News & Events

Under New MOU, U.S. Department of Justice will now Directly Support Enforcement of EEO Laws

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to further the objectives of Congress under  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII) , in coordination with  Executive Order 11246, 30 FR 12319, as amended (E.O. 11246) , and  Executive Order 12067, 43 FR 28967 (E.O. 12067)  (EEOC’s government-wide coordination authority).  The MOU was first entered in 1970.  At its inception, the main goal of the MOU was to reinforce coordination and cooperation between OFCCP and the EEOC in processing complaints of employment discrimination and ensures a consistent approach to the Agencies’ enforcement and remedial efforts.  The MOU encourages “interagency coordination in the enforcement of equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and has also served to maximize effort, promote efficiency, and eliminate conflict, competition, duplication, and inconsistency among the operations, functions, and jurisdictions of the parties to the MOU.”[1]  The MOU includes specific coordination and referral procedures for complaints and charges of employment discrimination filed with OFCCP under E.O. 11246.  The MOU also contains requirements for sharing information as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law.

The measure, approved by the Commission on November 3, 2020, promotes interagency coordination in the enforcement of equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws, maximizing efficiency, and eliminating duplication and inconsistency among the three agencies. The MOU as revised adds several provisions to strengthen and streamline interagency coordination in the enforcement of EEO laws.

The most significant update to the recent iteration of the MOU is the inclusion of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a signatory. The inclusion of the DOJ “epitomizes a renewed commitment by three of the country’s premier civil rights agencies to work together and benefit from one another’s resources and expertise in areas of mutual interest.”[2]  DOJ’s involvement will help to ensure consistency in approaches among the DOL, EEOC, and OFCCP to the complex legal and enforcement issues that arise under EEO laws. The new iteration of the MOU adopts several measures that will ensure the direct involvement of senior leadership at all three agencies in the ongoing coordination efforts pursuant to the MOU, elevating the MOU’s importance and utility.  The MOU also makes changes to promote efficiency with respect to Sharing Information, Disclosure of Information, Confidentiality, and Receipt, Investigation, Processing, and Resolution of Complaints when dually filed with the agencies.[3] More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line is that Employers can likely expect much more streamlined investigations from the DOL, EEOC, and OFCCP, and that the Agencies’ sharing of information may result in further investigation or enforcement efforts by the DOJ.

Butler Snow is here to help if you have questions specific to the impacts of the MOU, or other Labor and Employment Law matters, please contact Butler Snow’s Labor and Employment Group.


[1] See https://www.eeoc.gov/memorandum-understanding-among-us-department-labor-equal-employment-opportunity-commission-and us?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

(last visited November 6, 2020).

[2]See  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USEEOC/bulletins/2a9f304 (last visited November 6, 2020).

[3] See https://www.eeoc.gov/memorandum-understanding-among-us-department-labor-equal-employment-opportunity-commission-and-us?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term= (last visited November 6, 2020).