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Questions & Answers: Equal Opportunity Officers on Local Workforce Investment Boards

Q & A Disclaimer

This information is provided as a public service by DOL. It represents the Department's best effort to provide useful information in a timely manner. DOL will update this material as necessary to address experience under the WIA.

These questions and answers will not represent official Agency policy until DOL completes the process of preparing for their release in official policy documents (TEGLs and TEINs).

If you have any questions regarding the application of a question or answer to your particular circumstances, please contact your ETA Regional Office.

Q. Is the Local Workforce Investment Board ("Local Board") required to have a full-time employee whose primary purpose is Equal Opportunity (EO)?

A. The WIA nondiscrimination regulations at 29 CFR part 37, implement section 188 of WIA, which contains the statute's equal opportunity and nondiscrimination provisions. These regulations were published November 12, 1999, as interim final regulations. The WIA nondiscrimination regulations do not specifically require that the Local Workforce Investment Board ("Local Board") have a full-time Equal Opportunity Officer ("EO Officer"), and neither the regulations nor the preamble to the regulations specifically state that equal opportunity must be the "primary" responsibility of the EO Officer. However, in some local areas with a large volume of customer activity, that may be the local choice.

Section 37.23 of the WIA nondiscrimination regulations sets forth the requirement for each recipient, which includes Local Boards, to designate an EO Officer. Section 37.24 requires that the EO Officer be a senior-level employee of the recipient, and depending on the size of the recipient and a number of other listed factors, the EO Officer may or may not be assigned other duties. However, the EO Officer must not have other duties and responsibilities that create a conflict of interest or give such an appearance with respect to EO responsibilities. These responsibilities are similar to those required under the Job Training Partnership Act.