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Addressing Workplace Harassment of Employees in State and Local Governments.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division today signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to prevent and address workplace harassment in state and local government. The EEOC and the Justice Department seek to enhance the effectiveness of the nation's equal employment opportunity enforcement in the state and local government sector to ensure the efficient use of resources and a consistent enforcement strategy. The EEOC has ramped up its role as enforcer, educator, and leader on harassment in the workplace, and this MOU enhances those efforts.

The EEOC and the Department of Justice share enforcement authority for employment discrimination claims involving state and local government employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC receives, investigates, and mediates charges of discrimination against such public employers. Where the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe an unlawful employment practice has occurred, the agency works with the employer to negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution to the charge. If conciliation of a charge fails, the EEOC refers the charge and its investigative file to the Justice Department, which has sole authority within the federal government to file a lawsuit against state and local governments under Title VII.

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