[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 173 (Friday, September 6, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 54762-54763]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21545]



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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

29 CFR Part 1601

RIN 3046-AA96


List of Fair Employment Practice Agencies

AGENCY: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends our regulations to include a footnote 
stating that the designations of Fair Employment Practice Agencies are 
based on available information at the time of listing and are subject 
to modification based on changes in the state or local law; and revise 
the description of the type of charges for which the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico Department of Labor is a designated Fair Employment 
Practice Agency.

DATES: Effective Date: October 7, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Schlageter, Assistant Legal 
Counsel, or Colleen Adams Jackson, Attorney, Office of Legal Counsel, 
(202) 663-4640 (voice) or (202) 663-7026 (TTY). Copies of this final 
rule are available in the following alternative format: large print, 
Braille, electronic computer disk, and audio-tape. Requests for this 
notice in an alternative format should be made to the Publications 
Center at 1-800-699-3362 (voice), 1-800-800-3302 (TTY), or 703-821-2098 
(FAX--this is not a toll free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 
provides all individuals at least 180 days from the occurrence of an 
alleged unlawful employment practice to file a charge with EEOC. In 
most states, because the state has its own law prohibiting the conduct 
alleged and an agency with authority to grant or seek relief for such 
violation, subsection 706(e) of Title VII extends the EEOC charge-
filling period to 300 days after the alleged unlawful employment 
practice occurred. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(e)(1). Section 706 also requires 
EEOC to accord substantial weight to the findings of such agencies. 42 
U.S.C. 2000e-5. The EEOC regulations refer to the state or local fair 
employment practice agencies to which the extended EEOC filing period 
and substantial weight apply as ``FEP Agencies.'' 29 CFR 1601.70(a). 
However, where the Commission has determined that a state or local 
agency does not qualify under section 706 as a fair employment practice 
agency, the EEOC deems such agency a ``Notice Agency.'' 29 CFR 
1601.71(b). A ``Notice Agency'' simply receives a copy of the charge 
from EEOC. Id. EEOC does not accord substantial weight to a Notice 
Agency's determination on the charge. In such cases, the extended 300-
day filing period does not apply.
    The list of FEP Agencies in 29 CFR 1601.74(a) is derived from the 
enactment or amendment of state or local authorizing statutes. Because 
of changes in state or local laws, the listings must be updated from 
time to time. EEOC has put in place a process for FEP Agencies to 
report changes in state or local laws that determine designation as a 
``FEP Agency'' or as a ``Notice Agency.'' This final rule adds a 
footnote to the title of section 1601.74 alerting the public that the 
list is subject to change and that they can contact the FEPA to confirm 
the statutory coverage of the agency.
    In addition, this final rule revises the description of the type of 
charges for which the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Labor 
is designated as a FEP Agency. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
Department of Labor is currently listed solely as a Notice Agency with 
respect to ``all charges alleging violations of sec. 704(a) o[f] title 
VII.'' 29 CFR 1601.74(a) n.5. Section 704(a) refers to Title VII's 
anti-retaliation provision which prohibits employers from 
discriminating against employees or applicants for employment for 
opposing an unlawful employment practice or participating in a 
proceeding under Title VII. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-3(a).
    The designation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of 
Labor as solely a Notice Agency with respect to all charges alleging 
retaliation in violation of Title VII is being changed as a result of 
Puerto Rico's enactment of Law 17, 29 L.P.R.A. Sec. Sec.  155, 155h, 
which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for (a) 
opposing any practice that Law 17 makes unlawful, or (b) participating 
in a sexual harassment complaint proceeding under Law 17. Consequently, 
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Labor is a FEP Agency 
with respect to charges alleging retaliation for having opposed 
unlawful sexual harassment or participated in a sexual harassment 
complaint proceeding and is a Notice Agency for all other charges 
alleging retaliation under Title VII. This rulemaking amends 29 CFR 
1601.74(a) n.5 to reflect this.

Regulatory Procedures

The Administrative Procedures Act (APA)

    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) provides an exception to its 
notice and comment procedures for interpretive rules, general 
statements of policy, and rules of agency organization, procedure, or 
practice. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). This revised rule, which is located in 
29 CFR Part 1601, ``Procedural Regulations,'' advises the public which 
state and local agencies are designated as Fair Employment Practice 
Agencies. The designation affects whether EEOC accords substantial 
weight to the state or local agencies findings, as well as the time 
limit for filing a charge with the EEOC. Thus, this rule pertains to 
EEOC's organization, procedure, or practice. Accordingly, this revised 
regulation is issued as a final rule without notice and comment.

Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    The Commission has complied with the principles in section 1(b) of 
Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented 
by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. 
This rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under section 3(f) 
of Executive Order 12866, and therefore does not require an assessment 
of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3)(B)(ii) of the 
Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This regulation contains no information collection requirements 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commission certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The rule corrects the listing of the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico Department of Labor as a FEP Agency with respect to charges of 
retaliation for participating in a sexual harassment complaint 
proceeding under the statute. The rule will not have a substantial 
impact on small entities because the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
Department of Labor has already been processing these particular types 
of charges pursuant to Law 17, even though EEOC had not updated its 
regulation. The revision will simply provide updated information to the 
public. For this reason, a regulatory

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flexibility analysis is not required. Moreover, the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., only requires a regulatory 
flexibility analysis when the agency is required to issue the rule 
after notice and comment by the Administrative Procedure Act or any 
other law. The EEOC has concluded that notice and comment are not 
required (see APA above).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, 
or tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100 million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are deemed 
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995.

Congressional Review Act

    This is not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. The 
Commission has otherwise complied with the Act's requirements by 
submitting this final rule to Congress prior to its effective date.

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1601

    Administrative practice and procedure, Equal employment 
opportunity, Intergovernmental relations.

    For the Commission.

    Dated: August 29, 2013.
Jacqueline A. Berrien,
Chair.

    Accordingly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission amends 29 
CFR part 1601 as follows:

PART 1601--PROCEDURAL REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for Part 1601 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 2000 to 2000e-17; 42 U.S.C. 12111 to 
12117; 42 U.S.C. 2000ff-11.


0
2. In Sec.  1601.74, redesignate footnotes 2 through 12 as 3 through 
13, add an introductory paragraph, and revise newly redesignated 
footnote 6 to read as follows:


Sec.  1601.74  Designated and notice agencies.

    The Commission has made the following designations \2\:
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    \2\ State and local laws may change and that can affect the 
timeliness of a claim. It is advisable for individuals to contact 
the FEP agency to confirm coverage, or otherwise determine that the 
above designation reflects the current status of the agency under 
state and local law.
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    \6\The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Labor has been 
designated as a FEP agency for all charges except charges alleging a 
``labor union'' has violated title VII; charges alleging an 
``employment agency'' has violated title VII; and charges alleging 
violations of title VII by agencies or instrumentalities of the 
Government of Puerto Rico when they are not operating as private 
businesses or enterprises. For these types of charges it shall be 
deemed a ``Notice Agency,'' pursuant to 29 CFR 1601.71(b). With respect 
to charges alleging retaliation under section 704(a) of Title VII, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Labor is a FEP agency for 
charges alleging retaliation for having opposed unlawful sexual 
harassment or participated in a statutory sexual harassment complaint 
proceeding and a ``Notice Agency'' for all other charges alleging 
violation of section 704(a) of Title VII.
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[FR Doc. 2013-21545 Filed 9-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6570-01-P