1. Inicio
  2. node
  3. Fact Sheet: The EEOC and FEPA Data-Sharing

Fact Sheet: The EEOC and FEPA Data-Sharing

On April 9, 2021, EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows issued an Order outlining the agency’s policies and practices regarding data sharing with Fair Employment Practices Agencies. 

  1. What is a FEPA?

    Many states and localities have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination and their own agencies responsible for enforcing these state and local laws, often referred to as “Fair Employment Practices Agencies” (FEPAs). Section 709 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) encourages the EEOC to cooperate with the FEPAs. The EEOC has contracts and “Worksharing Agreements” with approximately 90 FEPAs nationwide that process more than 48,000 employment discrimination charges annually. These charges raise claims under the state and local laws prohibiting employment discrimination, as well as the federal laws enforced by the EEOC. The contracts and Worksharing Agreements outline the EEOC’s and FEPAs’ obligations and responsibilities, including their duties relating to data the EEOC shares with the FEPAs.

  2. Why does the EEOC share data with FEPAs?

    The EEOC provides data to FEPAs because the law requires it and because cooperation between the EEOC and FEPAs is fundamental to effective enforcement of Title VII. The sharing of such information has long been a part of the FEPA Worksharing Agreements.

  3. What is EEO Information?

    “EEO Information” is data about the workforce collected from employers. It includes demographic data, which the EEOC has collected since 1966, and the summary pay data the EEOC collected for 2017 and 2018.  Section 709(c) of Title VII and EEOC regulations require certain employers and other entities covered by Title VII to report this data to the EEOC. Different categories of employers and other entities must submit different EEO reports, specifically private employers and federal contractors (EEO-1), local referral unions (EEO-3), state and local government employers (EEO-4), and public school district employers (EEO-5).  The data collected by the EEOC in all these reports and related information are collectively referred to here as EEO Information.  This EEO Information does not include personally identifying information of individual employees.  EEO Information is an important tool for both the EEOC and the FEPAs to address employment discrimination. Also, some employers use EEO Information for self-assessment.

  4. What does the Order do?

    The Order sets forth EEOC policy and procedure governing the sharing of EEO Information with FEPAs, including EEO-1 workforce demographic data and summary pay data that the EEOC collected for 2017 and 2018. The Order ensures that EEOC policies and practices align with the legal requirements of Title VII and adhere to the requirements of the FEPA contracts and Worksharing Agreements, including requirements relating to confidentiality, privacy, and data security.

  5. Is the data secure?

    Yes. The EEOC adheres to strict confidentiality requirements imposed by Title VII and imposes stringent confidentiality, privacy, and data-security obligations on the FEPAs that obtain EEO Information.  Section 709(d) of Title VII states that the EEOC may give FEPAs only information about employers in their jurisdiction and on the condition that they not make it public prior to starting a proceeding under state or local law involving such information. EEOC and FEPA staff receive regular training in data protection and security, and the EEOC can decline a FEPA’s subsequent request for EEO Information if the FEPA violates its confidentiality requirements.

  6. What does the EEOC expect state and local agencies to do with the data?

    FEPAs use EEO Information to enforce the laws in their jurisdictions that prohibit employment discrimination. FEPAs may use the EEO Information to identify priorities for investigation and enforcement and also to identify employment patterns within companies, industries, or regions within their jurisdictions. Sharing EEO Information with FEPAs better enables the EEOC and FEPAs to provide charging parties with an efficient procedure for obtaining redress under EEO laws.

  7. How will this data-sharing help address pay discrimination?

    Access to relevant EEO Information may help FEPAs enforce laws in their jurisdictions that prohibit pay discrimination. The EEO Information that the EEOC shares may in the future include EEO-1 summary pay data that the EEOC collected for 2017 and 2018. EEO Information may reveal patterns in job segregation and disparities in hiring and promotions that could correlate with or cause pay inequities. Also, FEPAs may use the EEO Information in conjunction with other sources of labor market data, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data, to identify potentially discriminatory pay practices.