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PRESS RELEASE
1-14-14

Chair Jacqueline Berrien and Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, sign renewed Memorandum of Understanding.

Chair Jacqueline Berrien and Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel,
sign renewed Memorandum of Understanding. (More photos)

EEOC and OSC Renew Agreement Strengthening Enforcement of Federal Sector EEO Laws

Memorandum of Understanding Addresses Agencies in Noncompliance

WASHINGTON - Jacqueline Berrien, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Carolyn Lerner, head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), today signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance efficiency and enforcement of federal sector equal employment opportunity laws. The full text of the MOU is available online at  www.eeoc.gov/laws/mous/index.cfm.

"Renewing this important interagency agreement will increase efficiency and lessen duplication of efforts between our two agencies in joint enforcement efforts to further protect federal workers from employment discrimination," said EEOC Chair Berrien during a signing ceremony at the Commission's headquarters.

"We are pleased to renew our collaborative relationship with the EEOC," said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. "This agreement helps ensure that civil rights violations in the federal government don't go unpunished."

The MOU, which supersedes all prior ones, includes -- but is not limited to -- the following:

  • EEOC shall refer to OSC for potential enforcement action cases in which the EEOC finds that an agency or an officer or employee thereof has discriminated against any employee or applicant for employment.
  • EEOC shall refer to OSC for potential enforcement action cases in which an agency fails to comply with an EEOC order and any other case or matter that the EEOC believes warrants enforcement by OSC.
  • If the EEOC has indicated that appropriate action has not and will not be taken by the employing agency, OSC may investigate the matter to the extent necessary to determine whether there is sufficient basis for initiating disciplinary action.

The EEOC's Office of Federal Operations and OSC's Investigation and Prosecution Division are designated to coordinate and implement the MOU's provisions.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.