a plan. In order for a bona fide employee benefit plan which provides lower benefits to older employees on account of age to be within the section 4(f)(2) exception, the lower benefits must be provided in “observ[ance of] the terms of” the plan. As this statutory text makes clear, the section 4(f)(2) exception is limited to otherwise discriminatory actions which are actually prescribed by the terms of a bona fide employee benefit plan. Where the employer, employment agency, or labor organization is not required by the express provisions of the plan to provide lesser benefits to older workers, section 4(f)(2) does not apply. Important purposes are served by this requirement. Where a discriminatory policy is an express term of a benefit plan, employees presumably have some opportunity to know of the policy and to plan (or protest) accordingly. Moreover, the requirement that the discrimination actually be prescribed by a plan assures that the particular plan provision will be equally applied to all employees of the same age. Where a discriminatory provision is an optional term of the plan, it permits individual, discretionary acts of discrimination, which do not fall within the section 4(f)(2) exception.
(d) Subterfuge. In order for a bona fide employee benefit plan which prescribes lower benefits for older employees on account of age to be within the section 4(f)(2) exception, it must not be “a subterfuge to evade the purposes of [the] Act.” In general, a plan or plan provision which prescribes lower benefits for older employees on account of age is not a “subterfuge” within the meaning of section 4(f)(2), provided that the lower level of benefits is justified by age-related cost considerations. (The only exception to this general rule is with respect to certain retirement plans. See paragraph (f)(4) of this section.) There are certain other requirements that must be met in order for a plan not to be a subterfuge. These requirements are set forth below.
(1) Cost data — general. Cost data used in justification of a benefit plan which provides lower benefits to older employees on account of age must be valid and reasonable. This standard is met where an employer has cost data which show the actual cost to it of providing the particular benefit (or benefits) in question over a representative period of years. An employer may rely in cost data for its own employees over such a period, or on cost data for a larger group of similarly situated employees. Sometimes, as a result of experience rating or other causes, an employer incurs costs that differ significantly from costs for a group of similarly situated employees. Such an employer may not rely on cost data for the similarly situated employees where such reliance would result in significantly lower benefits for its own older employees. Where reliable cost information is not available, reasonable projections made from existing cost data meeting the standards set forth above will be considered acceptable.
(2) Cost data — Individual benefit basis and “benefit package” basis. Cost comparisons and adjustments under section 4(f)(2) must be made on a benefit-by-benefit basis or on a “benefit package” basis, as described below.
(i) Benefit-by-benefit basis. Adjustments made on a benefit-by-benefit basis must be made in the amount or level of a specific form of benefit for a specific event or contingency. For example, higher group term life insurance costs for older workers would justify a corresponding reduction in the amount of group term life insurance coverage for older workers, on the basis of age. However, a benefit-by-benefit approach would not justify the substitution of one form of benefit for another, even though both forms of benefit are designed for the same contingency, such as death. See paragraph (f)(1) of this section.
(ii) “Benefit package” basis. As an alternative to the benefit-by-benefit basis, cost comparisons and adjustments under section 4(f)(2) may be made on a limited “benefit package” basis. Under this approach, subject to the limitations described below, cost comparisons and adjustments can be made with respect to section 4(f)(2) plans in the aggregate. This alternative basis provides greater flexibility than a benefit-by-benefit basis in order to carry out the declared statutory purpose “to help employers and workers find ways of meeting problems arising from the impact of age on employment.” A “benefit package” approach is an alternative approach consistent with this purpose and with the general purpose of section 4(f)(2) only if it is not used to reduce the cost to the employer or the favorability to the employees of overall employee benefits for older employees. A “benefit package” approach used for either of these purposes would be a subterfuge to evade the purposes of the Act. In order to assure that such a “benefit package” approach is not abused and is consistent with the legislative intent, it is subject to the limitations described in paragraph (f), which also includes a general example.

(3) Cost data — five year maximum basis. Cost comparisons and adjustments under section 4(f)(2) may be made on the basis of age brackets of up to 5 years. Thus a particular benefit may be reduced for employees of any age within the protected age group by an amount no greater than that which could be justified by the additional cost to provide them with the same level of the benefit as younger employees within a specified five-year age group immediately preceding theirs. For example, where an employer chooses to provide unreduced group term life insurance benefits until age 60, benefits for employees who are between 60 and 65 years of age may be reduced only to the extent necessary to achieve approximate equivalency in costs with employees who are 55 to 60 years old. Similarly, any reductions in benefit levels for 65 to 70 year old employees cannot exceed an amount which is proportional to the additional costs for their coverage over 60 to 65 year old employees.
(4) Employee contributions in support of employee benefit plans —
(i) As a condition of employment. An older employee within the protected age group may not be required as a condition of employment to make greater contributions than a younger employee in support of an employee benefit plan. Such a requirement would be in effect a mandatory reduction in take-home pay, which is never authorized by section 4(f)(2), and would impose an impediment to employment in violation of the specific restrictions in section 4(f)(2).
(ii) As a condition of participation in a voluntary employee benefit plan. An older employee within the protected age group may be required as a condition of participation in a voluntary employee benefit plan to make a greater contribution than a younger employee only if the older employee is not thereby required to bear a greater proportion of the total premium cost (employer-paid and employee-paid) than the younger employee. Otherwise the requirement would discriminate against the older employee by making compensation in the form of an employer contribution available on less favorable terms than for the younger employee and denying that compensation altogether to an older employee unwilling or unable to meet the less favorable terms. Such discrimination is not authorized by section 4(f)(2). This principle applies to three different contribution arrangements as follows:
(A) Employee-pay-all plans. Older employees, like younger employees, may be required to contribute as a condition of participation up to the full premium cost for their age.
(B) Non-contributory (“employer-pay-all”) plans. Where younger employees are not required to contribute any portion of the total premium cost, older employees may not be required to contribute any portion.
(C) Contributory plans. In these plans employers and participating employees share the premium cost. The required contributions of participants may increase with age so long as the proportion of the total premium required to be paid by the participants does not increase with age.

(iii) As an option in order to receive an unreduced benefit. An older employee may be given the option, as an individual, to make the additional contribution necessary to receive the same level of benefits as a younger employee (provided that the contemplated reduction in benefits is otherwise justified by section 4(f)(2)).

(5) Forfeiture clauses. Clauses in employee benefit plans which state that litigation or participation in any manner in a formal proceeding by an employee will result in the forfeiture of his rights are unlawful insofar as they may be applied to those who seek redress under the Act. This is by reason of section 4(d) which provides that it is unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization to discriminate against any individual because such individual “has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under this Act.”
(6) Refusal to hire clauses. Any provision of an employee benefit plan which requires or permits the refusal to hire an individual specified in section 12(a) of the Act on the basis of age is a subterfuge to evade the purposes of the Act and cannot be excused under section 4(f)(2).
(7) Involuntary retirement clauses. Any provision of an employee benefit plan which requires or permits the involuntary retirement of any individual specified in section 12(a) of the Act on the basis of age is a subterfuge to evade the purpose of the Act and cannot be excused under section 4(f)(2).

(e) Benefits provided by the Government. An employer does not violate the Act by permitting certain benefits to be provided by the Government, even though the availability of such benefits may be based on age. For example, it is not necessary for an employer to provide health benefits which are otherwise provided to certain employees by Medicare. However, the availability of benefits from the Government will not justify a reduction in employer-provided benefits if the result is that, taking the employer-provided and Government-provided benefits together, an older employee is entitled to a lesser benefit of any type (including coverage for family and/or dependents) than a similarly situated younger employee. For example, the availability of certain benefits to an older employee under Medicare will not justify denying an older employee a benefit which is provided to younger employees and is not provided to the older employee by Medicare.
(f) Application of section 4(f)(2) to various employee benefit plans —
(1) Benefit-by-benefit approach. This portion of the interpretation discusses how a benefit-by-benefit approach would apply to four of the most common types of employee benefit plans.
(i) Life insurance. It is not uncommon for life insurance coverage to remain constant until a specified age, frequently 65, and then be reduced. This practice will not violate the Act (even if reductions start before age 65), provided that the reduction for an employee of a particular age is no greater than is justified by the increased cost of coverage for that employee's specific age bracket encompassing no more than five years. It should be noted that a total denial of life insurance, on the basis of age, would not be justified under a benefit-by-benefit analysis. However, it is not unlawful for life insurance coverage to cease upon separation from service.
(ii) Long-term disability. Under a benefit-by-benefit approach, where employees who are disabled at younger ages are entitled to long-term disability benefits, there is no cost—based justification for denying such benefits altogether, on the basis of age, to employees who are disabled at older ages. It is not unlawful to cut off long-term disability benefits and coverage on the basis of some non-age factor, such as recovery from disability. Reductions on the basis of age in the level or duration of benefits available for disability are justifiable only on the basis of age-related cost considerations as set forth elsewhere in this section. An employer which provides long-term disability coverage to all employees may avoid any increases in the cost to it that such coverage for older employees would entail by reducing the level of benefits available to older employees. An employer may also avoid such cost increases by reducing the duration of benefits available to employees who become disabled at older ages, without reducing the level of benefits. In this connection, the Department would not assert a violation where the level of benefits is not reduced and the duration of benefits is reduced in the following manner:
(A) With respect to disabilities which occur at age 60 or less, benefits cease at age 65.
(B) With respect to disabilities which occur after age 60, benefits cease 5 years after disablement. Cost data may be produced to support other patterns of reduction as well.

(iii) Retirement plans —
(A) Participation. No employee hired prior to normal retirement age may be excluded from a defined contribution plan. With respect to defined benefit plans not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Pub. L. 93-406, 29 U.S.C. 1001, 1003 (a) and (b), an employee hired at an age more than 5 years prior to normal retirement age may not be excluded from such a plan unless the exclusion is justifiable on the basis of cost considerations as set forth elsewhere in this section. With respect to defined benefit plans subject to ERISA, such an exclusion would be unlawful in any case. An employee hired less than 5 years prior to normal retirement age may be excluded from a defined benefit plan, regardless of whether or not the plan is covered by ERISA. Similarly, any employee hired after normal retirement age may be excluded from a defined benefit plan.


(2) “Benefit package” approach. A “benefit package” approach to compliance under section 4(f)(2) offers greater flexibility than a benefit-by-benefit approach by permitting deviations from a benefit-by-benefit approach so long as the overall result is no lesser cost to the employer and no less favorable benefits for employees. As previously noted, in order to assure that such an approach is used for the benefit of older workers and not to their detriment, and is otherwise consistent with the legislative intent, it is subject to limitations as set forth below:
(i) A benefit package approach shall apply only to employee benefit plans which fall within section 4(f)(2).
(ii) A benefit package approach shall not apply to a retirement or pension plan. The 1978 legislative history sets forth specific and comprehensive rules governing such plans, which have been adopted above. These rules are not tied to actuarially significant cost considerations but are intended to deal with the special funding arrangements of retirement or pension plans. Variations from these special rules are therefore not justified by variations from the cost-based benefit-by-benefit approach in other benefit plans, nor may variations from the special rules governing pension and retirement plans justify variations from the benefit-by-benefit approach in other benefit plans.
(iii) A benefit package approach shall not be used to justify reductions in health benefits greater than would be justified under a benefit-by-benefit approach. Such benefits appear to be of particular importance to older workers in meeting “problems arising from the impact of age” and were of particular concern to Congress. Therefore, the “benefit package” approach may not be used to reduce health insurance benefits by more than is warranted by the increase in the cost to the employer of those benefits alone. Any greater reduction would be a subterfuge to evade the purpose of the Act.
(iv) A benefit reduction greater than would be justified under a benefit-by-benefit approach must be offset by another benefit available to the same employees. No employees may be deprived because of age of one benefit without an offsetting benefit being made available to them.
(v) Employers who wish to justify benefit reductions under a benefit package approach must be prepared to produce data to show that those reductions are fully justified. Thus employers must be able to show that deviations from a benefit-by-benefit approach do not result in lesser cost to them or less favorable benefits to their employees. A general example consistent with these limitations may be given. Assume two employee benefit plans, providing Benefit “A” and Benefit “B.” Both plans fall within section 4(f)(2), and neither is a retirement or pension plan subject to special rules. Both benefits are available to all employees. Age-based cost increases would justify a 10% decrease in both benefits on a benefit-by-benefit basis. The affected employees would, however, find it more favorable—that is, more consistent with meeting their needs—for no reduction to be made in Benefit “A” and a greater reduction to be made in Benefit “B.” This “trade-off” would not result in a reduction in health benefits. The “trade-off” may therefore be made. The details of the “trade-off” depend on data on the relative cost to the employer of the two benefits. If the data show that Benefit “A” and Benefit “B” cost the same, Benefit “B” may be reduced up to 20% if Benefit “A” is unreduced. If the data show that Benefit “A” costs only half as much as Benefit “B”, however, Benefit “B” may be reduced up to only 15% if Benefit “A” is unreduced, since a greater reduction in Benefit “B” would result in an impermissible reduction in total benefit costs.


(g) Relation of ADEA to State laws. The ADEA does not preempt State age discrimination in employment laws. However, the failure of the ADEA to preempt such laws does not affect the issue of whether section 514 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) preempts State laws which related to employee benefit plans.
[44 FR 30658, May 25, 1979, as amended at 52 FR 8448, Mar. 18, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 52 FR 23812, June 25, 1987; 53 FR 5973, Feb. 29, 1988]

29 CFR §1625.11 | EXEMPTION FOR EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER A CONTRACT OF UNLIMITED TENURE

(a)
(1) Section 12(d) of the Act, added by the 1986 amendments, provides:
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit compulsory retirement of any employee who has attained 70 years of age, and who is serving under a contract of unlimited tenure (or similar arrangement providing for unlimited tenure) at an institution of higher education (as defined by section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965).

(2) This exemption from the Act's protection of covered individuals took effect on January 1, 1987, and is repealed on December 31, 1993 (see section 6 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. 99-592, 100 Stat. 3342). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is required to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences, for the conduct of a study to analyze the potential consequences of the elimination of mandatory retirement on institutions of higher education.

(b) Since section 12(d) is an exemption from the nondiscrimination requirements of the Act, the burden is on the one seeking to invoke the exemption to show that every element has been clearly and unmistakably met. Moreover, as with other exemptions from the ADEA, this exemption must be narrowly construed.
(c) Section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and set forth in 20 U.S.C. 1141(a), provides in pertinent part:
The term institution of higher education means an educational institution in any State which (1) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate, (2) is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of education beyond secondary education, (3) provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a two-year program which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, (4) is a public or other nonprofit institution, and (5) is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association or, if not so accredited, (A) is an institution with respect to which the Commissioner has determined that there is satisfactory assurance, considering the resources available to the institution, the period of time, if any, during which it has operated, the effort it is making to meet accreditation standards, and the purpose for which this determination is being made, that the institution will meet the accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a reasonable time, or (B) is an institution whose credits are accepted, on transfer, by not less than three institutions which are so accredited, for credit on the same basis as if transferred from an institution so accredited.
The definition encompasses almost all public and private universities and two and four year colleges. The omitted portion of the text of section 1201(a) refers largely on one-year technical schools which generally do not grant tenure to employees but which, if they do, are also eligible to claim the exemption.

(d)
(1) Use of the term any employee indicates that application of the exemption is not limited to teachers, who are traditional recipients of tenure. The exemption may also be available with respect to other groups, such as academic deans, scientific researchers, professional librarians and counseling staff, who frequently have tenured status.
(2) The Conference Committee Report on the 1978 amendments expressly states that the exemption does not apply to Federal employees covered by section 15 of the Act (H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 10).

(e) (1) The phrase unlimited tenure is not defined in the Act. However, the almost universally accepted definition of academic “tenure” is an arrangement under which certain appointments in an institution of higher education are continued until retirement for age of physical disability, subject to dismissal for adequate cause or under extraordinary circumstances on account of financial exigency or change of institutional program. Adopting that definition, it is evident that the word unlimited refers to the duration of tenure. Therefore, a contract (or other similar arrangement) which is limited to a specific term (for example, one year or 10 years) will not meet the requirements of the exemption.
(2) The legislative history shows that Congress intented the exemption to apply only where the minimum rights and privileges traditionally associated with tenure are guaranteed to an employee by contract or similar arrangement. While tenure policies and practices vary greatly from one institution to another, the minimum standards set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, jointly developed by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors, have enjoyed widespread adoption or endorsement. The 1940 Statement of Principles on academic tenure provides as follows:
(a) After the expiration of a probationary period, teachers or investigators should have permanent or continuous tenure, and their service should be terminated only for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement for age, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies.
In the interpretation of this principle it is understood that the following represents acceptable academic practice:
(1) The precise terms and conditions of every appointment should be stated in writing and be in the possession of both institution and teacher before the appointment is consumated.
(2) Beginning with appointment to the rank of full-time instructor or a higher rank, the probationary period should not exceed seven years, including within this period full-time service in all institutions of higher education; but subject to the proviso that when, after a term of probationary service of more than three years in one or more institutions, a teacher is called to another institution it may be agreed in writing that his new appointment is for a probationary period of not more than four years, even though thereby the person's total probationary period in the academic profession is extended beyond the normal maximum of seven years. Notice should be given at least one year prior to the expiration of the probationary period if the teacher is not to be continued in service after the expiration of that period.
(3) During the probationary period a teacher should have the academic freedom that all other members of the faculty have.
(4) Termination for cause of a continuous appointment, or the dismissal for cause of a teacher previous to the expiration of a term appointment, should, if possible, be considered by both a faculty committee and the governing board of the institution. In all cases where the facts are in dispute, the accused teacher should be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against him and should have the opportunity to be heard in his own defense by all bodies that pass judgment upon his case. He should be permitted to have with him an advisor of his own choosing who may act as counsel. There should be a full stenographic record of the hearing available to the parties concerned. In the hearing of charges of incompetence the testimony should include that of teachers and other scholars, either from his own or from other institutions. Teachers on continuous appointment who are dismissed for reasons not involving moral turpitude should receive their salaries for at least a year from the date of notification of dismissal whether or not they are continued in their duties at the institution.
(5) Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide.


(3) A contract or similar arrangement which meets the standards in the 1940 Statement of Principles will satisfy the tenure requirements of the exemption. However, a tenure arrangement will not be deemed inadequate solely because it fails to meet these standards in every respect. For example, a tenure plan will not be deemed inadequate solely because it includes a probationary period somewhat longer than seven years. Of course, the greater the deviation from the standards in the 1940 Statement of Principles, the less likely it is that the employee in question will be deemed subject to “unlimited tenure” within the meaning of the exemption. Whether or not a tenure arrangement is adequate to satisfy the requirements of the exemption must be determined on the basis of the facts of each case.

(f) Employees who are not assured of a continuing appointment either by contract of unlimited tenure or other similar arrangement (such as a State statute) would not, of course, be exempted from the prohibitions against compulsory retirement, even if they perform functions identical to those performed by employees with appropriate tenure.
(g) An employee within the exemption can lawfully be forced to retire on account of age at age 70 (see paragraph (a)(1) of this section). In addition, the employer is free to retain such employees, either in the same position or status or in a different position or status: Provided, That the employee voluntarily accepts this new position or status. For example, an employee who falls within the exemption may be offered a nontenured position or part-time employment. An employee who accepts a nontenured position or part-time employment, however, may not be treated any less favorably, on account of age, than any similarly situated younger employee (unless such less favorable treatment is excused by an exception to the Act).
[44 FR 66799, Nov. 21, 1979; 45 FR 43704, June 30, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 5973, Feb. 29, 1988]

29 CFR §1625.12 | EXEMPTION FOR BONA FIDE EXECUTIVE OR HIGH POLICYMAKING EMPLOYEES

(a) Section 12(c)(1) of the Act, added by the 1978 amendments and as amended in 1984 and 1986, provides:
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit compulsory retirement of any employee who has attained 65 years of age, and who, for the 2-year period immediately before retirement, is employed in a bona fide executive or higher policymaking position, if such employee is entitled to an immediate nonforfeitable annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit-sharing, savings, or deferred compensation plan, or any combination of such plans, of the employer of such employee which equals, in the aggregate, at least $44,000.

(b) Since this provision is an exemption from the non-discrimination requirements of the Act, the burden is on the one seeking to invoke the exemption to show that every element has been clearly and unmistakably met. Moreover, as with other exemptions from the Act, this exemption must be narrowly construed.
(c) An employee within the exemption can lawfully be forced to retire on account of age at age 65 or above. In addition, the employer is free to retain such employees, either in the same position or status or in a different position or status. For example, an employee who falls within the exemption may be offered a position of lesser status or a part-time position. An employee who accepts such a new status or position, however, may not be treated any less favorably, on account of age, than any similarly situated younger employee.
(d)
(1) In order for an employee to qualify as a “bona fide executive,” the employer must initially show that the employee satisfies the definition of a bona fide executive set forth in §541.1 of this chapter. Each of the requirements in paragraphs (a) through (e) of §541.1 must be satisfied, regardless of the level of the employee's salary or compensation.
(2) Even if an employee qualifies as an executive under the definition in §541.1 of this chapter, the exemption from the ADEA may not be claimed unless the employee also meets the further criteria specified in the Conference Committee Report in the form of examples (see H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 9). The examples are intended to make clear that the exemption does not apply to middle-management employees, no matter how great their retirement income, but only to a very few top level employees who exercise substantial executive authority over a significant number of employees and a large volume of business. As stated in the Conference Report (H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 9):
Typically the head of a significant and substantial local or regional operation of a corporation [or other business organization], such as a major production facility or retail establishment, but not the head of a minor branch, warehouse or retail store, would be covered by the term “bona fide executive.” Individuals at higher levels in the corporate organizational structure who possess comparable or greater levels of responsibility and authority as measured by established and recognized criteria would also be covered.
The heads of major departments or divisions of corporations [or other business organizations] are usually located at corporate or regional headquarters. With respect to employees whose duties are associated with corporate headquarters operations, such as finance, marketing, legal, production and manufacturing (or in a corporation organized on a product line basis, the management of product lines), the definition would cover employees who head those divisions.
In a large organization the immediate subordinates of the heads of these divisions sometimes also exercise executive authority, within the meaning of this exemption. The conferees intend the definition to cover such employees if they possess responsibility which is comparable to or greater than that possessed by the head of a significant and substantial local operation who meets the definition.



(e) The phrase “high policymaking position,” according to the Conference Report (H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 10), is limited to “* * * certain top level employees who are not ‘bona fide executives’ * * *.” Specifically, these are:
* * * individuals who have little or no line authority but whose position and responsibility are such that they play a significant role in the development of corporate policy and effectively recommend the implementation thereof.
For example, the chief economist or the chief research scientist of a corporation typically has little line authority. His duties would be primarily intellectual as opposed to executive or managerial. His responsibility would be to evaluate significant economic or scientific trends and issues, to develop and recommend policy direction to the top executive officers of the corporation, and he would have a significant impact on the ultimate decision on such policies by virtue of his expertise and direct access to the decisionmakers. Such an employee would meet the definition of a “high policymaking” employee.

On the other hand, as this description makes clear, the support personnel of a “high policymaking” employee would not be subject to the exemption even if they supervise the development, and draft the recommendation, of various policies submitted by their supervisors.

(f) In order for the exemption to apply to a particular employee, the employee must have been in a “bona fide executive or high policymaking position,” as those terms are defined in this section, for the two-year period immediately before retirement. Thus, an employee who holds two or more different positions during the two-year period is subject to the exemption only if each such job is an executive or high policymaking position.
(g) The Conference Committee Report expressly states that the exemption is not applicable to Federal employees covered by section 15 of the Act (H.R. Rept. No. 95-950, p. 10).
(h) The “annual retirement benefit,” to which covered employees must be entitled, is the sum of amounts payable during each one-year period from the date on which such benefits first become receivable by the retiree. Once established, the annual period upon which calculations are based may not be changed from year to year.
(i) The annual retirement benefit must be immediately available to the employee to be retired pursuant to the exemption. For purposes of determining compliance, “immediate” means that the payment of plan benefits (in a lump sum or the first of a series of periodic payments) must occur not later than 60 days after the effective date of the retirement in question. The fact that an employee will receive benefits only after expiration of the 60-day period will not preclude his retirement pursuant to the exemption, if the employee could have elected to receive benefits within that period.
(j)
(1) The annual retirement benefit must equal, in the aggregate, at least $44,000. The manner of determining whether this requirement has been satisfied is set forth in §1627.17(c).
(2) In determining whether the aggregate annual retirement benefit equals at least $44,000, the only benefits which may be counted are those authorized by and provided under the terms of a pension, profit-sharing, savings, or deferred compensation plan. (Regulations issued pursuant to section 12(c)(2) of the Act, regarding the manner of calculating the amount of qualified retirement benefits for purposes of the exemption, are set forth in §1627.17 of this chapter.)

(k)
(1) The annual retirement benefit must be “nonforfeitable.” Accordingly, the exemption may not be applied to any employee subject to plan provisions which could cause the cessation of payments to a retiree or result in the reduction of benefits to less than $44,000 in any one year. For example, where a plan contains a provision under which benefits would be suspended if a retiree engages in litigation against the former employer, or obtains employment with a competitor of the former employer, the retirement benefit will be deemed to be forfeitable. However, retirement benefits will not be deemed forfeitable solely because the benefits are discontinued or suspended for reasons permitted under section 411(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(2) An annual retirement benefit will not be deemed forfeitable merely because the minimum statutory benefit level is not guaranteed against the possibility of plan bankruptcy or is subject to benefit restrictions in the event of early termination of the plan in accordance with Treasury Regulation 1.401-4(c). However, as of the effective date of the retirement in question, there must be at least a reasonable expectation that the plan will meet its obligations.

(Sec. 12(c)(1) of the Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967, as amended by sec. 802(c)(1) of the Older Americans Act Amendments of 1984, Pub. L. 98-459, 98 Stat. 1792))

[44 FR 66800, Nov. 21, 1979; 45 FR 43704, June 30, 1980, as amended at 50 FR 2544, Jan. 17, 1985; 53 FR 5973, Feb. 29, 1988]

29 CFR §1625.21 | APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS

All apprenticeship programs, including those apprenticeship programs created or maintained by joint labor-management organizations, are subject to the prohibitions of sec. 4 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 623. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid only if excepted under sec. 4(f)(1) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 623(f)(1), or exempted by the Commission under sec. 9 of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 628, in accordance with the procedures set forth in 29 CFR 1625.30. [80 FR 60540, Oct. 7, 2015]

29 CFR §1625.22 | WAIVERS OF RIGHTS AND CLAIMS UNDER THE ADEA

(a) Introduction.
(1) Congress amended the ADEA in 1990 to clarify the prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of age. In Title II of OWBPA, Congress addressed waivers of rights and claims under the ADEA, amending section 7 of the ADEA by adding a new subsection (f).
(2) Section 7(f)(1) of the ADEA expressly provides that waivers may be valid and enforceable under the ADEA only if the waiver is “knowing and voluntary”. Sections 7(f)(1) and 7(f)(2) of the ADEA set out the minimum requirements for determining whether a waiver is knowing and voluntary.
(3) Other facts and circumstances may bear on the question of whether the waiver is knowing and voluntary, as, for example, if there is a material mistake, omission, or misstatement in the information furnished by the employer to an employee in connection with the waiver.
(4) The rules in this section apply to all waivers of ADEA rights and claims, regardless of whether the employee is employed in the private or public sector, including employment by the United States Government.

(b) Wording of Waiver Agreements.
(1) Section 7(f)(1)(A) of the ADEA provides, as part of the minimum requirements for a knowing and voluntary waiver, that:
The waiver is part of an agreement between the individual and the employer that is written in a manner calculated to be understood by such individual, or by the average individual eligible to participate.

(2) The entire waiver agreement must be in writing.
(3) Waiver agreements must be drafted in plain language geared to the level of understanding of the individual party to the agreement or individuals eligible to participate. Employers should take into account such factors as the level of comprehension and education of typical participants. Consideration of these factors usually will require the limitation or elimination of technical jargon and of long, complex sentences.
(4) The waiver agreement must not have the effect of misleading, misinforming, or failing to inform participants and affected individuals. Any advantages or disadvantages described shall be presented without either exaggerating the benefits or minimizing the limitations.
(5) Section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA, relating to exit incentive or other employment termination programs offered to a group or class of employees, also contains a requirement that information be conveyed “in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average participant.” The same standards applicable to the similar language in section 7(f)(1)(A) of the ADEA apply here as well.
(6) Section 7(f)(1)(B) of the ADEA provides, as part of the minimum requirements for a knowing and voluntary waiver, that “the waiver specifically refers to rights or claims under this Act.” Pursuant to this subsection, the waiver agreement must refer to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by name in connection with the waiver.
(7) Section 7(f)(1)(E) of the ADEA requires that an individual must be “advised in writing to consult with an attorney prior to executing the agreement.”

(c) Waiver of future rights.
(1) Section 7(f)(1)(C) of the ADEA provides that:
A waiver may not be considered knowing and voluntary unless at a minimum . . . the individual does not waive rights or claims that may arise after the date the waiver is executed.

(2) The waiver of rights or claims that arise following the execution of a waiver is prohibited. However, section 7(f)(1)(C) of the ADEA does not bar, in a waiver that otherwise is consistent with statutory requirements, the enforcement of agreements to perform future employment-related actions such as the employee's agreement to retire or otherwise terminate employment at a future date.

(d) Consideration.
(1) Section 7(f)(1)(D) of the ADEA states that:
A waiver may not be considered knowing and voluntary unless at a minimum * * * the individual waives rights or claims only in exchange for consideration in addition to anything of value to which the individual already is entitled.

(2) “Consideration in addition” means anything of value in addition to that to which the individual is already entitled in the absence of a waiver.
(3) If a benefit or other thing of value was eliminated in contravention of law or contract, express or implied, the subsequent offer of such benefit or thing of value in connection with a waiver will not constitute “consideration” for purposes of section 7(f)(1) of the ADEA. Whether such elimination as to one employee or group of employees is in contravention of law or contract as to other employees, or to that individual employee at some later time, may vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.
(4) An employer is not required to give a person age 40 or older a greater amount of consideration than is given to a person under the age of 40, solely because of that person's membership in the protected class under the ADEA.

(e) Time periods.
(1) Section 7(f)(1)(F) of the ADEA states that:
A waiver may not be considered knowing and voluntary unless at a minimum * * *
(i) The individual is given a period of at least 21 days within which to consider the agreement; or
(ii) If a waiver is requested in connection with an exit incentive or other employment termination program offered to a group or class of employees, the individual is given a period of at least 45 days within which to consider the agreement.

(2) Section 7(f)(1)(G) of the ADEA states:


(3) The term “exit incentive or other employment termination program” includes both voluntary and involuntary programs.
(4) The 21 or 45 day period runs from the date of the employer's final offer. Material changes to the final offer restart the running of the 21 or 45 day period; changes made to the final offer that are not material do not restart the running of the 21 or 45 day period. The parties may agree that changes, whether material or immaterial, do not restart the running of the 21 or 45 day period.
(5) The 7 day revocation period cannot be shortened by the parties, by agreement or otherwise.
(6) An employee may sign a release prior to the end of the 21 or 45 day time period, thereby commencing the mandatory 7 day revocation period. This is permissible as long as the employee's decision to accept such shortening of time is knowing and voluntary and is not induced by the employer through fraud, misrepresentation, a threat to withdraw or alter the offer prior to the expiration of the 21 or 45 day time period, or by providing different terms to employees who sign the release prior to the expiration of such time period. However, if an employee signs a release before the expiration of the 21 or 45 day time period, the employer may expedite the processing of the consideration provided in exchange for the waiver.

(f) Informational requirements.
(1) Introduction.
(i) Section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA provides that:
A waiver may not be considered knowing and voluntary unless at a minimum . . . if a waiver is requested in connection with an exit incentive or other employment termination program offered to a group or class of employees, the employer (at the commencement of the period specified in subparagraph (F)) [which provides time periods for employees to consider the waiver] informs the individual in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average individual eligible to participate, as to —
(i) Any class, unit, or group of individuals covered by such program, any eligibility factors for such program, and any time limits applicable to such program; and
(ii) The job titles and ages of all individuals eligible or selected for the program, and the ages of all individuals in the same job classification or organizational unit who are not eligible or selected for the program.


(ii) Section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA addresses two principal issues: to whom information must be provided, and what information must be disclosed to such individuals.
(iii)
(A) Section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA references two types of “programs” under which employers seeking waivers must make written disclosures: “exit incentive programs” and “other employment termination programs.” Usually an “exit incentive program” is a voluntary program offered to a group or class of employees where such employees are offered consideration in addition to anything of value to which the individuals are already entitled (hereinafter in this section, “additional consideration”) in exchange for their decision to resign voluntarily and sign a waiver. Usually “other employment termination program” refers to a group or class of employees who were involuntarily terminated and who are offered additional consideration in return for their decision to sign a waiver.
(B) The question of the existence of a “program” will be decided based upon the facts and circumstances of each case. A “program” exists when an employer offers additional consideration for the signing of a waiver pursuant to an exit incentive or other employment termination (e.g., a reduction in force) to two or more employees. Typically, an involuntary termination program is a standardized formula or package of benefits that is available to two or more employees, while an exit incentive program typically is a standardized formula or package of benefits designed to induce employees to sever their employment voluntarily. In both cases, the terms of the programs generally are not subject to negotiation between the parties.
(C) Regardless of the type of program, the scope of the terms “class,” “unit,” “group,” “job classification,” and “organizational unit” is determined by examining the “decisional unit” at issue. (See paragraph (f)(3) of this section, “The Decisional Unit.”)
(D) A “program” for purposes of the ADEA need not constitute an “employee benefit plan” for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). An employer may or may not have an ERISA severance plan in connection with its OWBPA program.

(iv) The purpose of the informational requirements is to provide an employee with enough information regarding the program to allow the employee to make an informed choice whether or not to sign a waiver agreement.

(2) To whom must the information be given. The required information must be given to each person in the decisional unit who is asked to sign a waiver agreement.
(3) The decisional unit.
(i)
(A) The terms “class,” “unit,” or “group” in section 7(f)(1)(H)(i) of the ADEA and “job classification or organizational unit” in section 7(f)(1)(H)(ii) of the ADEA refer to examples of categories or groupings of employees affected by a program within an employer's particular organizational structure. The terms are not meant to be an exclusive list of characterizations of an employer's organization.
(B) When identifying the scope of the “class, unit, or group,” and “job classification or organizational unit,” an employer should consider its organizational structure and decision-making process. A “decisional unit” is that portion of the employer's organizational structure from which the employer chose the persons who would be offered consideration for the signing of a waiver and those who would not be offered consideration for the signing of a waiver. The term “decisional unit” has been developed to reflect the process by which an employer chose certain employees for a program and ruled out others from that program.

(ii)
(A) The variety of terms used in section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA demonstrates that employers often use differing terminology to describe their organizational structures. When identifying the population of the decisional unit, the employer acts on a case-by-case basis, and thus the determination of the appropriate class, unit, or group, and job classification or organizational unit for purposes of section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA also must be made on a case-by-case basis.
(B) The examples in paragraph (f)(3)(iii), of this section demonstrate that in appropriate cases some subgroup of a facility's work force may be the decisional unit. In other situations, it may be appropriate for the decisional unit to comprise several facilities. However, as the decisional unit is typically no broader than the facility, in general the disclosure need be no broader than the facility. “Facility” as it is used throughout this section generally refers to place or location. However, in some circumstances terms such as “school,” “plant,” or “complex” may be more appropriate.
(C) Often, when utilizing a program an employer is attempting to reduce its workforce at a particular facility in an effort to eliminate what it deems to be excessive overhead, expenses, or costs from its organization at that facility. If the employer's goal is the reduction of its workforce at a particular facility and that employer undertakes a decision-making process by which certain employees of the facility are selected for a program, and others are not selected for a program, then that facility generally will be the decisional unit for purposes of section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA.
(D) However, if an employer seeks to terminate employees by exclusively considering a particular portion or subgroup of its operations at a specific facility, then that subgroup or portion of the workforce at that facility will be considered the decisional unit.
(E) Likewise, if the employer analyzes its operations at several facilities, specifically considers and compares ages, seniority rosters, or similar factors at differing facilities, and determines to focus its workforce reduction at a particular facility, then by the nature of that employer's decision-making process the decisional unit would include all considered facilities and not just the facility selected for the reductions.

(iii) The following examples are not all-inclusive and are meant only to assist employers and employees in determining the appropriate decisional unit. Involuntary reductions in force typically are structured along one or more of the following lines:
(A) Facility-wide: Ten percent of the employees in the Springfield facility will be terminated within the next ten days;
(B) Division-wide: Fifteen of the employees in the Computer Division will be terminated in December;
(C) Department-wide: One-half of the workers in the Keyboard Department of the Computer Division will be terminated in December;
(D) Reporting: Ten percent of the employees who report to the Vice President for Sales, wherever the employees are located, will be terminated immediately;
(E) Job Category: Ten percent of all accountants, wherever the employees are located, will be terminated next week.

(iv) In the examples in paragraph (f)(3)(iii) of this section, the decisional units are, respectively:
(A) The Springfield facility;
(B) The Computer Division;
(C) The Keyboard Department;
(D) All employees reporting to the Vice President for Sales; and
(E) All accountants.

(v) While the particular circumstances of each termination program will determine the decisional unit, the following examples also may assist in determining when the decisional unit is other than the entire facility:
(A) A number of small facilities with interrelated functions and employees in a specific geographic area may comprise a single decisional unit;
(B) If a company utilizes personnel for a common function at more than one facility, the decisional unit for that function (i.e., accounting) may be broader than the one facility;
(C) A large facility with several distinct functions may comprise a number of decisional units; for example, if a single facility has distinct internal functions with no employee overlap (i.e., manufacturing, accounting, human resources), and the program is confined to a distinct function, a smaller decisional unit may be appropriate.

(vi)
(A) For purposes of this section, higher level review of termination decisions generally will not change the size of the decisional unit unless the reviewing process alters its scope. For example, review by the Human Resources Department to monitor compliance with discrimination laws does not affect the decisional unit. Similarly, when a regional manager in charge of more than one facility reviews the termination decisions regarding one of those facilities, the review does not alter the decisional unit, which remains the one facility under consideration.
(B) However, if the regional manager in the course of review determines that persons in other facilities should also be considered for termination, the decisional unit becomes the population of all facilities considered. Further, if, for example, the regional manager and his three immediate subordinates jointly review the termination decisions, taking into account more than one facility, the decisional unit becomes the populations of all facilities considered.

(vii) This regulatory section is limited to the requirements of section 7(f)(1)(H) and is not intended to affect the scope of discovery or of substantive proceedings in the processing of charges of violation of the ADEA or in litigation involving such charges.

(4) Presentation of information.
(i) The information provided must be in writing and must be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average individual eligible to participate.
(ii) Information regarding ages should be broken down according to the age of each person eligible or selected for the program and each person not eligible or selected for the program. The use of age bands broader than one year (such as “age 20-30”) does not satisfy this requirement.
(iii) In a termination of persons in several established grade levels and/or other established subcategories within a job category or job title, the information shall be broken down by grade level or other subcategory.
(iv) If an employer in its disclosure combines information concerning both voluntary and involuntary terminations, the employer shall present the information in a manner that distinguishes between voluntary and involuntary terminations.
(v) If the terminees are selected from a subset of a decisional unit, the employer must still disclose information for the entire population of the decisional unit. For example, if the employer decides that a 10% RIF in the Accounting Department will come from the accountants whose performance is in the bottom one-third of the Division, the employer still must disclose information for all employees in the Accounting Department, even those who are the highest rated.
(vi) An involuntary termination program in a decisional unit may take place in successive increments over a period of time. Special rules apply to this situation. Specifically, information supplied with regard to the involuntary termination program should be cumulative, so that later terminees are provided ages and job titles or job categories, as appropriate, for all persons in the decisional unit at the beginning of the program and all persons terminated to date. There is no duty to supplement the information given to earlier terminees so long as the disclosure, at the time it is given, conforms to the requirements of this section.
(vii) The following example demonstrates one way in which the required information could be presented to the employees. (This example is not presented as a prototype notification agreement that automatically will comply with the ADEA. Each information disclosure must be structured based upon the individual case, taking into account the corporate structure, the population of the decisional unit, and the requirements of section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA): Example: Y Corporation lost a major construction contract and determined that it must terminate 10% of the employees in the Construction Division. Y decided to offer all terminees $20,000 in severance pay in exchange for a waiver of all rights. The waiver provides the section 7(f)(1)(H) of the ADEA information as follows:
(A) The decisional unit is the Construction Division.
(B) All persons in the Construction Division are eligible for the program. All persons who are being terminated in our November RIF are selected for the program.
(C) All persons who are being offered consideration under a waiver agreement must sign the agreement and return it to the Personnel Office within 45 days after receiving the waiver. Once the signed waiver is returned to the Personnel Office, the employee has 7 days to revoke the waiver agreement.
(D) The following is a listing of the ages and job titles of persons in the Construction Division who were and were not selected for termination and the offer of consideration for signing a waiver:



Job TitleAgeNo. SelectedNo. Not Selected
(1) Mechanical Engineers, I252148
261173
63418
64311
(2) Mechanical Engineers, II28310
291117
etc.
(3) Structural Engineers, I2158
etc.
(4) Structural Engineers, II2324
etc.
(5) Purchasing Agents261011
etc.
(g) Waivers settling charges and lawsuits.
(1) Section 7(f)(2) of the ADEA provides that:
A waiver in settlement of a charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or an action filed in court by the individual or the individual's representative, alleging age discrimination of a kind prohibited under section 4 or 15 may not be considered knowing and voluntary unless at a minimum —
(A) Subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1) have been met; and
(B) The individual is given a reasonable period of time within which to consider the settlement agreement.


(2) The language in section 7(f)(2) of the ADEA, “discrimination of a kind prohibited under section 4 or 15” refers to allegations of age discrimination of the type prohibited by the ADEA.
(3) The standards set out in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section for complying with the provisions of section 7(f)(1)(A)-(E) of the ADEA also will apply for purposes of complying with the provisions of section 7(f)(2)(A) of the ADEA.
(4) The term “reasonable time within which to consider the settlement agreement” means reasonable under all the circumstances, including whether the individual is represented by counsel or has the assistance of counsel.
(5) However, while the time periods under section 7(f)(1) of the ADEA do not apply to subsection 7(f)(2) of the ADEA, a waiver agreement under this subsection that provides an employee the time periods specified in section 7(f)(1) of the ADEA will be considered “reasonable” for purposes of section 7(f)(2)(B) of the ADEA.
(6) A waiver agreement in compliance with this section that is in settlement of an EEOC charge does not require the participation or supervision of EEOC.

(h) Burden of proof. In any dispute that may arise over whether any of the requirements, conditions, and circumstances set forth in section 7(f) of the ADEA, subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of paragraph (1), or subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (2), have been met, the party asserting the validity of a waiver shall have the burden of proving in a court of competent jurisdiction that a waiver was knowing and voluntary pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of section 7(f) of the ADEA.
(i) EEOC's enforcement powers.
(1) Section 7(f)(4) of the ADEA states:
No waiver agreement may affect the Commission's rights and responsibilities to enforce [the ADEA]. No waiver may be used to justify interfering with the protected right of an employee to file a charge or participate in an investigation or proceeding conducted by the Commission.

(2) No waiver agreement may include any provision prohibiting any individual from:
(i) Filing a charge or complaint, including a challenge to the validity of the waiver agreement, with EEOC, or
(ii) Participating in any investigation or proceeding conducted by EEOC.

(3) No waiver agreement may include any provision imposing any condition precedent, any penalty, or any other limitation adversely affecting any individual's right to:
(i) File a charge or complaint, including a challenge to the validity of the waiver agreement, with EEOC, or
(ii) Participate in any investigation or proceeding conducted by EEOC.


(j) Effective date of this section.
(1) This section is effective July 6, 1998.
(2) This section applies to waivers offered by employers on or after the effective date specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this section.
(3) No inference is to be drawn from this section regarding the validity of waivers offered prior to the effective date.

(k) Statutory authority. The regulations in this section are legislative regulations issued pursuant to section 9 of the ADEA and Title II of OWBPA.
[63 FR 30628, June 5, 1998, as amended at 79 FR 13547, Mar. 11, 2014]

29 CFR §1625.23 | WAIVERS OF RIGHTS AND CLAIMS: TENDER BACK OF CONSIDERATION

(a) An individual alleging that a waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement was not knowing and voluntary under the ADEA is not required to tender back the consideration given for that agreement before filing either a lawsuit or a charge of discrimination with EEOC or any state or local fair employment practices agency acting as an EEOC referral agency for purposes of filing the charge with EEOC. Retention of consideration does not foreclose a challenge to any waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement; nor does the retention constitute the ratification of any waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement.
(b) No ADEA waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement may impose any condition precedent, any penalty, or any other limitation adversely affecting any individual's right to challenge the agreement. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, provisions requiring employees to tender back consideration received, and provisions allowing employers to recover attorneys' fees and/or damages because of the filing of an ADEA suit. This rule is not intended to preclude employers from recovering attorneys' fees or costs specifically authorized under federal law.
(c) Restitution, recoupment, or setoff.
(1) Where an employee successfully challenges a waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement, and prevails on the merits of an ADEA claim, courts have the discretion to determine whether an employer is entitled to restitution, recoupment or setoff (hereinafter, “reduction”) against the employee's monetary award. A reduction never can exceed the amount recovered by the employee, or the consideration the employee received for signing the waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement, whichever is less.
(2) In a case involving more than one plaintiff, any reduction must be applied on a plaintiff-by-plaintiff basis. No individual's award can be reduced based on the consideration received by any other person.

(d) No employer may abrogate its duties to any signatory under a waiver agreement, covenant not to sue, or other equivalent arrangement, even if one or more of the signatories or the EEOC successfully challenges the validity of that agreement under the ADEA.
[65 FR 77446, Dec. 11, 2000]

29 CFR §1625.30 | ADMINISTRATIVE EXEMPTIONS; PROCEDURES

(a) Section 9 of the Act provides that,
In accordance with the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 5, of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary of Labor * * * may establish such reasonable exemptions to and from any or all provisions of this Act as he may find necessary and proper in the public interest.

(b) The authority conferred on the Commission by section 9 of the Act to establish reasonable exemptions will be exercised with caution and due regard for the remedial purpose of the statute to promote employment of older persons based on their ability rather than age and to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment. Administrative action consistent with this statutory purpose may be taken under this section, with or without a request therefor, when found necessary and proper in the public interest in accordance with the statutory standards. No formal procedures have been prescribed for requesting such action. However, a reasonable exemption from the Act's provisions will be granted only if it is decided, after notice published in the Federal Register giving all interested persons an opportunity to present data, views, or arguments, that a strong and affirmative showing has been made that such exemption is in fact necessary and proper in the public interest. Request for such exemption shall be submitted in writing to the Commission.

29 CFR §1625.31 | SPECIAL EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS

(a) Pursuant to the authority contained in section 9 of the Act and in accordance with the procedure provided therein and in §1625.30(b) of this part, it has been found necessary and proper in the public interest to exempt from all prohibitions of the Act all activities and programs under Federal contracts or grants, or carried out by the public employment services of the several States, designed exclusively to provide employment for, or to encourage the employment of, persons with special employment problems, including employment activities and programs under the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962, Pub. L. No. 87-415, 76 Stat. 23 (1962), as amended, and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-452, 78 Stat. 508 (1964), as amended, for persons among the long-term unemployed, individuals with disabilities, members of minority groups, older workers, or youth. Questions concerning the application of this exemption shall be referred to the Commission for decision.
(b) Any employer, employment agency, or labor organization the activities of which are exempt from the prohibitions of the Act under paragraph (a) of this section shall maintain and preserve records containing the same information and data that is required of employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations under §§1627.3, 1627.4, and 1627.5, respectively.
[44 FR 38459, July 2, 1979, as amended at 52 FR 32296, Aug. 27, 1987; 55 FR 24078, June 14, 1990; 57 FR 4158, Feb. 4, 1992; 72 FR 72944, Dec. 26, 2007; 74 FR 63984, Dec. 7, 2009]

29 CFR §1625.32 | COORDINATION OF RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS WITH MEDICARE AND STATE HEALTH BENEFITS

(a) Definitions.
(1) Employee benefit plan means an employee benefit plan as defined in 29 U.S.C. 1002(3).
(2) Medicare means the health insurance program available pursuant to Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.
(3) Comparable State health benefit plan means a State-sponsored health benefit plan that, like Medicare, provides retired participants who have attained a minimum age with health benefits, whether or not the type, amount or value of those benefits is equivalent to the type, amount or value of the health benefits provided under Medicare.

(b) Exemption. Some employee benefit plans provide health benefits for retired participants that are altered, reduced or eliminated when the participant is eligible for Medicare health benefits or for health benefits under a comparable State health benefit plan, whether or not the participant actually enrolls in the other benefit program. Pursuant to the authority contained in section 9 of the Act, and in accordance with the procedures provided therein and in §1625.30(b) of this part, it is hereby found necessary and proper in the public interest to exempt from all prohibitions of the Act such coordination of retiree health benefits with Medicare or a comparable State health benefit plan.
(c) Scope of exemption. This exemption shall be narrowly construed. No other aspects of ADEA coverage or employment benefits other than those specified in paragraph (b) of this section are affected by the exemption. Thus, for example, the exemption does not apply to the use of eligibility for Medicare or a comparable State health benefit plan in connection with any act, practice or benefit of employment not specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Nor does it apply to the use of the age of eligibility for Medicare or a comparable State health benefit plan in connection with any act, practice or benefit of employment not specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
[72 FR 72945, Dec. 26, 2007]

Appendix to §1625.32—Questions and Answers Regarding Coordination of Retiree Health Benefits With Medicare and State Health Benefits

Q1. Why is the Commission issuing an exemption from the Act?
A1. The Commission recognizes that while employers are under no legal obligation to offer retiree health benefits, some employers choose to do so in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace—using these and other benefits to attract and retain the best talent available to work for their organizations. Further, retiree health benefits clearly benefit workers, allowing such individuals to acquire affordable health insurance coverage at a time when private health insurance coverage might otherwise be cost prohibitive. The Commission believes that it is in the best interest of both employers and employees for the Commission to pursue a policy that permits employers to offer these benefits to the greatest extent possible.

Q2. Does the exemption mean that the Act no longer applies to retirees?
A2. No. Only the practice of coordinating retiree health benefits with Medicare (or a comparable State health benefit plan) as specified in paragraph (b) of this section is exempt from the Act. In all other contexts, the Act continues to apply to retirees to the same extent that it did prior to the issuance of this section.

Q3. May an employer offer a “carve-out plan” for retirees who are eligible for Medicare or a comparable State health plan?
A3. Yes. A “carve-out plan” reduces the benefits available under an employee benefit plan by the amount payable by Medicare or a comparable State health plan. Employers may continue to offer such “carve-out plans”and make Medicare or a comparable State health plan the primary payer of health benefits for those retirees eligible for Medicare or the comparable State health plan.

Q4. Does the exemption also apply to dependent and/or spousal health benefits that are included as part of the health benefits provided for retired participants?
A4. Yes. Because dependent and/or spousal health benefits are benefits provided to the retired participant, the exemption applies to these benefits, just as it does to the health benefits for the retired participant. However, dependent and/or spousal benefits need not be identical to the health benefits provided for retired participants. Consequently, dependent and/or spousal benefits may be altered, reduced or eliminated pursuant to the exemption whether or not the health benefits provided for retired participants are similarly altered, reduced or eliminated.

Q5. Does the exemption address how the ADEA may apply to other acts, practices or employment benefits not specified in the rule?
A5. No. The exemption only applies to the practice of coordinating employer-sponsored retiree health benefits with eligibility for Medicare or a comparable State health benefit program. No other aspects of ADEA coverage or employment benefits other than retiree health benefits are affected by the exemption.

Q6. Does the exemption apply to existing, as well as to newly created, employee benefit plans?
A6. Yes. The exemption applies to all retiree health benefits that coordinate with Medicare (or a comparable State health benefit plan) as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, whether those benefits are provided for in an existing or newly created employee benefit plan.

Q7. Does the exemption apply to health benefits that are provided to current employees who are at or over the age of Medicare eligibility (or the age of eligibility for a comparable State health benefit plan)?
A7. No. The exemption applies only to retiree health benefits, not to health benefits that are provided to current employees. Thus, health benefits for current employees must be provided in a m