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PRESS RELEASE
9-27-12

Repeal of Local EEO Ordinance Will Not Affect Employment Discrimination Filings with EEOC

Employment  Discrimination No Longer Covered by Lee County Office of Equal Opportunity

FT. MYERS, Fla.   -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced  today that it has implemented a new plan to accept and investigate claims of  employment discrimination brought in Lee County, Fla.  The EEOC's announcement comes after the Lee  County Board of County Commissioners repealed its local EEO ordinance by a vote  of 4 to 1.  As a result of the Board of  Commissioners vote, the Lee County Office of Equal Opportunity notified the  EEOC that it will no longer conduct intake of employment discrimination  complaints under a work sharing agreement with the EEOC, and will soon no  longer investigate such complaints.

"The EEOC is committed to protecting the  employment rights of Lee County residents," said EEOC Miami District Director,  Malcolm S. Medley.  "We will ensure that people  are aware of their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws, and how to  file discrimination charges.  There will  be no interruption in this important service.  We appreciate the service Lee County has  provided over the years to the public in its partnership with the EEOC."

The EEOC has implemented a plan to assist people  who may be affected by the Lee County repeal of its local EEO ordinance, and  which addresses the status of pending Lee County investigations.  EEOC Director Medley and Deputy Director  Ozzie Black will discuss plans for the transition at an open community meeting  at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1, in Lee County.   For more information concerning this meeting, including its  location, please call (813) 202-7924.

Under the EEOC's plan, people seeking counsel  about their rights under anti-discrimination employment laws may contact the EEOC  directly at (800) 669-4000.  In addition,  individuals may visit or mail a complaint to the EEOC at:

EEOC Miami District  Office
100 S.E. 2nd  Street, Suite 1500
Miami Florida, 33131
or EEOC Tampa Field Office
501 Polk Street, Suite 1000
Tampa, Florida 33602

Additionally, and until further notice, the EEOC  will be available from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the former  location of the Lee County Office of Equal Opportunity to provide intake  services to local residents.

Individuals may also contact or file a complaint  with the Florida Commission on Human Relations at:

Florida  Commission on Human Relations
2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 1000
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against  employment discrimination.  The Miami  District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida,  Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.  Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.