The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Coordination of Functions; Memorandum of Understanding
AGENCIES: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and
Department of Labor
ACTION: Final Notice
SUMMARY: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
and the Department of Labor (DOL), Employment Standards Administration (ESA) have adopted
a Memorandum of Understanding to maximize the effectiveness of the laws they enforce that
prohibit unlawful compensation discrimination.
EFFECTIVE DATE: [insert date of publication in the FEDERAL
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol R. Miaskoff,
Assistant Legal Counsel For Coordination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (202)
663- 4639 (voice), 202-663-7026 (TTY); or James I. Melvin, Director, Division of Policy,
Planning, and Program Development, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs,
Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, (202) 693- 0102 (voice), (202)
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Memorandum of Understanding
will enhance enforcement of the federal laws prohibiting compensation discrimination,
which are enforced by the EEOC and by the DOL's ESA. The agreement will reduce duplication
of effort and result in increased enforcement activity on the issue of compensation
discrimination through training of ESA personnel, and through sharing of information and
data concerning potential issues of compensation discrimination.
EEOC enforces the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of sex. ESA's
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces nondiscrimination
requirements that apply to federal government contractors, primarily Executive Order
11246, and include prohibitions against discrimination in compensation. ESA's Wage and
Hour Division enforces federal standards for wages and hours of work.
Ida L. Castro
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Alexis M. Herman
Secretary of Labor
Bernard E. Anderson
Employment Standards Administration
Shirley J. Wilcher
Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Federal Contract Compliance
Memorandum Of Understanding Between The Employment
Standards Administration And The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
I. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to
maximize the effectiveness of those laws enforced by the Employment Standards
Administration (ESA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which prohibit
unlawful compensation discrimination, and other unlawful compensation practices.
Historically, EEOC and ESA have maintained excellent working relationships in areas of
mutual law enforcement interest. EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, among other equal employment opportunity laws. The ESA
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Executive Order 11246, as
amended, and other contract-based equal employment opportunity laws. The ESA Wage and Hour
Division (WHD) enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
and other laws establishing minimum wage and labor standards. The agreement will enhance
enforcement efforts to prohibit compensation discrimination and reduce duplication of
effort. It will also result in increased enforcement activity on the issue of compensation
discrimination through the training of ESA personnel, and through the sharing of
information and data.
II. AGENCY AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Employment Standards Administration:
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Executive
Order 11246, as amended, and its implementing regulations, prohibit covered federal
contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion,
or national origin, and require them to take affirmative action to ensure that equal
opportunity is provided in all aspects of employment, including compensation.
Wage and Hour Division: The Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938 (FLSA) establishes minimum federal standards for wages and hours of work. The Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-
protected leave a year for qualifying family leave reasons.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 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 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from
employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, and national origin.
Consistent with available resources, EEOC and ESA will
develop and provide training to assist WHD enforcement staff in recognizing potential
compensation discrimination. EEOC and ESA will determine the exact nature of the training,
as well as costs and payment responsibilities, by consensus.
Transfer of Information:
When, in the course of its enforcement activities, or
through other sources, WHD learns of a potential issue of compensation discrimination, the
WHD may, to the extent authorized by law, provide such information to OFCCP for a
determination of the employer's contract status and for appropriate action. If OFCCP
determines that the employer is not a federal contractor, but may be covered by the Equal
Pay Act or Title VII, OFCCP may, to the extent authorized by law, provide the information
When in the course of its activities, OFCCP identifies
potential issues of compensation discrimination, OFCCP may, to the extent authorized by
law, share such information, as appropriate, with EEOC, as well as any other information
that will enhance the effectiveness of the EEOC as an enforcement agency.
Likewise, when, in the course of its enforcement
activities, EEOC identifies potential issues of compensation discrimination, EEOC may, to
the extent authorized by law, share such information, as appropriate, with OFCCP, as well
as any other information that will enhance the effectiveness of the Employment Standards
Administration's OFCCP and WHD as enforcement agencies or programs.
Exchanges of information will, generally, include any
supporting documentation gathered during contact with employers, potential complainants,
or other sources of information. The agency receiving information has the responsibility
to ensure that any disclosures of the information are in conformance with all provisions
of law that apply to the employees of the originating agency, including Section 706(b) and
Section 709(e) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The agency receiving the
information is also bound to take all appropriate steps to assure that the information is
protected from unauthorized disclosure or use.
ESA and EEOC will provide each other with semi-annual
reports of actions taken on compensation discrimination referrals provided pursuant to
this MOU. OFCCP and EEOC headquarters staff will meet periodically to coordinate
enforcement on questions relating to compensation discrimination.
The provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding may be
reviewed and jointly modified as appropriate when it is determined by ESA and EEOC that
such review and modification is in the interest of their respective enforcement