The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL and THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION The enforcement of laws against employment discrimination and the eradication of unfair employment practices is a national priority. State and federal officials' strong interest in enforcement and elimination of employment discrimination crosses regional lines as well as particular Administrations. The signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding agree that it is critical to develop effective and lasting mechanisms for communication and cooperation among state Attorneys General and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) responsible for the enforcement of federal and state employment discrimination laws. It is also agreed that those mechanisms should continue through changes in administration at the national and state levels. Accordingly, the signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding agree to establish the following institutional mechanisms for communication, cooperation and joint work on affirmative enforcement of employment discrimination laws: 1. The EEOC will designate a district office liaison to each state Attorney General office that chooses to participate in the program who will be responsible for ensuring communication and cooperation with the participating state Attorneys General. The EEOC will also designate headquarters liaison(s) to state Attorneys General for amicus requests and for other specified purposes. Each participating state Attorney General will designate an employment discrimination liaison who will be responsible for ensuring communication and cooperation with other state Attorneys General and the EEOC. The co-chairs of the permanent Working Group described in paragraph 6 below will be responsible for circulating a list of liaisons and for notifying the liaisons of any changes in designations that are made. The liaisons' responsibilities will include: sharing information about pending or proposed litigation or projects which are likely to contribute significantly to the development of employment discrimination laws or which involve significant pattern and practice violations; identifying technical assistance and training needs; providing pleadings and briefs to each other; bringing important judicial decisions and other emerging issues to the attention of other liaisons; notifying each other of pending legislation concerning employment laws and practices; making requests for amicus assistance or intervention or other types of legal assistance; and otherwise ensuring the timely and effective dissemination of significant information related to employment discrimination. 2. The EEOC will provide informational reports (limited to information of public record) to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for circulation to each participating state Attorney General. State Attorneys General offices will submit reports to NAAG for a quarterly report on important employment discrimination developments in their states which will be shared with all signatories to this agreement. 3. Representatives of state Attorneys General and the EEOC will participate in regular conference calls and will meet annually to, as appropriate: discuss national, regional and state employment discrimination issues; share investigative techniques and information regarding effective methods of enforcement; identify potential joint enforcement efforts; identify and initiate joint litigation and policy enforcement efforts; organize and coordinate training activities; and bring important judicial decisions and emerging issues to the attention of each other. The representatives will also share information about fair employment initiatives and coordinate and combine efforts to address employment discrimination in a manner that most effectively utilizes the expertise and resources of the represented offices. Any sharing of information shall be consistent with applicable confidentiality provisions. NAAG's staff, in consultation with representatives of state Attorneys General, and a representative of the EEOC, will be responsible for coordinating the annual meetings and the conference calls. 4(a) In order to effectively address common concerns, the EEOC and the state Attorneys General intend to develop joint enforcement initiatives in one or more areas of mutual concern. The signing of this Memorandum does not obligate the EEOC or any state Attorney General to participate in any joint initiative. A state Attorney General that desires to participate in a joint initiative with the EEOC will supply a letter of participation to the EEOC. (b) The signatories direct the establishment of an Employment Task Force to report on the most effective means practicable for carrying out the joint initiatives referenced in paragraph 4(a) and to coordinate the implementation of the joint initiatives. The Task Force will consider, among other things, joint initiatives in which each participating agency commits personnel and resources to policy initiatives and investigation and litigation efforts. The Task Force will make recommendations about which agencies should lead the enforcement efforts in a particular subject area and geographic location, taking into account the relative expertise of the participants, the extent of resources each agency commits to the project, the nature of the remedies or sanctions for the violation of law available in a state or federal forum, and similar criteria. Problems in the implementation of joint initiatives will be brought to the attention of the Working Group described in paragraph 6, below, for resolution. 5. The EEOC and the state Attorneys General will continue to enforce laws independently of one another. EEOC and participating state Attorneys General will notify in writing each other's offices functioning in their jurisdiction of their enforcement efforts whenever an office commences a civil enforcement action in an administrative agency or court, which it believes is likely to contribute significantly to the development of employment discrimination law. Notifications will be made to the relevant liaison(s) designated pursuant to paragraph 1 above within two business days of the event triggering the notification requirement, if possible. Notifications will not be made if any office determines that such notification is inappropriate under the circumstances. 6. The signatories to this Agreement direct the establishment of an Employment Working Group which will continue as a permanent body. It will consist of representatives designated by the EEOC and representatives of state Attorneys General designated by the President of the National Association of Attorneys General. The Working Group will be co-chaired by a representative of the EEOC and representatives of two state Attorneys General. The Working Group will serve as a clearinghouse for information and complaints about the implementation of this agreement, investigate whether improvements in the mechanisms for communication and cooperation are needed, identify common training requirements and plan training events, assist in the resolution of conflicts arising in joint initiatives or enforcement efforts, and otherwise make recommendations for ways to advance the objective of joint enforcement of employment discrimination laws. Each co-chair of the Employment Working Group will be available to receive information from employment discrimination liaisons about problems in the implementation of this agreement. The Working Group will communicate with each other regularly, but not less than once a year. On Behalf of the National Association of Attorneys General** /s/ _________________________________ James Doyle President 10 Nov. 1997 ______________________________ Date /s/ _________________________________ Drew Ketterer Chair, Civil Rights Committee Nov. 10, 1997 ______________________________ Date On Behalf of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission /s/ __________________________________ Gilbert F. Casellas Chairman 11/10/97 __________________________________ Date _________________________ ** Signing directed as the result of the passage of a NAAG Resolution to that effect, dated ___________, 199_.
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