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Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) and Dual Filing

Many states, counties, cities, and towns have their own laws prohibiting discrimination, as well as agencies responsible for enforcing those laws. We call these state and local agencies "Fair Employment Practices Agencies" (FEPAs). Usually the laws enforced by these agencies are similar to those enforced by EEOC. In some cases, these agencies enforce laws that offer greater protection to workers, such as protection from discrimination because you are married or unmarried, have children or because of your sexual orientation. There also may be different deadlines for filing a charge, different standards for determining whether you are protected by these laws, and different types of relief available to victims of discrimination.

Who to File a Charge With

You can file your charge with either the EEOC or with a Fair Employment Practices Agency.  When an individual initially files with a FEPA that has a worksharing agreement with the EEOC, and the allegation is covered by a law enforced by the EEOC, the FEPA will dual file the charge with EEOC (meaning EEOC will receive a copy of the charge), but will usually retain the charge for processing.  If the charge is initially filed with EEOC and the charge is also covered by state or local law, EEOC dual files the charge with the state or local FEPA (meaning the FEPA will receive a copy of the charge), but ordinarily retains the charge for processing.

To determine if there is a FEPA in your area, please see the information for your nearest EEOC field office, which lists the FEPAs in its jurisdictional area.

Reviewing FEPA Decisions

If a FEPA has a contract with EEOC, a Charging Party may request that the EEOC review the determination of the FEPA. EEOC does not review decisions by non-contract FEPAs. The EEOC will conduct a review only if the request is submitted in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the FEPA's determination. If we receive your request for a review after the 15 day time frame, it will be considered untimely and the EEOC may not conduct a review. The request should also include the reason why the Charging Party is requesting the review (e.g. relevant witnesses not contacted, evidence not considered, or presence of new evidence).