The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

State and Local Agencies

What are Fair Employment Practices Agencies and how do they relate to the EEOC?

There are more than 100 state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs). The EEOC has cooperative relationships with all but a few of them.

The EEOC and the FEPAs it works with have reached Worksharing Agreements that divide up their common workload of charges in order to avoid duplication of charge processing. Each charge of discrimination that is covered by both an EEOC-enforced statute and the FEPAs law or ordinance is dual-filed under both laws, regardless of which agency receives it. These dual-filed charges are typically investigated by only one agency. This way, employers avoid two investigations of the same matter, but the legal rights of the charging parties are still preserved under both laws.

What do I do if I get the same charge from the EEOC and also from a state or local FEP agency?

Bring the matter to the attention of both agencies and they should be able to resolve the issue.

I settled a discrimination charge that was handled by my local FEPA and received a separate dismissal notice from the EEOC. What does this mean?

Most charges are dual-filed under both state and federal law. Regardless of which agency is processing the charge, both agencies have to close their respective case files. All that is happening in this instance is that the EEOC has accepted the state agency's resolution and has closed its case.

How can I tell if a charge is dual-filed with both the EEOC and a state or local FEPA?

The top of the charge form and the notice of charge form will usually indicate whether the charge has been filed with both the EEOC and a FEPA. If there is any doubt, ask the EEOC staff person handling the charge.

When an EEOC charge is dual-filed with a FEPA, and the EEOC decides that it does not have jurisdiction or does not believe federal law is violated, is that the end of the matter?

Maybe. Some state and local FEP laws have longer charge filing periods, cover more employers (such as smaller employers than those covered by the federal anti-discrimination laws) or provide greater protections than federal law (such as laws prohibiting marital status discrimination). In such cases, the FEPA may continue to investigate the charge.

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This page was last modified on February 13, 2001.

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