The mission of the Civil Rights Center (CRC) is to promote justice and equal opportunity by acting with impartiality and integrity in administering and enforcing various civil rights laws. These laws protect:
- Department of Labor (DOL) employees and applicants for DOL employment, and
- Individuals who apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs and activities that are conducted by or receive financial assistance from DOL, or, under certain circumstances, from other Federal agencies.
We carry out this mission by investigating and adjudicating discrimination complaints, conducting compliance reviews, providing technical assistance and training, and developing and publishing civil rights regulations, policies, and guidance. If you think that you are a member of one of the groups that we protect or entities we serve, we encourage you to read on to learn whether and how we can assist you.
What We Do
CRC's Office of External Enforcement (OEE) supports CRC's responsibility to administer and enforce the laws that apply to recipients of financial assistance under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and its predecessor, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA); American Job Center partners listed in WIOA/WIA Section 121(b) that offer programs or activities through the workforce development system; State and local governments and other public entities operating programs and activities related to labor and the workforce; and any recipients of financial assistance from, or programs conducted by, DOL that are not included in the categories above. A few examples include WIOA/WIA programs for adults, youth, and dislocated workers; Federal employment and training programs for Native Americans and migrant and seasonal farm workers; State employment services programs; Unemployment Insurance; the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for older workers; Job Corps; Trade Assistance Act Programs; and other grant programs administered by DOL agencies, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service.
The various laws administered by CRC that apply to a particular external program or activity differ in their scope. Taken together, those laws generally forbid discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion (including failure to accommodate), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin (including limited English proficiency), age, disability (including failure to provide accessible facilities, accommodations or modifications, or equally effective communications), and political affiliation or belief.
In specific circumstances, as noted below, the laws enforced by CRC also forbid discrimination on the following bases:
- Citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States (applicable to beneficiaries of WIOA-related programs or other programs or activities offered by a One-Stop partner through the One-Stop system).
- Participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under WIOA Title I or WIA Title I.
- Sexual orientation or status as a parent (prohibited in Federally-conducted education and training programs, such as Job Corps).
Retaliation against, or intimidation of, anyone who takes any of the following actions related to nondiscrimination or equal opportunity in any of the covered programs and activities:
- Filing a discrimination complaint;
- Opposing a practice that is made illegal by civil rights law; or
- Giving information to, testifying at, or in any other way taking part in an investigation, a compliance review, a hearing, or any other type of civil rights-related activity.
OEE processes, investigates, and adjudicates complaints alleging discrimination on any of the above bases, or alleging retaliation, by the recipients, partners, and programs listed above. OEE conducts compliance reviews of the same recipients, partners, and programs, including reviewing State Governor's implementation of their nondiscrimination plans. OEE also develops and publishes regulations and guidance, and provides training and technical assistance for internal and external stakeholders and other interested parties.
Laws Enforced by OEE
Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended
Title II, Subpart A of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended
Executive Order 13160, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Sex, Color, National Origin, Disability, Religion, Age, Sexual Orientation, and Status as a Parent in Federally Conducted Education and Training Programs
Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons With Limited English Proficiency
Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
The Office of Internal Enforcement (OIE) administers DOL's internal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program by counseling, facilitating mediation, investigating, and adjudicating complaints filed by DOL employees and applicants for DOL employment who allege discrimination because of race (including dress and grooming), color, ancestry, national origin (including ethnicity, accent, and use of a language other than English), religion or religious creed (including reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs or practices), physical or mental disability (including reasonable accommodation of physical or mental disability), genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, abortion, and related medical conditions and procedures), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, intersex conditions, age, and parental status, as well as retaliation for prior protected activity. Protected EEO activity includes opposing a practice made unlawful by, engaging in a right extended by, or participating in any stage of administrative or judicial proceedings under, relevant employment discrimination laws, including requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability or sincerely held religious belief.
OIE also provides training and technical assistance on EEO matters to DOL managers, supervisors, and employees. Additionally, OIE advises Departmental management on issues affecting EEO and develops and implements relevant Departmental policies and procedures.
Laws Enforced by OIE
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
Sections 501 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended
Civil Rights Act of 1991
Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity In the Federal Government, as amended
Executive Order 13087, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government
Executive Order 13152, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government
Executive Order 13163, Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals With Disabilities To Be Employed in the Federal Government
Executive Order 13164, Requiring Federal Agencies To Establish Procedures To Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation
Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
Executive Order 13672, Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government
Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity
Executive Order 14035, Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce
The Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center (RARC) provides guidance and information about, and facilitates the provision of, reasonable accommodations for DOL employees and applicants for DOL employment who have disabilities. Specifically, RARC promotes a DOL computer/electronic environment that is accessible to everyone, regardless of disability, consistent with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. RARC also manages the service contract for relay conference captioning and video remote interpreting for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing and/ or have speech disabilities as well as the contract for workplace personal assistance services for individuals with targeted disabilities who need help with tasks such as eating and personal hygiene/rest room support. Additionally, RARC conducts assistive technology assessments, needs assessments, ergonomic assessments with OASAM's Safety and Health Officers (SHOs), and coordinates medical assessments with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Program Support Center (PSC).
CRC's Centralized Office of Language Assistance (COLA) advances the Department's goals to improve access to DOL-conducted programs and activities for limited English proficient (LEP) workers. In addition to implementing the Department's Language Access Plan, COLA develops and provides technical assistance to DOL agencies to advance language access efforts.
With the establishment of COLA, CRC will also be able to further support DOL agencies' ability to engage LEP individuals with translation and interpretation needs while promoting shared procurement vehicles for the Department. COLA manages two of the Department's enterprise-wide contract vehicles: 1) Professional Language Assistance Services, and 2) Translation, Interpretation, and Transcription Services, which directly support the Department's efforts to improve access to DOL-conducted programs and activities for LEP individuals.