[Title 28 CFR 37]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2002 Edition]
[Title 28 - JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION]
[Chapter I - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE]
[Part 37 - PROCEDURES FOR COORDINATING THE INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS OR CHARGES OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY SUBJECT TO THE AMERICANS WITH]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


28JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION12002-07-012002-07-01falsePROCEDURES FOR COORDINATING THE INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS OR CHARGES OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY SUBJECT TO THE AMERICANS WITH37PART 37JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATIONDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
 PART 37--PROCEDURES FOR COORDINATING THE INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS OR CHARGES OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY SUBJECT TO THE AMERICANS WITH 
DISABILITIES ACT AND SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973--Table of Contents




Sec.
37.1  Purpose and application.
37.2  Definitions.
37.3  Exchange of information.
37.4  Confidentiality.
37.5  Date of receipt.
37.6  Processing of complaints of employment discrimination filed with 
          an agency other than the EEOC.
37.7  Processing of charges of employment discrimination filed with the 
          EEOC.
37.8  Processing of complaints or charges of employment discrimination 
          filed with both the EEOC and a section 504 agency.
37.9  Processing of complaints or charges of employment discrimination 
          filed with a designated agency and either a section 504 
          agency, the EEOC, or both.
37.10  Section 504 agency review of deferred complaints.
37.11  EEOC review of deferred charges.
37.12  Standards.
37.13  Agency specific memoranda of understanding.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 29 U.S.C. 794 (d); 42 
U.S.C. 12117(b); 28 CFR 0.50(l).

    Source: Order No. 1899-94, 59 FR 39904, 39908, Aug. 4, 1994, unless 
otherwise noted.



Sec. 37.1  Purpose and application.

    (a) This part establishes the procedures to be followed by the 
Federal agencies responsible for processing and resolving complaints or 
charges of employment discrimination filed against recipients of Federal 
financial assistance when jurisdiction exists under both section 504 and 
title I.
    (b) This part also repeats the provisions established by 28 CFR 
35.171 for determining which Federal agency shall process and resolve 
complaints or charges of employment discrimination:
    (1) That fall within the overlapping jurisdiction of titles I and II 
(but are not covered by section 504); and
    (2) That are covered by title II, but not title I (whether or not 
they are also covered by section 504).
    (c) This part also describes the procedures to be followed when a 
complaint or charge arising solely under section 504 or title I is filed 
with a section 504 agency or the EEOC.
    (d) This part does not apply to complaints or charges against 
Federal contractors under section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.
    (e) This part does not create rights in any person or confer agency 
jurisdiction not created or conferred by the ADA or section 504 over any 
complaint or charge.



Sec. 37.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part, the term:
    Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA means the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C. 
12101-12213 and 47 U.S.C. 225 and 611).
    Assistant Attorney General refers to the Assistant Attorney General, 
Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, or his or 
her designee.
    Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission refers to 
the Chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission, or his or her designee.
    Civil Rights Division means the Civil Rights Division of the United 
States Department of Justice.
    Designated agency means any one of the eight agencies designated 
under Sec. 35.190 of 28 CFR part 35 (the Department's title II 
regulation) to implement and enforce title II of the ADA with respect to 
the functional areas within their jurisdiction.
    Dual-filed complaint or charge means a complaint or charge of 
employment discrimination that:
    (1) Arises under both section 504 and title I;
    (2) Has been filed with both a section 504 agency that has 
jurisdiction under section 504 and with the EEOC, which has jurisdiction 
under title I; and
    (3) Alleges the same facts and raises the same issues in both 
filings.

[[Page 721]]

    Due weight shall mean, with respect to the weight a section 504 
agency or the EEOC shall give to the other agency's findings and 
conclusions, such full and careful consideration as is appropriate, 
taking into account such factors as:
    (1) The extent to which the underlying investigation is complete and 
the evidence is supportive of the findings and conclusions;
    (2) The nature and results of any subsequent proceedings;
    (3) The extent to which the findings, conclusions and any actions 
taken:
    (i) Under title I are consistent with the effective enforcement of 
section 504; or
    (ii) Under section 504 are consistent with the effective enforcement 
of title I; and
    (4) The section 504 agency's responsibilities under section 504 or 
the EEOC's responsibilities under title I.
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC refers to the United 
States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and, when appropriate, 
to any of its headquarters, district, area, local, or field offices.
    Federal financial assistance shall have the meaning, with respect to 
each section 504 agency, as defined in such agency's regulations 
implementing section 504 for Federally- assisted programs.
    Program or activity shall have the meaning defined in the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394, 29 U.S.C. 
794), as amended.
    Public entity means:
    (1) Any State or local government;
    (2) Any department, agency, special purpose district, or other 
instrumentality of a State or States or local government; and
    (3) The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, and any commuter 
authority (as defined in section 103(8) of the Rail Passenger Service 
Act, 45 U.S.C. 502(8)).
    Recipient means any State, political subdivision of any State, or 
instrumentality of any State or political subdivision, any public or 
private agency, institution, organization, or other entity, or any 
individual, in any State, to whom Federal financial assistance is 
extended, directly or through another recipient, for any program, 
including any successor, assignee, or transferee thereof, but such term 
does not include any ultimate beneficiary under such program.
    Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
(Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394, 29 U.S.C. 794), as amended.
    Section 504 agency means any Federal department or agency that 
extends Federal financial assistance to programs or activities of 
recipients.
    Title I means title I of the ADA.
    Title II means subtitle A of title II of the ADA.



Sec. 37.3  Exchange of information.

    The EEOC, section 504 agencies, and designated agencies shall share 
any information relating to the employment policies and practices of a 
respondent that may assist each agency in carrying out its 
responsibilities, to the extent permissible by law. Such information 
shall include, but is not limited to, complaints, charges, investigative 
files, compliance review reports and files, affirmative action programs, 
and annual employment reports.



Sec. 37.4  Confidentiality.

    (a) When a section 504 agency or a designated agency receives 
information obtained by the EEOC, such agency shall observe the 
confidentiality requirements of section 706(b) and section 709(e) of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(b) and 2000e-
8(e)), as incorporated by section 107(a) of the ADA, to the same extent 
as these provisions would bind the EEOC, except when the agency receives 
the same information from a source independent of the EEOC. Agency 
questions concerning the confidentiality requirements of title I shall 
be directed to the Associate Legal Counsel for Legal Services, Office of 
Legal Counsel, the EEOC.
    (b) When the EEOC receives information from a section 504 or a 
designated agency, the EEOC shall observe any confidentiality 
requirements applicable to that information.



Sec. 37.5  Date of receipt.

    A complaint or charge of employment discrimination is deemed to be

[[Page 722]]

filed, for purposes of determining timeliness, on the date the complaint 
or charge is first received by a Federal agency with section 504 or ADA 
jurisdiction, regardless of whether it is subsequently transferred to 
another agency for processing.



Sec. 37.6  Processing of complaints of employment discrimination filed with an agency other than the EEOC.

    (a) Agency determination of jurisdiction. Upon receipt of a 
complaint of employment discrimination, an agency other than the EEOC 
shall:
    (1) Determine whether it has jurisdiction over the complaint under 
section 504 or under title II of the ADA; and
    (2) Determine whether the EEOC may have jurisdiction over the 
complaint under title I of the ADA.
    (b) Referral to the Civil Rights Division. If the agency determines 
that it does not have jurisdiction under section 504 or title II, and 
determines that the EEOC does not have jurisdiction under title I, the 
agency shall promptly refer the complaint to the Civil Rights Division. 
The Civil Rights Division shall determine if another Federal agency may 
have jurisdiction over the complaint under section 504 or title II, and, 
if so, shall promptly refer the complaint to a section 504 or a 
designated agency with jurisdiction over the complaint.
    (c) Referral to the EEOC--(1) Referral by an agency without 
jurisdiction. If an agency determines that it does not have jurisdiction 
over a complaint of employment discrimination under either section 504 
or title II and determines that the EEOC may have jurisdiction under 
title I, the agency shall promptly refer the complaint to the EEOC for 
investigation and processing under title I of the ADA.
    (2) Referral by a section 504 agency. (i) A section 504 agency that 
otherwise has jurisdiction over a complaint of employment discrimination 
under section 504 shall promptly refer to the EEOC, for investigation 
and processing under title I of the ADA, any complaint of employment 
discrimination that solely alleges discrimination against an individual 
(and that does not allege discrimination in both employment and in other 
practices or services of the respondent or a pattern or practice of 
employment discrimination), unless:
    (A) The section 504 agency determines that the EEOC does not have 
jurisdiction over the complaint under title I; or
    (B) The EEOC has jurisdiction over the complaint under title I, but 
the complainant, either independently, or following receipt of the 
notification letter required to be sent to the complainant pursuant to 
paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, specifically requests that the 
complaint be investigated by the section 504 agency.
    (ii) Prior to referring an individual complaint of employment 
discrimination to the EEOC pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this 
section (but not prior to making such a referral pursuant to paragraph 
(c)(1) of this section), a section 504 agency that otherwise has 
jurisdiction over the complaint shall promptly notify the complainant, 
in writing, of its intention to make such a referral. The notice letter 
shall:
    (A) Inform the complainant that, unless the agency receives a 
written request from the complainant within twenty days of the date of 
the notice letter requesting that the agency retain the complaint for 
investigation, the agency will forward the complaint to the EEOC for 
investigation and processing; and
    (B) Describe the basic procedural differences between an 
investigation under section 504 and an investigation under title I, and 
inform the complainant of the potential for differing remedies under 
each statute.
    (3) Referral by a designated agency. A designated agency that does 
not have section 504 jurisdiction over a complaint of employment 
discrimination and that has determined that the EEOC may have 
jurisdiction over the complaint under title I shall promptly refer the 
complaint to the EEOC.
    (4) Processing of complaints referred to the EEOC. (i) A complaint 
referred to the EEOC in accordance with this section by an agency with 
jurisdiction over the complaint under section 504 shall be deemed to be 
a dual-filed complaint under section 504 and title I. When a section 504 
agency with jurisdiction over a complaint refers the complaint to the 
EEOC, the section 504

[[Page 723]]

agency shall defer its processing of the complaint pursuant to Sec. -
-.10, pending resolution by the EEOC.
    (ii) A complaint referred to the EEOC by an agency that has 
jurisdiction over the complaint solely under title II (and not under 
section 504) will be treated as a complaint filed under title I only.
    (iii) Any complaint referred to the EEOC pursuant to this section 
shall be processed by the EEOC under its title I procedures.
    (d) Retention by the agency for investigation--(1) Retention by a 
section 504 agency. A section 504 agency shall retain a complaint for 
investigation when the agency determines that it has jurisdiction over 
the complaint under section 504, and one or more of the following 
conditions are met:
    (i) The EEOC does not have jurisdiction over the complaint under 
title I; or
    (ii) The EEOC has jurisdiction over the complaint, but the 
complainant elects to have the section 504 agency process the complaint 
and the section 504 agency receives a written request from the 
complainant for section 504 agency processing within twenty days of the 
date of the notice letter required to be sent pursuant to paragraph 
(c)(2)(ii) of this section; or
    (iii) The complaint alleges discrimination in both employment and in 
other practices or services of the respondent that are covered by 
section 504; or
    (iv) The complaint alleges a pattern or practice of employment 
discrimination.
    (2) Retention by a designated agency. A designated agency that does 
not have jurisdiction over the complaint under section 504 shall retain 
a complaint for investigation when the agency determines that it has 
jurisdiction over the complaint under title II of the ADA and that the 
EEOC does not have jurisdiction over the complaint under title I.
    (3) Processing of complaints retained by an agency. Any complaint 
retained for investigation and processing by an agency pursuant to 
paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section will be investigated and 
processed under section 504, title II, or both, as applicable, and will 
not be considered to be dual filed under title I.



Sec. 37.7  Processing of charges of employment discrimination filed with the EEOC.

    (a) EEOC determination of jurisdiction. Upon receipt of a charge of 
employment discrimination, the EEOC shall:
    (1) Determine whether it has jurisdiction over the charge under 
title I of the ADA. If it has jurisdiction, except as provided in 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the EEOC shall process the charge 
pursuant to title I procedures.
    (2) If the EEOC determines that it does not have jurisdiction under 
title I, the EEOC shall promptly refer the charge to the Civil Rights 
Division. The Civil Rights Division shall determine if a Federal agency 
may have jurisdiction over the charge under section 504 or title II, 
and, if so, shall refer the charge to a section 504 agency or to a 
designated agency with jurisdiction over the complaint.
    (b) Retention by the EEOC for investigation. (1) The EEOC shall 
retain a charge for investigation when it determines that it has 
jurisdiction over the charge under title I.
    (2) Referral to an agency. Any charge retained by the EEOC for 
investigation and processing will be investigated and processed under 
title I only, and will not be deemed dual filed under section 504, 
except that ADA cause charges (as defined in 29 CFR 1601.21) that also 
fall within the jurisdiction of a section 504 agency and that the EEOC 
(or the Civil Rights Division, if such a charge is against a government, 
governmental agency, or political subdivision) has declined to litigate 
shall be referred to the appropriate section 504 agency for review of 
the file and any administrative or other action deemed appropriate under 
section 504. Such charges shall be deemed complaints, dual filed under 
section 504, solely for the purposes of the agency review and action 
described in this paragraph. The date of such dual filing shall be 
deemed to be the date the complaint was received by the EEOC.

[[Page 724]]



Sec. 37.8  Processing of complaints or charges of employment discrimination filed with both the EEOC and a section 504 agency.

    (a) Procedures for handling dual-filed complaints or charges. As 
between the EEOC and a section 504 agency, except as provided in 
paragraph (e) of this section, a complaint or charge of employment 
discrimination that is dual filed with both the EEOC and a section 504 
agency shall be processed as follows:
    (1) EEOC processing. The EEOC shall investigate and process the 
charge when the EEOC determines that it has jurisdiction over the charge 
under title I and the charge solely alleges employment discrimination 
against an individual, unless the charging party elects to have the 
section 504 agency process the charge and the section 504 agency 
receives a written request from the complainant for section 504 agency 
processing within twenty days of the date of the notice letter required 
to be sent pursuant to Sec. 37.6(c)(2)(ii).
    (2) Section 504 agency processing. A section 504 agency shall 
investigate and process the complaint when the agency determines that it 
has jurisdiction over the complaint under section 504, and:
    (i) The complaint alleges discrimination in both employment and in 
other practices or services of the respondent; or
    (ii) The complaint alleges a pattern or practice of discrimination 
in employment; or
    (iii) In the case of a complaint solely alleging employment 
discrimination against an individual, the complainant elects to have a 
section 504 agency process the complaint and the section 504 agency 
receives a written request from the complainant for section 504 agency 
processing within twenty days of the date of the notice letter required 
to be sent pursuant to Sec. 37.6(c)(2)(ii).
    (b) Referral to the Civil Rights Division. If the EEOC determines 
that it does not have jurisdiction under title I, and the section 504 
agency determines that it does not have jurisdiction under section 504 
or title II, the complaint or charge shall be promptly referred to the 
Civil Rights Division. The Civil Rights Division shall determine if 
another Federal agency may have jurisdiction over the complaint under 
section 504 or title II, and, if so, shall promptly refer the complaint 
to a section 504 or a designated agency with jurisdiction over the 
complaint.
    (c) Procedures for determining whether a complaint or charge has 
been dual filed. The EEOC and each agency with jurisdiction to 
investigate and process complaints of employment discrimination under 
section 504 shall jointly develop procedures for determining whether 
complaints or charges of discrimination have been dual filed with the 
EEOC and with one or more other agencies.
    (d) Notification of deferral. The agency required to process a dual-
filed complaint or charge under this section shall notify the 
complainant or charging party and the respondent that the complaint or 
charge was dual filed with one or more other agencies and that such 
other agencies have agreed to defer processing and will take no further 
action except as provided in Sec. 37.10 or Sec. 37.11, as applicable.
    (e) Exceptions. When special circumstances make deferral as provided 
in this section inappropriate, the EEOC, and an agency with 
investigative authority under section 504, may jointly determine to 
reallocate investigative responsibilities. Special circumstances 
include, but are not limited to, cases in which the EEOC has already 
commenced its investigation at the time that the agency discovers that 
the complaint or charge is a dual-filed complaint or charge in which the 
complainant has elected section 504 processing, alleged discrimination 
in both employment and in other practices or services of the respondent, 
or alleged a pattern or practice of employment discrimination.



Sec. 37.9  Processing of complaints or charges of employment discrimination filed with a designated agency and either a section 504 agency, the EEOC, or both.

    (a) Designated agency processing. A designated agency shall 
investigate and process a complaint that has been filed with it and with 
the EEOC, a section 504 agency, or both, when either of the following 
conditions is met:

[[Page 725]]

    (1) The designated agency determines that it has jurisdiction over 
the complaint under title II and that neither the EEOC nor a section 504 
agency (other than the designated agency, if the designated agency is 
also a section 504 agency) has jurisdiction over the complaint; or
    (2) The designated agency determines that it has jurisdiction over 
the complaint under section 504 and the complaint meets the requirements 
for processing by a section 504 agency set forth in Sec. 37.8(a)(2).
    (b) Referral by a designated agency. A designated agency that has 
jurisdiction over a complaint solely under title II (and not under 
section 504) shall forward a complaint that has been filed with it and 
with the EEOC, a section 504 agency, or both, to either the EEOC or to a 
section 504 agency, as follows:
    (1) If the designated agency determines that the EEOC is the sole 
agency, other than the designated agency, with jurisdiction over the 
complaint, the designated agency shall forward the complaint to the EEOC 
for processing under title I; or
    (2) If the designated agency determines that the section 504 agency 
is the sole agency, other than the designated agency, with jurisdiction 
over the complaint, the designated agency shall forward the complaint to 
the section 504 agency for processing under section 504; or
    (3) If the designated agency determines that both the EEOC and a 
section 504 agency have jurisdiction over the complaint, the designated 
agency shall forward the complaint to the EEOC if it determines that the 
complaint solely alleges employment discrimination against an 
individual, or it shall forward the complaint to the section 504 agency 
if it determines that the complaint meets the requirements for 
processing by a section 504 agency set out in Sec. 37.8(a)(2)(i) or 
(a)(2)(ii).



Sec. 37.10  Section 504 agency review of deferred complaints.

    (a) Deferral by the section 504 agency. When a section 504 agency 
refers a complaint to the EEOC pursuant to Sec. 37.6(c)(2) or when it is 
determined that, as between the EEOC and a section 504 agency, the EEOC 
is the agency that shall process a dual-filed complaint or charge under 
Sec. 37.8(a)(1) or Sec. 37.8(e), the section 504 agency shall defer 
further action until:
    (1) The EEOC issues a no cause finding and a notice of right-to-sue 
pursuant to 29 CFR 1601.19; or
    (2) The EEOC enters into a conciliation agreement; or
    (3) The EEOC issues a cause finding and a notice of failure of 
conciliation pursuant to 29 CFR 1601.21, and:
    (i) If the recipient is not a government, governmental agency, or 
political subdivision, the EEOC completes enforcement proceedings or 
issues a notice of right-to-sue in accordance with 29 CFR 1601.28; or
    (ii) If the recipient is a government, governmental agency, or 
political subdivision, the EEOC refers the charge to the Civil Rights 
Division in accordance with 29 CFR 1601.29, and the Civil Rights 
Division completes enforcement proceedings or issues a notice of right-
to-sue in accordance with 29 CFR 1601.28(d); or
    (4) The EEOC or, when a case has been referred pursuant to 29 CFR 
1601.29, the Civil Rights Division, otherwise resolves the charge.
    (b) Notification of the deferring agency. The EEOC or the Civil 
Rights Division, as appropriate, shall notify the agency that has 
deferred processing of the charge upon resolution of any dual-filed 
complaint or charge.
    (c) Agency review. After receipt of notification that the EEOC or 
the Civil Rights Division, as appropriate, has resolved the complaint or 
charge, the agency shall promptly determine what further action by the 
agency is warranted. In reaching that determination, the agency shall 
give due weight to the findings and conclusions of the EEOC and to those 
of the Civil Rights Division, as applicable. If the agency proposes to 
take an action inconsistent with the EEOC's or the Civil Rights 
Division's findings and conclusions as to whether a violation has 
occurred, the agency shall notify in writing the Assistant Attorney 
General, the Chairman of the EEOC, and the head of the EEOC office that 
processed the complaint. In the written notification, the agency shall 
state the action that it

[[Page 726]]

proposes to take and the basis of its decision to take such action.
    (d) Provision of information. Upon written request, the EEOC or the 
Civil Rights Division shall provide the section 504 agency with any 
materials relating to its resolution of the charge, including its 
findings and conclusions, investigative reports and files, and any 
conciliation agreement.



Sec. 37.11  EEOC review of deferred charges.

    (a) Deferral by the EEOC. When it is determined that a section 504 
agency is the agency that shall process a dual-filed complaint or charge 
under Sec. 37.8(a)(2) or Sec. 37.8(e), the EEOC shall defer further 
action until the section 504 agency takes one of the following actions:
    (1) Makes a finding that a violation has not occurred;
    (2) Enters into a voluntary compliance agreement;
    (3) Following a finding that a violation has occurred, refers the 
complaint to the Civil Rights Division for judicial enforcement and the 
Civil Rights Division resolves the complaint;
    (4) Following a finding that a violation has occurred, resolves the 
complaint through final administrative enforcement action; or
    (5) Otherwise resolves the charge.
    (b) Notification of the EEOC. The section 504 agency shall notify 
the EEOC upon resolution of any dual-filed complaint or charge.
    (c) Agency review. After receipt of notification that the section 
504 agency has resolved the complaint, the EEOC shall promptly determine 
what further action by the EEOC is warranted. In reaching that 
determination, the EEOC shall give due weight to the section 504 
agency's findings and conclusions. If the EEOC proposes to take an 
action inconsistent with the section 504 agency's findings and 
conclusions as to whether a violation has occurred, the EEOC shall 
notify in writing the Assistant Attorney General, the Chairman of the 
EEOC, and the head of the section 504 agency that processed the 
complaint. In the written notification, the EEOC shall state the action 
that it proposes to take and the basis of its decision to take such 
action.
    (d) Provision of information. Upon written request, the section 504 
agency shall provide the EEOC with any materials relating to its 
resolution of the complaint, including its conclusions, investigative 
reports and files, and any voluntary compliance agreement.



Sec. 37.12  Standards.

    In any investigation, compliance review, hearing or other 
proceeding, the standards used to determine whether section 504 has been 
violated in a complaint alleging employment discrimination shall be the 
standards applied under title I of the ADA and the provisions of 
sections 501 through 504, and 510, of the ADA, as such sections relate 
to employment. Section 504 agencies shall consider the regulations and 
appendix implementing title I of the ADA, set forth at 29 CFR part 1630, 
and case law arising under such regulations, in determining whether a 
recipient of Federal financial assistance has engaged in an unlawful 
employment practice.



Sec. 37.13  Agency specific memoranda of understanding.

    When a section 504 agency amends its regulations to make them 
consistent with title I of the ADA, the EEOC and the individual section 
504 agency may elect to enter into a memorandum of understanding 
providing for the investigation and processing of complaints dual filed 
under both section 504 and title I of the ADA by the section 504 agency.