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EEOC and the Federal Contractor


From our friend Toni Ahl at EEO Advantage

There has been a lot in the news recently about the EEO-1 reporting requirements. In reality, EEOC’s field offices have very little to do with the EEO-1. When contacted about the EEO-1 reports, field offices refer the calls to the Joint Reporting Committee. Field offices are not trained to answer questions about the EEO-1 report. The Joint Reporting Committee is a part of EEOC, however, there are many areas under EEOC’s broad umbrella. In addition, currently the EEOC does not have a quorum of Commissioners and cannot vote on issues pertaining to regulations or cases. The latest information about the EEO-1 and reporting can be found on EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

EEOC’s field offices may request data about EEO-1 reports for certain cases being investigated. For example, an EEO-1 may be requested for statistical data about an employer’s workforce and its breakdown. This is primarily requested in hiring cases. I suppose the data, once it includes pay data, could be utilized in Equal Pay cases or Title VII charges alleging pay differences based on sex.

EEOC treats Federal contractors like other private employers. If a charge is filed against a Federal contractor, the usual procedures apply that the Charging Party has 180 to 300 days to file a charge. The charge is then either sent to EEOC’s mediation program, investigated or dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Charging Party will have the opportunity to file suit in Federal District Court unless the charge was resolved in mediation.

There are occasions when employees of Federal contractors have been found to have coverage under the Federal complaint process utilized by Federal employees. The two processes are very different. In a Federal sector complaint, the employee has 45 days to seek informal EEO counseling through the agency. The employee can then select either traditional EEO counseling or ADR. If ADR is selected, there is a 60-day period for the process to be completed. If traditional counseling is selected, it must be completed in 30 days. At the conclusion of either process, the employee is issued a letter that gives him/her the right to file a formal complaint if the issues have not been resolved. The employee has 15 days in which to file and the agency determines what bases and issues will be investigated. The agency has 180 days to complete its investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Complainant can accept the agency decision, ask for a Final Agency Decision or ask for a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge. The final step in the process is filing suit in Federal District Court. The EEOC Office of Federal Operations oversees the process for Federal agencies.

When employees of a Federal contractor meet certain requirements, they may be considered to be Federal employees. The factors used to determine the work relationship are referred to as the Ma factors based on the case which set out the factors. No one factor is determining in the process and each situation is analyzed on a case-by-case basis. It is like the joint employer concept used in private sector cases. Information about the Ma case can be found on EEOC’s website. The factors used to determine joint employer status in private sector cases may also be accessed on the website.

So, like the Joint Reporting Committee, the Office of Federal Operations is another distinct branch of EEOC. Most private sector employers, including Federal contractors, may never have any interaction with the Office of Federal Operations. EEOC has many responsibilities for overseeing programs related to both private sector and Federal employees/employers.

If you have questions about the private sector or Federal sector processes, feel free to contact me at (502) 553-7648 or eeoadvantage@gmail.com. For questions relating to the EEO-1 report, the Joint Reporting Committee should be contacted. EEOC’s website is a great tool for official news about the EEO-1 report along with current developments in both private and Federal sector news and cases.

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