The United States Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division (WHD), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (collectively referred to as "the agencies" or "the parties") recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to enhance and maximize the enforcement of the federal laws administered between the two agencies. The agencies are forming this partnership to encourage greater coordination between each other through information sharing, joint investigations, training, and outreach.
This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is intended to memorialize this partnership between WHD and the EEOC. This MOU is a voluntary agreement that expresses the good-faith intentions of WHD and the EEOC, is not intended to be legally binding, does not create any contractual obligations, and is not enforceable by any party, private person, or other third party. This MOU does not obligate and will not result in an exchange of funds, personnel, property, or services, nor does this MOU require or authorize any kind of financial commitment on the part of the agencies. This memorandum outlines procedures to be followed by both WHD and the EEOC in working together to address the need for information sharing, joint investigations, training, and outreach between WHD and the EEOC. Nothing in this MOU limits the agencies' enforcement of their respective statutes.
WHD is responsible for administering and enforcing federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), worker protections provided in several temporary visa programs, and the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Service Contract Act.
The EEOC enforces the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (Title VII), Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
The purpose of this MOU is to maximize and improve the enforcement of the federal laws administered by DOL's WHD and by the EEOC. This MOU will also encourage enhanced law enforcement and greater coordination between the agencies through information sharing, joint investigations, training, and outreach.
By entering into this MOU, the agencies do not imply an endorsement or promotion by either agency of the policies, programs, or services of the other. Nothing in this MOU will be interpreted as limiting, superseding, or otherwise affecting the agencies' normal operations or decisions in carrying out their statutory or regulatory duties, or duties under any Executive Order. This MOU also does not limit or restrict the agencies from participating in similar activities or arrangements with other entities.
Among other laws establishing worker protections, WHD enforces the FLSA, FMLA, MSPA, and worker protections provided in several temporary visa programs, including H-2A, which governs temporary employment of foreign workers in agriculture. The FLSA establishes minimum federal standards for wages and hours of work, including requirements for the payment of overtime pay and of minimum wages. It also requires that certain nursing mothers receive a "reasonable break time" to express breast milk in a place other than a bathroom. Section 14(c) of the FLSA permits certain employers, when necessary to prevent the curtailment of employment opportunities, and subject to WHD certification, to pay sub-minimum wages to workers who have disabilities. The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. MSPA protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping.
The EEOC enforces the nation's equal employment opportunity laws. They include the EPA, which prohibits employers from paying employees at a rate less than employees of the opposite sex at the same establishment "for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions . . ." 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1). Title VII prohibits employment discrimination, including discrimination in compensation, based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; gender identity (including transgender status); and sexual orientation. The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, including but not limited to compensation discrimination, discriminatory job assignments, failure to make reasonable accommodations, and unlawful harassment and other discriminatory terms and conditions of employment. In addition, Title VII and the ADA protect workers with caregiving responsibilities from discrimination based on sex, disability, or stereotypical assumptions related to these protected bases about the worker's ability to perform. The ADEA prohibits age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. GINA prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees, and former employees on the basis of genetic information (including family medical history).
(a) WHD requests for information should usually be directed to the EEOC District Director, the Washington Field Office Director, or the Regional Attorney where WHD believes that the information is located. WHD requesting officials may also direct their requests for information to any of the EEOC officials listed in III.A.3(b) above with the exception of the Chair, a Commissioner, or the General Counsel.
(b) EEOC requests for information should usually be directed to the WHD Regional Administrator in the region where the EEOC believes the information is located. EEOC requesting officials may also direct their requests for information to any of the DOL or WHD individuals listed in III.A.3(a) above with the exception of the Administrator.
WHD and EEOC responses to requests for information under this section shall be made to the official who requested the information. The responding agency will provide copies of the requested documents or make the requested documents available to the requesting agency for inspection and copying and/or loan within 10 days of receipt of the request, or as soon as practicable thereafter consistent with the availability of the responding agency's staff and other resources and the responding agency's own priorities.
In appropriate cases the agencies will determine whether to conduct coordinated investigations of matters arising within both agencies' jurisdictions. If the agencies decide to conduct coordinated investigations, and WHD finds a violation and the EEOC finds reasonable cause, they shall explore with the charging party and the respondent whether they both consent to publicize any possible resolution. If one or both decline to consent, WHD and the EEOC shall negotiate separate administrative settlements with the respondent, and neither WHD's settlement nor its press release, if any, may make any mention of the Title VII, ADA, or GINA component of the coordinated investigation or of the EEOC, or disclose any information from which it may be inferred that there was an EEOC charge or investigation.
WHD and the EEOC shall provide training to each agency's staff; engage in outreach and public education; share or co-develop training materials and programs; or develop joint policy statements and technical assistance documents when appropriate to facilitate a greater understanding and awareness of the laws the agencies enforce relating to compensation discrimination under the EPA and/or Title VII or the other EEO statutes, other unlawful compensation practices (such as violations of the FLSA, including applicability of Section 3(m) and Section 14(c)), disability discrimination, and leave-related violations of the FMLA and/or Title VII or the ADA. The agencies' training, outreach, and education efforts shall include coordination on the experiences and enforcement perspectives of each agency in identifying and investigating complex employment structures. The agencies may also meet periodically, and otherwise routinely share information, about their enforcement priorities and other identified employment trends.
This MOU supersedes the April 7, 1999 Memorandum of Understanding between DOL's Employment Standards Administration and the EEOC.
Each party is responsible for funding efforts to fulfill their respective roles and responsibilities. This agreement does not itself authorize the expenditure or reimbursement of any funds. Nothing in this agreement obligates the parties to expend appropriations or enter into any contract or other obligations.
Except as expressly provided in this MOU, this MOU constitutes the entire agreement between WHD and the EEOC with respect to the matters set forth herein.
This MOU will take effect immediately once signed by both parties and shall continue in force indefinitely. This MOU may be modified in writing by mutual consent of both agencies. This MOU may be terminated by either party upon 90 days written notice to the other agency. Provisions related to the confidentiality and handling of information exchanged pursuant to this MOU shall survive the termination of this MOU.
This MOU is executed as of the ______ day of _________________, 201__.
The following officials agree to the terms and conditions of this MOU:
For the EEOC:
|Jenny R. Yang
Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
For the Department of Labor:
|Dr. David Weil
Administrator, Wage and Hour Division
U.S. Department of Labor