Skip to Content

Rule

Implementation of the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble Start Printed Page 43872

AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, Labor.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is issuing nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations to implement Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Under Section 188(e) of WIOA, Congress required the Department to issue regulations implementing Section 188 no later than one year after enactment of WIOA. The Department's publication of this final rule complies with the statutory mandate. This final rule creates a new part in the CFR, which mirrors the regulations published in the CFR in 1999 to implement Section 188 of WIA. The Department has made no substantive changes in this final rule; the changes are technical in nature. This final rule adopts the Department's regulatory scheme for Section 188 of WIA verbatim, with technical revisions to conform to WIOA. Specifically, the Department has: Replaced references to the “Workforce Investment Act of 1998” or “WIA” with “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” or “WIOA” to reflect the proper statutory authority; and updated section numbers in the text of the regulation to reflect its new location.

DATES:

Effective Date: This final rule is effective July 22, 2015.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Naomi Barry-Perez, Director, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210. CRC-WIOA@dol.gov, telephone (202) 693-6500 (VOICE) or (202) 877-8339 (Federal Relay Service—for TTY).

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Pub. L. 113-128), comprehensive legislation that reforms and modernizes the public workforce system. WIOA reaffirms the role of the public workforce system, and brings together and enhances several key employment, education, and training programs. The statute provides resources, services, and leadership tools for the workforce system to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed and improves employer prospects for success in the global marketplace. WIOA also ensures that the workforce system operates as a comprehensive, integrated and streamlined system to provide pathways to prosperity for those it serves and continuously improves the quality and performance of its services.

As with Section 188 of WIA, the Civil Rights Center (CRC) of the Department is charged with enforcing Section 188 of WIOA, which prohibits exclusion of an individual from participation in, denial of benefits of, discrimination, or denial of employment in the administration of or in connection with any programs and activities funded or otherwise financially assisted in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship status, or participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA. Section 188 of WIOA incorporates the prohibitions against discrimination in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance under certain civil rights laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, and national origin),[1] Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education and training programs),[2] Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (prohibiting discrimination based on age),[3] and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (prohibiting discrimination based on disability).[4] CRC interprets the nondiscrimination provisions of WIOA consistent with the principles of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII),[5] the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) [6] as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA),[7] and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended,[8] which are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); Executive Order 11246, as amended,[9] and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended,[10] which are enforced by the Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Title VI), the Age Discrimination Act 1975, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which are enforced by each Federal funding agency; and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which is enforced by each Federal funding agency that assists an education or training program.

This final rule sets forth the equal opportunity and nondiscrimination requirements and obligations for recipients of financial assistance under Title I of WIOA and the enforcement procedures for implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA.[11] Although WIOA did not change the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions in Section 188, Congress mandated that the Department issue regulations to implement the section not later than one year after the date of enactment of WIOA. The regulations are to contain standards for determining discrimination and enforcement procedures, including complaint processes for Section 188 of WIOA.

The Department is issuing this final rule to implement Section 188 of WIOA by making technical changes only to its existing regulation implementing WIA, i.e., (1) replicating at part 38 the rule from part 37 (and updating section numbers in the text of the regulation to reflect its new location in part 38), and (2) replacing references to the “Workforce Investment Act of 1998” or “WIA” with “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” or “WIOA” to reflect the proper statutory authority. No other regulatory changes are being made at this time.

The Department recognizes that this final rule does not reflect developments in equal opportunity and nondiscrimination jurisprudence, changes in the practices of recipients Start Printed Page 43873and beneficiaries since 1999 (for example, the routine use of computer- and internet-based systems), and changes in the Department's enforcement procedures and processes. Therefore, the Department will publish a NPRM, with a request for comments, to reflect developments in equal opportunity and nondiscrimination jurisprudence, changes in the practices of recipients and beneficiaries since 1999, and proposed changes in the Department's enforcement procedures and processes. This final rule will apply during the period between July 22, 2015, and issuance of a final rule based on the upcoming NPRM.

Publication as a Final Rule

The Department is promulgating this final rule without notice or an opportunity for public comment because the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) allows an agency to dispense with notice and comment rulemaking when, as here, “the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Notice and comment rulemaking is unnecessary when changes in regulations merely restate the changes in the enabling legislation. Gray Panthers Advocacy Committee v. Sullivan, 936 F.2d 1284, 1291 (D.C. Cir. 1991), citing Komjathy v. National Transportation Safety Board, 832 F.2d 1294, 1296-97 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

The Department for good cause finds that notice and comment rulemaking would be impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest because (1) this final rule adopts the Department's existing regulatory scheme for WIA Section 188, with technical revisions to conform to WIOA; (2) this final rule imposes no new or substantive requirement on the public or any entity; and (3) the Department is required by statute to publish this final rule, and lacks the discretion not to do so. The Department has promulgated final rules without notice or comment rulemaking in similar situations. See, e.g., Implementation of Executive Order 13672 Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by Contractors and Subcontractors, 79 FR 72985 (Dec. 9, 2014) (amending rule to conform to changes in Executive Order 11246, as amended by E.O. 13672 by replacing the words “sex, or national origin” with the words “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin”); Affirmative Action Obligations of Government Contractors, Executive Order 11246, as Amended; Exemption for Religious Entities; Final Rule; 68 FR 56392 (Sept. 30, 2003) (amending rule to conform to changes in Executive Order 11246, as amended by E.O.13279, by restating the religious exemption as a new provision in its regulations); and Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors; Miscellaneous Amendments; Final Rule; 34 FR 744 (Jan. 17, 1969) (adding “sex” as basis for prohibited discrimination and replacing “creed” with “religion”).

Sections Revised

This final rule makes only technical revisions to the text adopted from 29 CFR part 37. The primary change is to replace statutory references to “Workforce Investment Act” and “WIA” with “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” and “WIOA”. In replicating the complete text of part 37, 29 CFR as a new part 38, 29 CFR, this final rule also makes corresponding corrections to section numbers within the text of the regulation. No other revisions have been made.

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating, and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health, and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity, dignity, and fairness concerns). The OMB determines whether a regulatory action is significant and, therefore, subject to review.

Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as any action that is likely to result in a rule that may:

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;

(2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising from legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

This final rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under Section 3(f)(4) of Executive Order 12866, thus, OMB has not reviewed the rule.

The Need for Regulation

Section 188(e) of WIOA requires that the Department issue regulations implementing Section 188, within a year of enactment, on July 22, 2015.

Congress directed the Department to issue regulations implementing Section 188 of WIOA. Thus, publication of a revised rule is required, and no less burdensome alternatives exist.

Alternatives in Light of the Required Publication of Proposed Regulations

The Department considered two possible rulemaking alternatives: (1) To publish a final rule as 29 CFR part 38 implementing Section 188 of WIOA with only technical updates as compared to the regulations at 29 CFR part 37, which implements Section 188 of WIA; or (2) To publish an final rule with only technical updates (effective immediately) and a NPRM. The final rule would remain in force until issuance of a revised final rule based on the NPRM. The NPRM would propose updating part 38 consistent with current law and address its application to current workforce development and workplace practices and issues.

The Department has considered these options in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866 and has chosen to publish this final rule containing only technical revisions and a NPRM shortly thereafter (i.e., alternative 2). The Department believes that the current rule does not reflect recent developments in equal opportunity and nondiscrimination jurisprudence. Moreover, procedures and processes for enforcement of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIA Section 188 have not been revised to reflect changes in the practices of recipients since 1999, including the use of computer-based and internet-based systems to provide aid, benefit, service, and training through WIOA Title I financially-assisted programs and activities. Thus, only adopting the language of the existing regulations with technical updates (i.e., alternative 1) would have the negative effect of continuing to require recipients to comply with legal standards that do not take into account recent developments in the law.Start Printed Page 43874

Cost Analysis

The expected costs resulting from this final rule are minimal, and consist only of regulatory familiarization and notice. The Department believes that the cost of both regulatory familiarization and notice will be minimal given that the only changes to the regulation are conforming amendments to properly reflect new legislative authority. This final rule substitutes statutory references to “Workforce Investment Act” with “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity”, and “WIA” with “WIOA,” wherever they appear in the current regulations. This final rule also adopts the complete text of part 37, 29 CFR as a new part 38, 29 CFR (and makes corresponding corrections to sections number within the text of the regulation). No other revisions have been made.

Cost of Regulatory Familiarization

Table 1 presents the estimated number of recipients expected to experience the burden of regulatory familiarization for this rule. The estimate may be over-inclusive because several recipients are likely counted more than once under different categories because they receive more than one source of WIOA Title I financial assistance. For example, the Texas Workforce Commission is both a recipient of a Senior Community Service Employment Program Grant as well as an Adult WIOA Title I grantee However, the Department decided to include them in both the “States” category of recipient and under a “National Programs” category to avoid the risk of being under-inclusive in the calculations. At the same time, there are entities that local workforce boards may include in the One-Stop delivery system, and thus, may be recipients if they become partners. These optional partners include the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program employment and training program, Ticket-to-Work and the Self-Sufficiency Program of the Social Security Administration. Since the Department has no way of knowing how many of these programs have been included in different One-Stop delivery systems, we are unable to include them in our estimate of the total number of recipients.

Table 1—Estimated Annual Number of Recipients

RecipientsEstimated annual number of recipients
States 1256
Adult Program (Title I of WIOA).
Dislocated Worker Program (Title I of WIOA).
Youth Program (Title I of WIOA).
Wagner-Peyser Act Program (Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended by title III of WIOA).
Adult Education and Literacy Program (Title II) of WIOA.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
Unemployment Compensation Program.
Local Veterans' Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program.
Career and Technical Education (Perkins).
Community Service Block Grants.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
State and Local Workforce Investment Boards580
Job Corps Operators (i.e. national contractors)18
Job Corps Outreach and Admissions Operators24
Job Corps national training contractors/Career Transition Services Operators21
Service providers, including eligible training providers and on-the-job training employers 1311,400
One Stop Career Centers 142,481
National Programs Include:
Senior Community Service Employment Grants71
National Emergency Grants 15125
Reintegration of Ex-Offenders—Adult Grants 1628
H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants 1736
H-1B Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Grants 1830
Indian and Native American Programs178
National Farmworker Jobs Program69
YouthBuild82
Registered Apprenticeship Program19,259
Total34,458

Table 2, below, presents the compensation rate for the occupational category expected to experience an increase in level of effort (workload) due to the rule. The Department used mean hourly wage rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program for private, State and local employees. The Department adjusted the wage rate using a loaded wage factor to reflect total compensation, which includes Start Printed Page 43875health and retirement benefits. For these State and local sectors, the Department used a loaded wage factor of 1.55, which represents the ratio of total compensation to wages.

The Department then multiplied the loaded wage factor by the occupational category's wage rate to calculate an hourly compensation rate. Throughout this analysis, the Department assumes Equal Opportunity Officers, at both the state and local level, are managers. This assumption is based upon the Civil Rights Center's (CRC) experience with recipients.

Table 2—Calculation of Hourly Compensation Rates

PositionMean hourly wageLoaded wage factorHourly compensation rate
ABC = A × B
Managers 19$56.351.55$87.34

Agencies are required to include in the burden analysis the estimated time it takes for recipients to review and understand the instructions for compliance with this final rule. Based on its experience with recipients' compliance with the laws the CRC enforces and the mandate of the regulations that each recipient have an Equal Opportunity (E.O.) Officer, CRC believes that E.O. Officers at each recipient will be responsible for understanding or becoming familiar with this final rule. The Department estimates that it will take thirty minutes for the E.O. Officer at each recipient to read and become familiar with this final rule. The estimated burden for rule familiarization for these managers is 17,229 hours (34,458 recipients × .5 hours). The Department calculates a one-time total estimated cost as $1,504,781 (17,229 hours × $87.34/hour).[20]

Cost of Notice

The final rule proposes limited changes to the specific language provided by the Department for recipients to use in the equal opportunity notice in § 38.30 that they are required to publish under § 38.31. The final rule requires recipients to substitute five references to WIA and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 with WIOA and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in the notice.

Based upon its experience with recipients, the Department assumes the E.O. Officer at each recipient will be responsible for printing out revised notices with changes to the text of the language for the notice. The Department estimates that it would take each of them approximately 15 minutes to ensure that revised notices are printed. Dissemination includes posting the notices prominently which the Department estimates that it would take each E.O. Officer approximately an additional 15 minutes. Consequently, the estimated burden for updating the notice (i.e. printing revisions of, and disseminating the posters) is 17,229 hours (34,458 recipients × .5 hours). The Department calculated the total estimated first year updating and dissemination cost for the E.O. Officers as $1,504,781 (17,229 hours × $87.34/hour). The Department also calculated that each E.O. Officer will make thirty copies of the notice at $.08 each for posting in his or her establishment for a first year operational and maintenance cost of $82,699 (34,458 recipients × $.08 a copy × 30 copies). This assumes 10 copies in each English and two additional languages.

Thus the total estimated cost posed by this final rule is $3,092,261: ($1,504,781 for familiarization + $1,504.781 for updating + $82,699 for operation and maintenance).

The final rule does not pose any additional burden. It does not modify existing or create new reporting requirements, record-keeping requirements, prohibitions against discriminatory conduct, or administrative requirements. It does not modify existing, or create new, enforcement procedures. In other words, the regulated community is already subject to the requirements of this final rule, and will therefore already be aware of the requirements to be in compliance with this rule. Therefore, the final rule would not create significant new costs or burdens for Governors, recipients, or beneficiaries.

Additional Significant Regulatory Action Analysis

In addition to cost, the Department must consider the three additional factors identified above when determining whether or not this final rule is a significant regulatory action. First, the Department has determined that the final rule creates no inconsistency or interference with an action taken or planned by another agency—the Department, which is responsible for enforcing Section 188 of WIOA, is publishing a final rule with technical corrections to implement the statute as directed by Congress. Because the Department is the agency responsible for enforcing Section 188, the regulations create no inconsistency or interference with any other agency.

Second, the Department has determined that the final rule does not materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof because the final rule is simply a revision of an existing rule to reflect the proper name of the governing legislation. Finally, the Department has determined that publication of this final rule raises no novel legal or policy issues arising from legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866 because this final rule contains no new obligations, mandates, priorities or principles; it simply removes the name of a superseded statute and inserts the name of the current governing law.

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272 (Consideration of Small Entities)

Because a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required for the rule under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272, pertaining to regulatory flexibility analysis, do not apply to this rule. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2), 603(a). Accordingly, the Department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis.Start Printed Page 43876

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

The purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., include minimizing the paperwork burden on affected entities. The Department notes that a Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 44 U.S.C. 3512; 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.

The Department has identified the following sections containing information collections: 29 CFR 38.20, 38.22, 38.25, 38.29 through 38.40, 38.42, 38.53 through 38.55, 38.70 through 38.74, and 38.77 through 38.80.

The Department submitted an information collection request associated with this rulemaking for OMB approval. The OMB approved the request via a Notice of Action dated July 20, 2015. Control number 1225-0077 has been assigned to the information collection requirements in this rule.

The information collections are summarized as follows:

Agency: DOL-OASAM.

Title of Collection: Nondiscrimination Compliance Information Reporting.

OMB Control Number: 1225-0077.

Affected Public: Individuals or Households; State, Local, and Tribal Governments; and Private Sector—businesses or other for profits and not-for-profit institutions.

Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 10,006 respondents (a single respondent could be the recipient of multiple grants).

Total Estimated Number of Responses: 15,502,436.

Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 88,553 hours.

Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of the United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule will not include any increased expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate of $100 million or more, or increased expenditures by the private sector of $100 million or more.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

The Department has reviewed this final rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132 regarding federalism, and has determined that it does not have “federalism implications.” This final rule will not “have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.”

Executive Order 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments)

This final rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175 that would require a tribal summary impact statement. The rule would not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes.

Effects on Families

The undersigned hereby certifies that the rule would not adversely affect the well-being of families, as discussed under section 654 of the Treasury and General government Appropriation Act, 1999. To the contrary, by ensuring that customers, including job seekers and applicants for unemployment insurance, do not suffer illegal discrimination in accessing DOL financially-assisted programs, services, and activities, the final rule would have a positive effect on the economic well-being of families.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

This rule would have no environmental health risk or safety risk that may disproportionately affect children.

Environmental Impact Assessment

A review of this rule in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality, 40 CFR part 1500 et seq.; and DOL NEPA procedures, 29 CFR part 11, indicates the rule would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. There is, thus, no corresponding environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Supply)

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211. It will not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

Executive Order 12630 (Constitutionally Protected Property Rights)

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 12630 because it does not involve implementation of a policy that has takings implications or that could impose limitations on private property use.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform Analysis)

This rule was drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988 and will not unduly burden the Federal court system. The rule was: (1) Reviewed to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguities; (2) written to minimize litigation; and (3) written to provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct and to promote burden reduction.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 38

  • Civil rights
  • Discrimination in employment
  • Equal opportunity
  • Nondiscrimination
  • Workforce development
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Thomas E. Perez,

Secretary of Labor.

End Signature

Accordingly, under authority of Section 188 of WIOA and for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department amends title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, by adding part 38 as follows:

Start Part

PART 38—IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NONDISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROVISIONS OF THE WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT

38.0
Paperwork Reduction Act approvals.
Subpart A—General Provisions
38.1
What is the purpose of this part?
38.2
To whom does this part apply, and what is the scope of this part?
38.3
How does this part affect a recipient's other obligations?
38.4
What definitions apply to this part?
38.5
What forms of discrimination are prohibited by this part?
38.6
What specific discriminatory actions, based on prohibited grounds other than Start Printed Page 43877disability, are prohibited by this part, and what limitations are there related to religious activities?
38.7
What specific discriminatory actions based on disability are prohibited by this part?
38.8
What are a recipient's responsibilities regarding reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification for individuals with disabilities?
38.9
What are a recipient's responsibilities to communicate with individuals with disabilities?
38.10
To what extent are employment practices covered by this part?
38.11
To what extent are intimidation and retaliation prohibited by this part?
38.12
What Department of Labor office is responsible for administering this part?
38.13
Who is responsible for providing interpretations of this part?
38.14
Under what circumstances may the Secretary delegate the responsibilities of this part?
38.15
What are the Director's responsibilities to coordinate with other civil rights agencies?
38.16
What is this part's effect on a recipient's obligations under other laws, and what limitations apply?
Subpart B—Recordkeeping and Other Affirmative Obligations of Recipients Assurances
38.20
What is a grant applicant's obligation to provide a written assurance?
38.21
How long will the recipient's obligation under the assurance last, and how broad is the obligation?
38.22
How must covenants be used in connection with this part?
Equal Opportunity Officers
38.23
Who must designate an Equal Opportunity Officer?
38.24
Who is eligible to serve as an Equal Opportunity Officer?
38.25
What are the responsibilities of an Equal Opportunity Officer?
38.26
What are a recipient's obligations relating to the Equal Opportunity Officer?
38.27
What are the obligations of small recipients regarding Equal Opportunity Officers?
38.28
What are the obligations of service providers regarding Equal Opportunity Officers?
Notice and Communication
38.29
What are a recipient's obligations to disseminate its equal opportunity policy?
38.30
What specific wording must the notice contain?
38.31
Where must the notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 be published?
38.32
When must the notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 be provided?
38.33
Who is responsible for meeting the notice requirement with respect to service providers?
38.34
What type of notice must a recipient include in publications, broadcasts, and other communications?
38.35
What are a recipient's responsibilities to provide services and information in languages other than English?
38.36
What responsibilities does a recipient have to communicate information during orientations?
Data and Information Collection and Maintenance
38.37
What are a recipient's responsibilities to collect and maintain data and other information?
38.38
What information must grant applicants and recipients provide to CRC?
38.39
How long must grant applicants and recipients maintain the records required under this part?
38.40
What access to sources of information must grant applicants and recipients provide the Director?
38.41
What responsibilities do grant applicants, recipients, and the Department have to maintain the confidentiality of the information collected?
38.42
What are a recipient's responsibilities under this part to provide universal access to WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities?
Subpart C—Governor's Responsibilities to Implement the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Requirements of WIOA
38.50
To whom does this subpart apply?
38.51
What are a Governor's oversight responsibilities?
38.52
To what extent may a Governor be liable for the actions of a recipient he or she has financially assisted under WIOA Title I?
38.53
What are a Governor's oversight responsibilities regarding recipients' recordkeeping?
38.54
What are a Governor's obligations to develop and maintain a Methods of Administration?
38.55
When must the Governor carry out his or her obligations with regard to the Methods of Administration?
Subpart D—Compliance Procedures
38.60
How does the Director evaluate compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part?
38.61
Is there authority to issue subpoenas?
Compliance Reviews
38.62
What are the authority and procedures for conducting pre-approval compliance reviews?
38.63
What are the authority and procedures for conducting post-approval compliance reviews?
38.64
What procedures must the Director follow when CRC has completed a post-approval compliance review?
38.65
What is the Director's authority to monitor the activities of a Governor?
38.66
What happens if a recipient fails to submit requested data, records, and/or information, or fails to provide CRC with the required access?
38.67
What information must a Notice to Show Cause contain?
38.68
How may a recipient show cause why enforcement proceedings should not be instituted?
38.69
What happens if a recipient fails to show cause?
Complaint Processing Procedures
38.70
Who may file a complaint concerning discrimination connected with WIOA Title I?
38.71
Where may a complaint be filed?
38.72
When must a complaint be filed?
38.73
What information must a complaint contain?
38.74
Are there any forms that a complainant may use to file a complaint?
38.75
Is there a right of representation in the complaint process?
38.76
What are the required elements of a recipient's discrimination complaint processing procedures?
38.77
Who is responsible for developing and publishing complaint processing procedures for service providers?
38.78
Does a recipient have any special obligations in cases in which the recipient determines that it has no jurisdiction over a complaint?
38.79
If, before the 90-day period has expired, a recipient issues a Notice of Final Action with which the complainant is dissatisfied, how long does the complainant have to file a complaint with the Director?
38.80
What happens if a recipient fails to issue a Notice of Final Action within 90 days of the date on which a complaint was filed?
38.81
Are there any circumstances under which the Director may extend the time limit for filing a complaint with him or her?
38.82
Does the Director accept every complaint for resolution?
38.83
What happens if a complaint does not contain enough information?
38.84
What happens if CRC does not have jurisdiction over a complaint?
38.85
Are there any other circumstances in which the Director will send a complaint to another authority?
38.86
What must the Director do if he or she determines that a complaint will not be accepted?
38.87
What must the Director do if he or she determines that a complaint will be accepted?
38.88
Who may contact CRC about a complaint?
38.89
May the Director offer the parties to a complaint the option of mediation?
Determinations
38.90
If a complaint is investigated, what must the Director do when the investigation is completed?
38.91
What notice must the Director issue if he or she finds reasonable cause to believe that a violation has taken place?
38.92
What notice must the Director issue if he or she finds no reasonable cause to believe that a violation has taken place?
38.93
What happens if the Director finds that a violation has taken place, and the recipient fails or refuses to take the corrective action listed in the Initial Determination? Start Printed Page 43878
38.94
What corrective or remedial actions may be imposed where, after a compliance review or complaint investigation, the Director finds a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part?
38.95
What procedures apply if the Director finds that a recipient has violated the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part?
38.96
What are the required elements of a written assurance?
38.97
What are the required elements of a Conciliation Agreement?
38.98
When will the Director conclude that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means?
38.99
If the Director concludes that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means, what actions must he or she take?
38.100
What information must a Final Determination contain?
38.101
Whom must the Director notify of a finding of noncompliance?
Breaches of Conciliation Agreements
38.102
What happens if a grant applicant or recipient breaches a Conciliation Agreement?
38.103
Whom must the Director notify about a breach of a Conciliation Agreement?
38.104
What information must a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement contain?
38.105
Whom must the Director notify if enforcement action under a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement is commenced?
Subpart E—Federal Procedures for Effecting Compliance
38.110
What enforcement procedures does the Department follow to effect compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part?
38.111
What hearing procedures does the Department follow?
38.112
What procedures for initial and final decisions does the Department follow?
38.113
What procedure does the Department follow to suspend, terminate, withhold, deny or discontinue WIOA Title I financial assistance?
38.114
What procedure does the Department follow to distribute WIOA Title I financial assistance to an alternate recipient?
38.115
What procedures does the Department follow for post-termination proceedings?
Start Authority

Authority: 29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq., 29 U.S.C. 3174(b), 29 U.S.C. 3181, 29 U.S.C. 3243, 29 U.S.C. 3245(c)(2), 29 U.S.C. 3245(d)(1)(E), 29 U.S.C. 3246, 29 U.S.C. 3247, and 29 U.S.C. 3248; 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 6101; and 20 U.S.C. 1681.

End Authority

Subpart A—General Provisions

Paperwork Reduction Act approval.

The following sections of this part contain collections of information that are subject to approval by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1225-0077: §§ 38.20, 38.22, 38.25, 38.29 through 38.40, 38.42, 38.53 through 38.55, 38.70 through 38.74, and 38.77 through 38.80. The approval status of the information collections is available at http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain.

What is the purpose of this part?

The purpose of this part is to implement the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which are contained in section 188 of WIOA. Section 188 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. This part clarifies the application of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and provides uniform procedures for implementing them.

To whom does this part apply, and what is the scope of this part?

(a) This part applies to:

(1) Any recipient, as defined in § 38.4;

(2) Programs and activities that are part of the One-Stop delivery system and that are operated by One-Stop partners listed in section 121(b) of WIOA, to the extent that the programs and activities are being conducted as part of the One-Stop delivery system; and

(3) The employment practices of a recipient and/or One-Stop partner, as provided in § 38.10.

(b) Limitation of application. This part does not apply to:

(1) Programs or activities that are financially assisted by the Department exclusively under laws other than Title I of WIOA, and that are not part of the One-Stop delivery system (including programs or activities implemented under, authorized by, and/or financially assisted by the Department under, JTPA);

(2) Contracts of insurance or guaranty;

(3) The ultimate beneficiary to this program of Federal financial assistance;

(4) Federal procurement contracts, with the exception of contracts to operate or provide services to Job Corps Centers; and

(5) Federally-operated Job Corps Centers. The operating Department is responsible for enforcing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity laws to which such Centers are subject.

How does this part affect a recipient's other obligations?

(a) A recipient's compliance with this part will satisfy any obligation of the recipient to comply with 29 CFR part 31, the Department of Labor's regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VI), and with Subparts A, D and E of 29 CFR part 32, the Department's regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 504).

(b) 29 CFR part 32, subparts B and C and appendix A, the Department's regulations which implement the requirements of Section 504 pertaining to employment practices and employment-related training, program accessibility, and reasonable accommodation, are hereby incorporated into this part by reference. Therefore, recipients must comply with the requirements set forth in those regulatory sections as well as the requirements listed in this part.

(c) Recipients that are also public entities or public accommodations, as defined by Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), should be aware of obligations imposed by those titles.

(d) Similarly, recipients that are also employers, employment agencies, or other entities covered by Title I of the ADA should be aware of obligations imposed by that title.

(e) Compliance with this part does not affect, in any way, any additional obligation that a recipient may have to comply with the following laws and their implementing regulations:

(1) Executive Order 11246, as amended;

(2) Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 793 and 794);

(3) The affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (38 U.S.C. 4212);

(4) The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended (29 U.S.C. 206d);

(5) Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. and 2000e et seq.);

(6) The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101);

(7) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (29 U.S.C. 621);

(8) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (Title IX) (20 U.S.C. 1681);Start Printed Page 43879

(9) The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); and

(10) The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1324b).

(f) This rule does not preempt consistent State and local requirements.

What definitions apply to this part?

As used in this part, the term:

Administrative Law Judge means a person appointed as provided in 5 U.S.C. 3105 and 5 CFR 930.203, and qualified under 5 U.S.C. 557, to preside at hearings held under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

Aid, benefits, services, or training. (1) The term “aid, benefits, service, or training” means WIOA Title I—financially assisted services, financial or other aid, or benefits provided by or through a recipient or its employees, or by others through contract or other arrangements with the recipient. “Aid, benefits, services, or training” includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Core and intensive services;

(ii) Education or training;

(iii) Health, welfare, housing, social service, rehabilitation, or other supportive services;

(iv) Work opportunities; and

(v) Cash, loans, or other financial assistance to individuals.

(2) As used in this part, the term includes any aid, benefits, services, or training provided in or through a facility that has been constructed, expanded, altered, leased, rented, or otherwise obtained, in whole or in part, with Federal financial assistance under Title I of WIOA.

Applicant means an individual who is interested in being considered for WIOA Title I—financially assisted aid, benefits, services, or training by a recipient, and who has signified that interest by submitting personal information in response to a request by the recipient. See also the definitions of “application for benefits,” “eligible applicant/registrant,” “participant,” “participation,” and “recipient” in this section.

Applicant for employment means a person or persons who make(s) application for employment with a recipient of Federal financial assistance under WIOA Title I.

Application for assistance means the process by which required documentation is provided to the Governor, recipient, or Department before and as a condition of receiving WIOA Title I financial assistance (including both new and continuing assistance).

Application for benefits means the process by which information, including but not limited to a completed application form, is provided by applicants or eligible applicants before and as a condition of receiving WIOA Title I—financially assisted aid, benefits, services, or training from a recipient.

Assistant Attorney General means the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice.

Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, United States Department of Labor.

Auxiliary aids or services includes—

(1) Qualified interpreters, notetakers, transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDDs/TTYs), videotext displays, or other effective means of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;

(2) Qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, brailled materials, large print materials, or other effective means of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments;

(3) Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and

(4) Other similar services and actions.

Beneficiary means the individual or individuals intended by Congress to receive aid, benefits, services, or training from a recipient.

Citizenship See “Discrimination on the ground of citizenship” in this section.

CRC means the Civil Rights Center, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, U.S. Department of Labor.

Department means the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), including its agencies and organizational units.

Departmental grantmaking agency means a grantmaking agency within the U.S. Department of Labor.

Director means the Director, Civil Rights Center (CRC), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, U.S. Department of Labor, or a designee authorized to act for the Director.

Disability means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.

(1)(i) The phrase physical or mental impairment means—

(A) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine;

(B) Any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

(ii) The phrase physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism. The phrase “physical or mental impairment” does not include homosexuality or bisexuality.

(2) The phrase major life activities means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(3) The phrase has a record of such an impairment means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(4) The phrase is regarded as having an impairment means—

(i) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but that is treated by the recipient as being such a limitation;

(ii) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(iii) Has none of the impairments defined in paragraph (1) of this definition but is treated by the recipient as having such an impairment.

Discrimination on the ground of citizenship means a denial of participation in programs or activities financially assisted in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA to individuals on the basis of their status as citizens or nationals of the United States, lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens, refugees, asylees, and parolees, or other Start Printed Page 43880immigrants authorized by the Attorney General to work in the United States.

Eligible applicant/registrant means an individual who has been determined eligible to participate in one or more WIOA Title I—financially assisted programs or activities.

Employment practices means a recipient's practices related to employment, including but not limited to:

(1) Recruitment or recruitment advertising;

(2) Selection, placement, layoff or termination of employees;

(3) Upgrading, promotion, demotion or transfer of employees;

(4) Training, including employment-related training;

(5) Participation in upward mobility programs;

(6) Deciding rates of pay or other forms of compensation;

(7) Use of facilities; or

(8) Deciding other terms, conditions, benefits and/or privileges of employment.

Employment-related training means training that allows or enables an individual to obtain employment.

Entity means any person, corporation, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietorship, unincorporated association, consortium, Indian tribe or tribal organization, Native Hawaiian organization, and/or entity authorized by State or local law; any State or local government; and/or any agency, instrumentality or subdivision of such a government.

Facility means all or any portion of buildings, structures, sites, complexes, equipment, roads, walks, passageways, parking lots, rolling stock or other conveyances, or other real or personal property or interest in such property, including the site where the building, property, structure, or equipment is located. The phrase “real or personal property” in the preceding sentence includes indoor constructs that may or may not be permanently attached to a building or structure. Such constructs include, but are not limited to, office cubicles, computer kiosks, and similar constructs.

Federal grantmaking agency means a Federal agency that provides financial assistance under any Federal statute.

Financial assistance means any of the following:

(1) Any grant, subgrant, loan, or advance of funds, including funds extended to any entity for payment to or on behalf of participants admitted to that entity for training, or extended directly to such participants for payment to that entity;

(2) Provision of the services of grantmaking agency personnel, or of other personnel at the grantmaking agency's expense;

(3) A grant or donation of real or personal property or any interest in or use of such property, including:

(i) Transfers or leases of property for less than fair market value or for reduced consideration;

(ii) Proceeds from a subsequent sale, transfer, or lease of such property, if the grantmaking agency's share of the fair market value of the property is not returned to the grantmaking agency; and

(iii) The sale, lease, or license of, and/or the permission to use (other than on a casual or transient basis), such property or any interest in such property, either:

(A) Without consideration;

(B) At a nominal consideration; or

(C) At a consideration that is reduced or waived either for the purpose of assisting the recipient, or in recognition of the public interest to be served by such sale or lease to or use by the recipient;

(4) Waiver of charges that would normally be made for the furnishing of services by the grantmaking agency; and

(5) Any other agreement, arrangement, contract or subcontract (other than a procurement contract or a contract of insurance or guaranty), or other instrument that has as one of its purposes the provision of assistance or benefits under the statute or policy that authorizes assistance by the grantmaking agency.

Financial assistance under Title I of WIOA means any of the following, when authorized or extended under WIOA Title I:

(1) Any grant, subgrant, loan, or advance of Federal funds, including funds extended to any entity for payment to or on behalf of participants admitted to that entity for training, or extended directly to such participants for payment to that entity;

(2) Provision of the services of Federal personnel, or of other personnel at Federal expense;

(3) A grant or donation of Federal real or personal property or any interest in or use of such property, including:

(i) Transfers or leases of property for less than fair market value or for reduced consideration;

(ii) Proceeds from a subsequent sale, transfer, or lease of such property, if the Federal share of the fair market value of the property is not returned to the Federal Government; and

(iii) The sale, lease, or license of, and/or the permission to use (other than on a casual or transient basis), such property or any interest in such property, either:

(A) Without consideration;

(B) At a nominal consideration; or

(C) At a consideration that is reduced or waived either for the purpose of assisting the recipient, or in recognition of the public interest to be served by such sale or lease to or use by the recipient;

(4) Waiver of charges that would normally be made for the furnishing of Government services; and

(5) Any other agreement, arrangement, contract or subcontract (other than a Federal procurement contract or a contract of insurance or guaranty), or other instrument that has as one of its purposes the provision of assistance or benefits under WIOA Title I.

Fundamental alteration means:

(1) A change in the essential nature of a program or activity as defined in this part, including but not limited to an aid, service, benefit, or training; or

(2) A cost that a recipient can demonstrate would result in an undue burden. Factors to be considered in making the determination whether the cost of a modification would result in such a burden include:

(i) The nature and net cost of the modification needed, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits and deductions, and/or outside financial assistance, for the modification;

(ii) The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the provision of the modification, including:

(A) The number of persons aided, benefited, served, or trained by, or employed at, the facility or facilities; and

(B) The effect the modification would have on the expenses and resources of the facility or facilities;

(iii) The overall financial resources of the recipient, including:

(A) The overall size of the recipient;

(B) The number of persons aided, benefited, served, trained, or employed by the recipient; and

(C) The number, type and location of the recipient's facilities;

(iv) The type of operation or operations of the recipient, including:

(A) The geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the recipient; and

(B) Where the modification sought is employment-related, the composition, structure and functions of the recipient's workforce; and

(v) The impact of the modification upon the operation of the facility or facilities, including:

(A) The impact on the ability of other participants to receive aid, benefits, services, or training, or of other employees to perform their duties; andStart Printed Page 43881

(B) The impact on the facility's ability to carry out its mission.

Governor means the chief elected official of any State or his or her designee.

Grant applicant means an entity that submits the required documentation to the Governor, recipient, or Department, before and as a condition of receiving financial assistance under Title I of WIOA.

Grantmaking agency means an entity that provides Federal financial assistance.

Guideline means written informational material supplementing an agency's regulations and provided to grant applicants and recipients to provide program-specific interpretations of their responsibilities under the regulations.

Illegal use of drugs means the use of drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act, as amended (21 U.S.C. 812). “Illegal use of drugs” does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision of a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized by the Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of Federal law.

Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, as defined in this section.

(1) The term “individual with a disability” does not include an individual on the basis of:

(i) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;

(ii) Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or

(iii) Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

(2) The term “individual with a disability” also does not include an individual who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when a recipient acts on the basis of such use. This limitation does not exclude as an individual with a disability an individual who:

(i) Has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;

(ii) Is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or

(iii) Is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use, except that it is not a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part for a recipient to adopt or administer reasonable policies or procedures, including but not limited to drug testing, designed to ensure that an individual described in paragraph (1)(i) or (ii) of this definition is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.

(2) With regard to employment, the term “individual with a disability” does not include any individual who:

(i) Is an alcoholic:

(A) Whose current use of alcohol prevents such individual from performing the duties of the job in question; or

(B) Whose employment, by reason of such current alcohol abuse, would constitute a direct threat to property or the safety of others; or

(ii) Has a currently contagious disease or infection, if:

(A) That disease or infection prevents him or her from performing the duties of the job in question; or

(B) His or her employment, because of that disease or infection, would constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Labor market area means an economically integrated geographic area within which individuals can reside and find employment within a reasonable distance or can readily change employment without changing their place of residence. Such an area must be identified in accordance with either criteria used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor in defining such areas, or similar criteria established by a Governor.

LWIOA (Local Workforce Investment Area) grant recipient means the entity that receives WIOA Title I financial assistance for a Local Workforce Investment Area directly from the Governor and disburses those funds for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act activities.

Methods of Administration means the written document and supporting documentation developed under § 38.54.

National Programs means:

(1) Job Corps; and

(2) Programs receiving Federal funds under Title I, Subtitle D of WIOA directly from the Department. Such programs include, but are not limited to, the Migrant and Seasonal Workers Programs, Native American Programs, and Veterans' Workforce Investment programs.

Noncompliance means a failure of a grant applicant or recipient to comply with any of the applicable requirements of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) means training by an employer that is provided to a paid participant while the participant is engaged in productive work that:

(1) Provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job;

(2) Provides reimbursement to the employer of up to 50 percent of the wage rate of the participant, for the extraordinary costs of providing the training and additional supervision related to the training; and

(3) Is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for which the participant is being trained, taking into account the content of the training, the prior work experience of the participant, and the service strategy of the participant, as appropriate.

Participant means an individual who has been determined to be eligible to participate in, and who is receiving aid, benefits, services or training under, a program or activity funded in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA. “Participant” includes, but is not limited to, applicants receiving any service(s) under state Employment Service programs, and claimants receiving any service(s) under state Unemployment Insurance programs.

Participation is considered to commence on the first day, following determination of eligibility, on which the participant began receiving subsidized aid, benefits, services, or training provided under Title I of WIOA.

Parties to a hearing means the Department and the grant applicant(s), recipient(s), or Governor.

Population eligible to be served means the total population of adults and eligible youth who reside within the labor market area that is served by a particular recipient, and who are eligible to seek WIOA Title I-financially assisted aid, benefits, services or training from that recipient. See the definition of “labor market area” in this section.

Program or activity. See “WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity” in this section.

Prohibited ground means any basis upon which it is illegal to discriminate under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part, i.e., race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and, for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity.

Public entity means:

(1) Any State or local government; andStart Printed Page 43882

(2) Any department, agency, special purpose district, workforce investment board, or other instrumentality of a State or States or local government.

Qualified individual with a disability means :

(1) With respect to employment, an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, is capable of performing the essential functions of the job in question;

(2) With respect to aid, benefits, services, or training, an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation and/or reasonable modification, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of such aid, benefits, services, or training.

Qualified interpreter means an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, either for individuals with disabilities or for individuals with limited English skills. The interpreter must be able to interpret both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.

Reasonable accommodation. (1) The term “reasonable accommodation” means:

(i) Modifications or adjustments to an application/registration process that enables a qualified applicant/registrant with a disability to be considered for the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment that the qualified applicant/registrant desires; or

(ii) Modifications or adjustments that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job, or to receive aid, benefits, services, or training equal to that provided to qualified individuals without disabilities. These modifications or adjustments may be made to:

(A) The environment where work is performed or aid, benefits, services, or training are given; or

(B) The customary manner in which, or circumstances under which, a job is performed or aid, benefits, services, or training are given; or

(iii) Modifications or adjustments that enable a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated individuals without disabilities.

(2) Reasonable accommodation includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Making existing facilities used by applicants, registrants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, applicants for employment, and employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and

(ii) Restructuring of a job or a service, or of the way in which aid, benefits, or training is/are provided; part-time or modified work or training schedules; acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials, or policies; the provision of readers or interpreters; and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

(3) To determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation, it may be necessary for the recipient to initiate an informal, interactive process with the qualified individual with a disability in need of the accommodation. This process should identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.

Recipient. The term “recipient” means:

(1) Any entity to which financial assistance under WIOA Title I is extended, either directly from the Department or through the Governor or another recipient (including any successor, assignee, or transferee of a recipient), but excluding the ultimate beneficiaries of the WIOA Title I-funded program or activity. In instances in which a Governor operates a program or activity, either directly or through a State agency, using discretionary funds apportioned to him or her under WIOA Title I (rather than disbursing the funds to another recipient), the Governor is also a recipient. “Recipient” includes, but is not limited to:

(i) State-level agencies that administer, or are financed in whole or in part with, WIOA Title I funds;

(ii) State Employment Security Agencies;

(iii) State and local Workforce Investment Boards;

(iv) LWIOA grant recipients;

(v) One-Stop operators;

(vi) Service providers, including eligible training providers;

(vii) On-the-Job Training (OJT) employers;

(viii) Job Corps contractors and center operators, excluding the operators of federally-operated Job Corps centers;

(ix) Job Corps national training contractors;

(x) Outreach and admissions agencies, including Job Corps contractors that perform these functions;

(xi) Placement agencies, including Job Corps contractors that perform these functions; and

(xii) Other National Program recipients.

(2) In addition, for purposes of this part, One-Stop partners, as defined in section 121(b) of WIOA, are treated as “recipients,” and are subject to the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements of this part, to the extent that they participate in the One-Stop delivery system.

Registrant means the same as “applicant” for purposes of this part. See also the definitions of “application for benefits,” “eligible applicant/registrant,” “participant,” “participation,” and “recipient” in this section.

Respondent means a grant applicant or recipient (including a Governor) against which a complaint has been filed under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

Secretary means the Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, or his or her designee.

Sectarian activities means religious worship or ceremony, or sectarian instruction.

Section 504 means Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794, as amended, which forbids discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in federally-financed and conducted programs and activities.

Service provider means:

(1) Any operator of, or provider of aid, benefits, services, or training to:

(i) Any WIOA Title I—funded program or activity that receives financial assistance from or through any State or LWIOA grant recipient; or

(ii) Any participant through that participant's Individual Training Account (ITA); or

(2) Any entity that is selected and/or certified as an eligible provider of training services to participants.

Small recipient means a recipient who:

(1) Serves a total of fewer than 15 beneficiaries during the entire grant year; and

(2) Employs fewer than 15 employees on any given day during the grant year.

Solicitor means the Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, or his or her designee.

State means the individual states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

State Employment Security Agency (SESA) means the State agency that, under the State Administrator, contains Start Printed Page 43883both State agencies with responsibility for administering programs authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act, and unemployment insurance programs authorized under Title III of the Social Security Act.

State programs. The term “State programs” means:

(1) Programs financially assisted in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA in which either:

(i) The Governor and/or State receives and disburses the grant to or through LWIOA grant recipients; or

(ii) The Governor retains the grant funds and operates the programs, either directly or through a State agency.

(2) “State programs” also includes State Employment Security Agencies, State Employment Service agencies, and/or State unemployment compensation agencies.

Supportive services means services, such as transportation, child care, dependent care, housing, and needs-related payments, that are necessary to enable an individual to participate in WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities, as consistent with the provisions of WIOA.

Terminee means a participant whose participation in the program terminates, voluntarily or involuntarily, during the applicable program year.

Title VI means Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq., as amended, which forbids recipients of Federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

Transferee means a person or entity to whom real or personal property, or an interest in such property, is transferred.

Ultimate beneficiary See the definition of “beneficiary” in this section.

Undue hardship This term has different meanings, depending upon whether it is used with regard to reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities, or with regard to religious accommodation.

(1) Reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities. (i) In general, “undue hardship” means significant difficulty or expense incurred by a recipient, when considered in light of the factors set forth in paragraph (ii) of this definition.

(ii) Factors to be considered in determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on a recipient include:

(A) The nature and net cost of the accommodation needed, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits and deductions, and/or outside funding, for the accommodation;

(B) The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodation, including:

(1) The number of persons aided, benefited, served, or trained by, or employed at, the facility or facilities, and

(2) The effect the accommodation would have on the expenses and resources of the facility or facilities;

(C) The overall financial resources of the recipient, including:

(1) The overall size of the recipient;

(2) The number of persons aided, benefited, served, trained, or employed by the recipient; and

(3) The number, type and location of the recipient's facilities;

(D) The type of operation or operations of the recipient, including:

(1) The geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the recipient; and

(2) Where the individual is seeking an employment-related accommodation, the composition, structure and functions of the recipient's workforce; and

(E) The impact of the accommodation upon the operation of the facility or facilities, including:

(1) The impact on the ability of other participants to receive aid, benefits, services, or training, or of other employees to perform their duties; and

(2) The impact on the facility's ability to carry out its mission.

(2) Religious accommodation. For purposes of religious accommodation only, “undue hardship” means any additional, unusual costs, other than de minimis costs, that a particular accommodation would impose upon a recipient. See Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 81, 84 (1977).

WIOA means the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Public Law 113-128.

WIOA Title I financial assistance See the definition of “Federal financial assistance under Title I of WIOA” in this section.

WIOA Title I-funded program or activity means:

(1) A program or activity, operated by a recipient and funded, in whole or in part, under Title I of WIOA, that provides either:

(i) Any aid, benefits, services, or training to individuals; or

(ii) Facilities for furnishing any aid, benefits, services, or training to individuals;

(2) Aid, benefits, services, or training provided in facilities that are being or were constructed with the aid of Federal financial assistance under WIOA Title I; or

(3) Aid, benefits, services, or training provided with the aid of any non-WIOA Title I funds, property, or other resources that are required to be expended or made available in order for the program to meet matching requirements or other conditions which must be met in order to receive the WIOA Title I financial assistance. See the definition of “aid, benefits, services, or training” in this section.

What forms of discrimination are prohibited by this part?

No individual in the United States may, on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, subjected to discrimination under, or denied employment in the administration of or in connection with any WIOA Title I—funded program or activity.

What specific discriminatory actions, based on prohibited grounds other than disability, are prohibited by this part, and what limitations are there related to religious activities?

(a) For the purposes of this section, “prohibited ground” means race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity.

(b) A recipient must not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on a prohibited ground:

(1) Deny an individual any aid, benefits, services, or training provided under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(2) Provide to an individual any aid, benefits, services, or training that is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(3) Subject an individual to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his or her receipt of any aid, benefits, services, or training under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(4) Restrict an individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any aid, benefits, services, or training under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(5) Treat an individual differently from others in determining whether he or she satisfies any admission, enrollment, eligibility, membership, or other requirement or condition for any Start Printed Page 43884aid, benefits, services, or training provided under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(6) Deny or limit an individual with respect to any opportunity to participate in a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity, or afford him or her an opportunity to do so that is different from the opportunity afforded others under a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(7) Deny an individual the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning or advisory body that is an integral part of the WIOA Title I—funded program or activity; or

(8) Otherwise limit on a prohibited ground an individual in enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving any WIOA Title I—financially assisted aid, benefits, services, or training.

(c) A recipient must not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements:

(1) Aid or perpetuate discrimination by providing significant assistance to an agency, organization, or person that discriminates on a prohibited ground in providing any aid, benefits, services, or training to registrants, applicants or participants in a WIOA Title I—funded program or activity; or

(2) Refuse to accommodate an individual's religious practices or beliefs, unless to do so would result in undue hardship, as defined in § 38.4.

(d)(1) In making any of the determinations listed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, either directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, a recipient must not use standards, procedures, criteria, or administrative methods that have any of the following purposes or effects:

(i) Subjecting individuals to discrimination on a prohibited ground; or

(ii) Defeating or substantially impairing, on a prohibited ground, accomplishment of the objectives of either:

(A) The WIOA Title I—funded program or activity; or

(B) the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(2) The determinations to which this paragraph (d) applies include, but are not limited to:

(i) The types of aid, benefits, services, training, or facilities that will be provided under any WIOA Title I—funded program or activity;

(ii) The class of individuals to whom such aid, benefits, services, training, or facilities will be provided; or

(iii) The situations in which such aid, benefits, services, training, or facilities will be provided.

(3) Paragraph (d) of this section applies to the administration of WIOA Title I—funded programs or activities providing aid, benefits, services, training, or facilities in any manner, including, but not limited to:

(i) Outreach and recruitment;

(ii) Registration;

(iii) Counseling and guidance;

(iv) Testing;

(v) Selection, placement, appointment, and referral;

(vi) Training; and

(vii) Promotion and retention.

(4) A recipient must not take any of the prohibited actions listed in paragraph (d) of this section either directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements.

(e) In determining the site or location of facilities, a grant applicant or recipient must not make selections that have any of the following purposes or effects:

(1) On a prohibited ground:

(i) Excluding individuals from a WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity;

(ii) Denying them the benefits of such a program or activity; or

(iii) Subjecting them to discrimination; or

(2) Defeating or substantially impairing the accomplishment of the objectives of either:

(i) The WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity; or

(ii) The nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(f)(1) 29 CFR part 2, subpart D, governs the circumstances under which DOL support, including WIOA Title I financial assistance, may be used to employ or train participants in religious activities. Under that subpart, such assistance may be used for such employment or training only when the assistance is provided indirectly within the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and not when the assistance is provided directly. As explained in that subpart, assistance provided through an Individual Training Account is generally considered indirect, and other mechanisms may also be considered indirect. See also 20 CFR 667.266 and 667.275. 29 CFR part 2, subpart D, also contains requirements related to equal treatment of religious organizations in Department of Labor programs, and to protection of religious liberty for Department of Labor social service providers and beneficiaries.

(2) Except under the circumstances described in paragraph (f)(3) of this section, a recipient must not employ participants to carry out the construction, operation, or maintenance of any part of any facility that is used, or to be used, for religious instruction or as a place for religious worship.

(3) A recipient may employ participants to carry out the maintenance of a facility that is not primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or religious worship if the organization operating the facility is part of a program or activity providing services to participants.

(g) The exclusion of an individual from programs or activities limited by Federal statute or Executive Order to a certain class or classes of individuals of which the individual in question is not a member is not prohibited by this part.

What specific discriminatory actions based on disability are prohibited by this part?

(a) In providing any aid, benefits, services, or training under a WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity, a recipient must not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on the ground of disability:

(1) Deny a qualified individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefits, services, or training;

(2) Afford a qualified individual with a disability an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefits, services, or training that is not equal to that afforded others;

(3) Provide a qualified individual with a disability with an aid, benefit, service or training that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others;

(4) Provide different, segregated, or separate aid, benefits, services, or training to individuals with disabilities, or to any class of individuals with disabilities, unless such action is necessary to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with aid, benefits, services or training that are as effective as those provided to others;

(5) Deny a qualified individual with a disability the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards; or

(6) Otherwise limit a qualified individual with a disability in enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving any aid, benefit, service or training.

(b) A recipient must not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other Start Printed Page 43885arrangements, aid or perpetuate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities by providing significant assistance to an agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of disability in providing any aid, benefits, services or training to registrants, applicants, or participants.

(c) A recipient must not deny a qualified individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in WIOA Title I—financially assisted programs or activities despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programs or activities.

(d) A recipient must administer WIOA Title I—financially assisted programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.

(e) A recipient must not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, use standards, procedures, criteria, or administrative methods:

(1) That have the purpose or effect of subjecting qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the ground of disability;

(2) That have the purpose or effect of defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment of the objectives of the WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity with respect to individuals with disabilities; or

(3) That perpetuate the discrimination of another entity if both entities are subject to common administrative control or are agencies of the same state.

(f) In determining the site or location of facilities, a grant applicant or recipient must not make selections that have any of the following purposes or effects:

(1) On the basis of disability:

(i) Excluding qualified individuals from a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity;

(ii) Denying them the benefits of such a program or activity; or

(iii) Subjecting them to discrimination; or

(2) Defeating or substantially impairing the accomplishment of the disability-related objectives of either:

(i) The WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity; or

(ii) The nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(g) A recipient, in the selection of contractors, must not use criteria that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability.

(h) A recipient must not administer a licensing or certification program in a manner that subjects qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability, nor may a recipient establish requirements for the programs or activities of licensees or certified entities that subject qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of disability. The programs or activities of entities that are licensed or certified by a recipient are not, themselves, covered by this part.

(i) A recipient must not impose or apply eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any aid, benefit, service, training, program, or activity, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the aid, benefit, service, training, program, or activity being offered.

(j) Nothing in this part prohibits a recipient from providing aid, benefits, services, training, or advantages to individuals with disabilities, or to a particular class of individuals with disabilities, beyond those required by this part.

(k) A recipient must not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability, or any group of individuals with disabilities, to cover the costs of measures, such as the provision of auxiliary aids or program accessibility, that are required to provide that individual or group with the nondiscriminatory treatment required by WIOA Title I or this part.

(l) A recipient must not exclude, or otherwise deny equal aid, benefits, services, training, programs, or activities to, an individual or entity because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual or entity is known to have a relationship or association.

(m) The exclusion of an individual without a disability from the benefits of a program limited by Federal statute or Executive Order to individuals with disabilities, or the exclusion of a specific class of individuals with disabilities from a program limited by Federal statute or Executive Order to a different class of individuals with disabilities, is not prohibited by this part.

(n) This part does not require a recipient to provide any of the following to individuals with disabilities:

(1) Personal devices, such as wheelchairs;

(2) Individually prescribed devices, such as prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids;

(3) Readers for personal use or study; or

(4) Services of a personal nature, including assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing.

(o)(1) Nothing in this part requires an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, aid, benefit, service, training, or opportunity provided under WIOA Title I or this part that such individual chooses not to accept.

(2) Nothing in this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline food, water, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual.

What are a recipient's responsibilities regarding reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification for individuals with disabilities?

(a) With regard to aid, benefits, services, training, and employment, a recipient must provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants, registrants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, employees, or applicants for employment, unless providing the accommodation would cause undue hardship. See the definitions of “reasonable accommodation” and “undue hardship” in § 38.4.

(1) In those circumstances where a recipient believes that the proposed accommodation would cause undue hardship, the recipient has the burden of proving that the accommodation would result in such hardship.

(2) The recipient must make the decision that the accommodation would cause such hardship only after considering all factors listed in the definition of “undue hardship” in § 38.4. The decision must be accompanied by a written statement of the recipient's reasons for reaching that conclusion. The recipient must provide a copy of the statement of reasons to the individual or individuals who requested the accommodation.

(3) If a requested accommodation would result in undue hardship, the recipient must take any other action that would not result in such hardship, but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment provided by the recipient.

(b) A recipient must also make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity. See the Start Printed Page 43886definition of “fundamental alteration” in § 38.4.

(1) In those circumstances where a recipient believes that the proposed modification would fundamentally alter the program, activity, or service, the recipient has the burden of proving that the modification would result in such an alteration.

(2) The recipient must make the decision that the modification would result in such an alteration only after considering all factors listed in the definition of “fundamental alteration” in § 38.4. The decision must be accompanied by a written statement of the recipient's reasons for reaching that conclusion. The recipient must provide a copy of the statement of reasons to the individual or individuals who requested the modification.

(3) If a modification would result in a fundamental alteration, the recipient must take any other action that would not result in such an alteration, but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment provided by the recipient.

What are a recipient's responsibilities to communicate with individuals with disabilities?

(a) Recipients must take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with beneficiaries, registrants, applicants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, applicants for employment, employees, and members of the public who are individuals with disabilities, are as effective as communications with others.

(b) A recipient must furnish appropriate auxiliary aids or services where necessary to afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, the WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is appropriate and necessary, such recipient must give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with a disability.

(c) Where a recipient communicates by telephone with beneficiaries, registrants, applicants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, applicants for employment, and/or employees, the recipient must use telecommunications devices for individuals with hearing impairments (TDDs/TTYs), or equally effective communications systems, such as telephone relay services.

(d) A recipient must ensure that interested individuals, including individuals with visual or hearing impairments, can obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible services, activities, and facilities.

(e)(1) A recipient must provide signage at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing users to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The signage provided must meet the most current standards prescribed by the General Services Administration under the Architectural Barriers Act at 41 CFR 102-76.65. Alternative standards for the signage may be adopted when it is clearly evident that such alternative standards provide equivalent or greater access to the information.

(2) The international symbol for accessibility must be used at each primary entrance of an accessible facility.

(f) This section does not require a recipient to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity.

(1) In those circumstances where a recipient believes that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the WIOA Title I—financially assisted program, activity, or service, the recipient has the burden of proving that compliance with this section would result in such an alteration.

(2) The decision that compliance would result in such an alteration must be made by the recipient after considering all resources available for use in the funding and operation of the WIOA Title I—financially assisted program, activity, or service, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(3) If an action required to comply with this section would result in the fundamental alteration described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the recipient must take any other action that would not result in such an alteration, but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by the recipient.

To what extent are employment practices covered by this part?

(a) Discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or political affiliation or belief is prohibited in employment practices in the administration of, or in connection with:

(1) Any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity; and

(2) Any program or activity that is part of the One-Stop delivery system and is operated by a One-Stop partner listed in Section 121(b) of WIOA, to the extent that the program or activity is being conducted as part of the One-Stop delivery system.

(b) Employee selection procedures. In implementing this section, a recipient must comply with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 41 CFR part 60-3.

(c) Standards for employment-related investigations and reviews. In any investigation or compliance review, the Director must consider Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations, guidance and appropriate case law in determining whether a recipient has engaged in an unlawful employment practice.

(d) As provided in § 38.3(b), 29 CFR part 32, subparts B and C and appendix A, which implement the requirements of Section 504 pertaining to employment practices and employment-related training, program accessibility, and reasonable accommodation, have been incorporated into this part by reference. Therefore, recipients must comply with the requirements set forth in those regulatory sections as well as the requirements listed in this part.

(e) Recipients that are also employers, employment agencies, or other entities covered by Titles I and II of the ADA should be aware of obligations imposed by those titles. See 29 CFR part 1630 and 28 CFR part 35.

(f) Similarly, recipients that are also employers covered by the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act should be aware of the obligations imposed by that provision. See 8 U.S.C. 1324b, as amended.

(g) This rule does not preempt consistent State and local requirements.

To what extent are intimidation and retaliation prohibited by this part?

(a) A recipient must not discharge, intimidate, retaliate, threaten, coerce or discriminate against any individual because the individual has:

(1) Filed a complaint alleging a violation of Section 188 of WIOA or this part;

(2) Opposed a practice prohibited by the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part;

(3) Furnished information to, or assisted or participated in any manner in, an investigation, review, hearing, or any other activity related to any of the following:

(i) Administration of the nondiscrimination and equal Start Printed Page 43887opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part;

(ii) Exercise of authority under those provisions; or

(iii) Exercise of privilege secured by those provisions; or

(4) Otherwise exercised any rights and privileges under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(b) The sanctions and penalties contained in Section 188(b) of WIOA or this part may be imposed against any recipient that engages in any such retaliation or intimidation, or fails to take appropriate steps to prevent such activity.

What Department of Labor office is responsible for administering this part?

The Civil Rights Center (CRC), in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, is responsible for administering and enforcing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part, and for developing and issuing policies, standards, guidance, and procedures for effecting compliance.

Who is responsible for providing interpretations of this part?

The Director will make any rulings under, or interpretations of, the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

Under what circumstances may the Secretary delegate the responsibilities of this part?

(a) The Secretary may from time to time assign to officials of other departments or agencies of the Government (with the consent of such department or agency) responsibilities in connection with the effectuation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part (other than responsibility for final decisions under § 38.112), including the achievement of effective coordination and maximum uniformity within the Department and within the executive branch of the Government in the application of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part to similar programs and similar situations.

(b) Any action taken, determination made, or requirement imposed by an official of another department or agency acting under an assignment of responsibility under this section has the same effect as if the action had been taken by the Director.

What are the Director's responsibilities to coordinate with other civil rights agencies?

(a) Whenever a compliance review or complaint investigation under this part reveals possible violation of one or more of the laws listed in paragraph (b) of this section, or of any other Federal civil rights law, that is not also a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part, the Director must attempt to notify the appropriate agency and provide it with all relevant documents and information.

(b) This section applies to the following:

(1) Executive Order 11246, as amended;

(2) Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 793);

(3) The affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (38 U.S.C. 4212);

(4) The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended (29 U.S.C. 206d);

(5) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.);

(6) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (29 U.S.C. 621);

(7) The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);

(8) The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1324b); and

(9) Any other Federal civil rights law.

What is this part's effect on a recipient's obligations under other laws, and what limitations apply?

(a) Effect of State or local law or other requirements. The obligation to comply with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part are not excused or reduced by any State or local law or other requirement that, on a prohibited ground, prohibits or limits an individual's eligibility to receive aid, benefits, services, or training; to participate in any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity; to be employed by any recipient; or to practice any occupation or profession.

(b) Effect of private organization rules. The obligation to comply with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part is not excused or reduced by any rule or regulation of any private organization, club, league or association that, on a prohibited ground, prohibits or limits an individual's eligibility to participate in any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity to which this part applies.

(c) Effect of possible future exclusion from employment opportunities. A recipient must not exclude any individual from, or restrict any individual's participation in, any program or activity based on the recipient's belief or concern that the individual will encounter limited future employment opportunities because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, or citizenship.

Subpart B—Recordkeeping and Other Affirmative Obligations of Recipients

Assurances

What is a grant applicant's obligation to provide a written assurance?

(a)(1) Each application for financial assistance under Title I of WIOA, as defined in § 38.4, must include the following assurance:

As a condition to the award of financial assistance from the Department of Labor under Title I of WIOA, the grant applicant assures that it will comply fully with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of the following laws:

Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which prohibits discrimination against all individuals in the United States on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and against beneficiaries on the basis of either citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States or participation in any WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity;

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color and national origin;

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities;

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age; and

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs.

The grant applicant also assures that it will comply with 29 CFR part 38 and all other regulations implementing the laws listed above. This assurance applies to the grant applicant's operation of the WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, and to all agreements the grant applicant makes to carry out the WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity. The grant applicant understands that the United States has the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance.

(2) The assurance is considered incorporated by operation of law in the grant, cooperative agreement, contract Start Printed Page 43888or other arrangement whereby Federal financial assistance under Title I of the WIOA is made available, whether or not it is physically incorporated in such document and whether or not there is a written agreement between the Department and the recipient, between the Department and the Governor, between the Governor and the recipient, or between recipients. The assurance also may be incorporated by reference in such grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or other arrangements.

(b) Continuing State programs. Each Strategic Five-Year State Plan submitted by a State to carry out a continuing WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity must provide a statement that the WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity is (or, in the case of a new WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, will be) conducted in compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part, as a condition to the approval of the Five-Year Plan and the extension of any WIOA Title I financial assistance under the Plan. The State also must certify that it has developed and maintains a Methods of Administration under § 38.54.

How long will the recipient's obligation under the assurance last, and how broad is the obligation?

(a) Where the WIOA Title I financial assistance is intended to provide, or is in the form of, either personal property, real property, structures on real property, or interest in any such property or structures, the assurance will obligate the recipient, or (in the case of a subsequent transfer) the transferee, for the longer of:

(1) The period during which the property is used either:

(i) For a purpose for which WIOA Title I financial assistance is extended; or

(ii) For another purpose involving the provision of similar services or benefits; or

(2) The period during which either:

(i) The recipient retains ownership or possession of the property; or

(ii) The transferee retains ownership or possession of the property without compensating the Departmental grantmaking agency for the fair market value of that ownership or possession.

(b) In all other cases, the assurance will obligate the recipient for the period during which WIOA Title I financial assistance is extended.

How must covenants be used in connection with this part?

(a) Where WIOA Title I financial assistance is provided in the form of a transfer of real property, structures, or improvements on real property or structures, or interests in real property or structures, the instrument effecting or recording the transfer must contain a covenant assuring nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for the period described in § 38.21.

(b) Where no Federal transfer of real property or interest therein from the Federal Government is involved, but real property or an interest therein is acquired or improved under a program of WIOA Title I financial assistance, the recipient must include the covenant described in paragraph (a) of this section in the instrument effecting or recording any subsequent transfer of such property.

(c) When the property is obtained from the Federal Government, the covenant described in paragraph (a) of this section also may include a condition coupled with a right of reverter to the Department in the event of a breach of the covenant.

Equal Opportunity Officers

Who must designate an Equal Opportunity Officer?

Every recipient must designate an Equal Opportunity Officer (“EO Officer”), except small recipients and service providers, as defined in § 38.4. The responsibilities of small recipients and service providers are described in §§ 38.27 and 38.28.

Who is eligible to serve as an Equal Opportunity Officer?

A senior-level employee of the recipient should be appointed as the recipient's Equal Opportunity Officer. Depending upon the size of the recipient, the size of the recipient's WIOA Title I—financially assisted programs or activities, and the number of applicants, registrants, and participants served by the recipient, the EO Officer may, or may not, be assigned other duties. However, he or she must not have other responsibilities or activities that create a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, with the responsibilities of an EO Officer.

What are the responsibilities of an Equal Opportunity Officer?

An Equal Opportunity Officer is responsible for coordinating a recipient's obligations under this part. Those responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

(a) Serving as the recipient's liaison with CRC;

(b) Monitoring and investigating the recipient's activities, and the activities of the entities that receive WIOA Title I funds from the recipient, to make sure that the recipient and its subrecipients are not violating their nondiscrimination and equal opportunity obligations under WIOA Title I and this part;

(c) Reviewing the recipient's written policies to make sure that those policies are nondiscriminatory;

(d) Developing and publishing the recipient's procedures for processing discrimination complaints under §§ 38.76 through 38.79, and making sure that those procedures are followed;

(e) Reporting directly to the appropriate official (including, but not limited to, the State WIOA Director, Governor's WIOA Liaison, Job Corps Center Director, SESA Administrator, or LWIOA grant recipient) about equal opportunity matters;

(f) Undergoing training (at the recipient's expense) to maintain competency, if the Director requires him or her, and/or his or her staff, to do so; and

(g) If applicable, overseeing the development and implementation of the recipient's Methods of Administration under § 38.54.

What are a recipient's obligations relating to the Equal Opportunity Officer?

A recipient has the following obligations:

(a) Making the Equal Opportunity Officer's name, and his or her position title, address, and telephone number (voice and TDD/TTY) public;

(b) Ensuring that the EO Officer's identity and contact information appears on all internal and external communications about the recipient's nondiscrimination and equal opportunity programs;

(c) Assigning sufficient staff and resources to the Equal Opportunity Officer, and providing him or her with the necessary support of top management, to ensure compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part; and

(d) Ensuring that the EO Officer and his/her staff are afforded the opportunity to receive the training necessary and appropriate to maintain competency.

What are the obligations of small recipients regarding Equal Opportunity Officers?

Although small recipients do not need to designate Equal Opportunity Officers who have the full range of responsibilities listed above, they must designate an individual who will be responsible for developing and publishing of complaint procedures, and the processing of complaints, as explained in §§ 38.76 through 38.79.

Start Printed Page 43889
What are the obligations of service providers regarding Equal Opportunity Officers?

Service providers, as defined in § 38.4, are not required to designate an Equal Opportunity Officer. The obligation for ensuring service provider compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part rests with the Governor or LWIOA grant recipient, as specified in the State's Methods of Administration.

Notice and Communication

What are a recipient's obligations to disseminate its equal opportunity policy?

(a) A recipient must provide initial and continuing notice that it does not discriminate on any prohibited ground. This notice must be provided to:

(1) Registrants, applicants, and eligible applicants/registrants;

(2) Participants;

(3) Applicants for employment and employees;

(4) Unions or professional organizations that hold collective bargaining or professional agreements with the recipient;

(5) Subrecipients that receive WIOA Title I funds from the recipient; and

(6) Members of the public, including those with impaired vision or hearing.

(b) As provided in § 38.9, the recipient must take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.

What specific wording must the notice contain?

The notice must contain the following specific wording:

Equal Opportunity Is the Law

It is against the law for this recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the following bases:

against any individual in the United States, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief; and

against any beneficiary of programs financially assisted under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), on the basis of the beneficiary's citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or his or her participation in any WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity.

The recipient must not discriminate in any of the following areas:

deciding who will be admitted, or have access, to any WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity;

providing opportunities in, or treating any person with regard to, such a program or activity; or

making employment decisions in the administration of, or in connection with, such a program or activity.

What To Do If You Believe You Have Experienced Discrimination

If you think that you have been subjected to discrimination under a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, you may file a complaint within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation with either:

the recipient's Equal Opportunity Officer (or the person whom the recipient has designated for this purpose); or

the Director, Civil Rights Center (CRC), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210.

If you file your complaint with the recipient, you must wait either until the recipient issues a written Notice of Final Action, or until 90 days have passed (whichever is sooner), before filing with the Civil Rights Center (see address above).

If the recipient does not give you a written Notice of Final Action within 90 days of the day on which you filed your complaint, you do not have to wait for the recipient to issue that Notice before filing a complaint with CRC. However, you must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the 90-day deadline (in other words, within 120 days after the day on which you filed your complaint with the recipient).

If the recipient does give you a written Notice of Final Action on your complaint, but you are dissatisfied with the decision or resolution, you may file a complaint with CRC. You must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the date on which you received the Notice of Final Action.

Where must th e notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 be published?

(a) At a minimum, the notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 must be:

(1) Posted prominently, in reasonable numbers and places;

(2) Disseminated in internal memoranda and other written or electronic communications;

(3) Included in handbooks or manuals; and

(4) Made available to each participant, and made part of each participant's file.

(b) The notice must be provided in appropriate formats to individuals with visual impairments. Where notice has been given in an alternate format to a participant with a visual impairment, a record that such notice has been given must be made a part of the participant's file.

When must the notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 be provided?

The notice required by §§ 38.29 and 38.30 must be initially provided within October 21, 2015, or within 90 days of the date this part first applies to the recipient, whichever comes later.

Who is responsible for meeting the notice requirement with respect to service providers?

The Governor or the LWIOA grant recipient, as determined by the Governor and as provided in that State's Methods of Administration, will be responsible for meeting the notice requirement provided in §§ 38.29 and 38.30 with respect to a State's service providers.

What type of notice must a recipient include in publications, broadcasts, and other communications?

(a) Recipients must indicate that the WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity in question is an “equal opportunity employer/program,” and that “auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities,” in recruitment brochures and other materials that are ordinarily distributed or communicated in written and/or oral form, electronically and/or on paper, to staff, clients, or the public at large, to describe programs financially assisted under Title I of WIOA or the requirements for participation by recipients and participants. Where such materials indicate that the recipient may be reached by telephone, the materials must state the telephone number of the TDD/TTY or relay service used by the recipient, as required by § 38.9(c).

(b) Recipients that publish or broadcast program information in the news media must ensure that such publications and broadcasts state that the WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity in question is an equal opportunity employer/program (or otherwise indicate that discrimination in the WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity is prohibited by Federal law), and indicate that auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

(c) A recipient must not communicate any information that suggests, by text or illustration, that the recipient treats beneficiaries, registrants, applicants, participants, employees or applicants for employment differently on any prohibited ground specified in § 38.5, except as such treatment is otherwise permitted under Federal law or this part.

What are a recipient's responsibilities to provide services and information in languages other than English?

(a) A significant number or proportion of the population eligible to be served, or likely to be directly affected, by a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity may need services or information in a language other than Start Printed Page 43890English in order to be effectively informed about, or able to participate in, the program or activity. Where such a significant number or proportion exists, a recipient must take the following actions:

(1) Consider:

(i) The scope of the program or activity; and

(ii) The size and concentration of the population that needs services or information in a language other than English; and

(2) Based on those considerations, take reasonable steps to provide services and information in appropriate languages. This information must include the initial and continuing notice required under §§ 38.29 and 38.30, and all information that is communicated under § 38.34.

(b) In circumstances other than those described in paragraph (a) of this section, a recipient should nonetheless make reasonable efforts to meet the particularized language needs of limited-English-speaking individuals who seek services or information from the recipient.

What responsibilities does a recipient have to communicate information during orientations?

During each presentation to orient new participants, new employees, and/or the general public to its WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, a recipient must include a discussion of rights under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part, including the right to file a complaint of discrimination with the recipient or the Director.

Data and Information Collection and Maintenance

What are a recipient's responsibilities to collect and maintain data and other information?

(a) The Director will not require submission of data that can be obtained from existing reporting requirements or sources, including those of other agencies, if the source is known and available to the Director.

(b)(1) Each recipient must collect such data and maintain such records, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Director, as the Director finds necessary to determine whether the recipient has complied or is complying with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part. The system and format in which the records and data are kept must be designed to allow the Governor and CRC to conduct statistical or other quantifiable data analyses to verify the recipient's compliance with section 188 of WIOA and this part.

(2) Such records must include, but are not limited to, records on applicants, registrants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, terminees, employees, and applicants for employment. Each recipient must record the race/ethnicity, sex, age, and where known, disability status, of every applicant, registrant, eligible applicant/registrant, participant, terminee, applicant for employment, and employee. Such information must be stored in a manner that ensures confidentiality, and must be used only for the purposes of recordkeeping and reporting; determining eligibility, where appropriate, for WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs or activities; determining the extent to which the recipient is operating its WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity in a nondiscriminatory manner; or other use authorized by law.

(c) Each recipient must maintain, and submit to CRC upon request, a log of complaints filed with it that allege discrimination on the ground(s) of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, and/or participation in a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. The log must include: The name and address of the complainant; the ground of the complaint; a description of the complaint; the date the complaint was filed; the disposition and date of disposition of the complaint; and other pertinent information. Information that could lead to identification of a particular individual as having filed a complaint must be kept confidential.

(d) Where designation of individuals by race or ethnicity is required, the guidelines of the Office of Management and Budget must be used.

(e) A service provider's responsibility for collecting and maintaining the information required under this section may be assumed by the Governor or LWIOA grant recipient, as provided in the State's Methods of Administration.

What information must grant applicants and recipients provide to CRC?

In addition to the information which must be collected, maintained, and, upon request, submitted to CRC under § 38.37:

(a) Each grant applicant and recipient must promptly notify the Director when any administrative enforcement actions or lawsuits are filed against it alleging discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity. This notification must include:

(1) The names of the parties to the action or lawsuit;

(2) The forum in which each case was filed; and

(3) The relevant case numbers.

(b) Each grant applicant (as part of its application) and recipient (as part of a compliance review conducted under § 38.63, or monitoring activity carried out under § 38.65) must provide the following information:

(1) The name of any other Federal agency that conducted a civil rights compliance review or complaint investigation, and that found the grant applicant or recipient to be in noncompliance, during the two years before the grant application was filed or CRC began its examination; and

(2) Information about any administrative enforcement actions or lawsuits that alleged discrimination on any protected basis, and that were filed against the grant applicant or recipient during the two years before the application or renewal application, compliance review, or monitoring activity. This information must include:

(i) The names of the parties;

(ii) The forum in which each case was filed; and

(iii) The relevant case numbers.

(c) At the discretion of the Director, grant applicants and recipients may be required to provide, in a timely manner, any information and data necessary to investigate complaints and conduct compliance reviews on grounds prohibited under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

(d) At the discretion of the Director, recipients may be required to provide, in a timely manner, the particularized information and/or to submit the periodic reports that the Director considers necessary to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(e) At the discretion of the Director, grant applicants may be required to submit, in a timely manner, the particularized information necessary to determine whether or not the grant applicant, if financially assisted, would be able to comply with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(f) Where designation of individuals by race or ethnicity is required, the guidelines of the Office of Management and Budget must be used.

Start Printed Page 43891
How long must grant applicants and recipients maintain the records required under this part?

(a) Each recipient must maintain the following records for a period of not less than three years from the close of the applicable program year:

(1) The records of applicants, registrants, eligible applicants/registrants, participants, terminees, employees, and applicants for employment; and

(2) Such other records as are required under this part or by the Director.

(b) Records regarding complaints and actions taken on the complaints must be maintained for a period of not less than three years from the date of resolution of the complaint.

What access to sources of information must grant applicants and recipients provide the Director?

(a) Each grant applicant and recipient must permit access by the Director during normal business hours to its premises and to its employees and participants, to the extent that such individuals are on the premises during the course of the investigation, for the purpose of conducting complaint investigations, compliance reviews, monitoring activities associated with a State's development and implementation of a Methods of Administration, and inspecting and copying such books, records, accounts and other materials as may be pertinent to ascertain compliance with and ensure enforcement of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

(b) Asserted considerations of privacy or confidentiality are not a basis for withholding information from CRC and will not bar CRC from evaluating or seeking to enforce compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

(c) Whenever any information that the Director asks a grant applicant or recipient to provide is in the exclusive possession of another agency, institution, or person, and that agency, institution, or person fails or refuses to furnish the information upon request, the grant applicant or recipient must certify to CRC that it has made efforts to obtain the information and that the agency, institution, or person has failed or refused to provide it. This certification must list the name and address of the agency, institution, or person that has possession of the information and the specific efforts the grant applicant or recipient made to obtain it.

What responsibilities do grant applicants, recipients, and the Department have to maintain the confidentiality of the information collected?

The identity of any individual who furnishes information relating to, or assisting in, an investigation or a compliance review, including the identity of any individual who files a complaint, must be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with a fair determination of the issues. An individual whose identity it is necessary to disclose must be protected from retaliation (see § 38.11).

What are a recipient's responsibilities under this part to provide universal access to WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities?

Recipients must take appropriate steps to ensure that they are providing universal access to their WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities. These steps should involve reasonable efforts to include members of both sexes, various racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals in differing age groups. Such efforts may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Advertising the recipient's programs and/or activities in media, such as newspapers or radio programs, that specifically target various populations;

(b) Sending notices about openings in the recipient's programs and/or activities to schools or community service groups that serve various populations; and

(c) Consulting with appropriate community service groups about ways in which the recipient may improve its outreach and service to various populations.

Subpart C—Governor's Responsibilities To Implement the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Requirements of WIOA

To whom does this subpart apply?

This subpart applies to State Programs as defined in § 38.4. However, the provisions of § 38.52(b) do not apply to State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs), because the Governor's liability for any noncompliance on the part of a SESA cannot be waived.

What are a Governor's oversight responsibilities?

The Governor is responsible for oversight of all WIOA Title I-financially assisted State programs. This responsibility includes ensuring compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part, and negotiating, where appropriate, with a recipient to secure voluntary compliance when noncompliance is found under § 38.95(b).

To what extent may a Governor be liable for the actions of a recipient he or she has financially assisted under WIOA Title I?

(a) The Governor and the recipient are jointly and severally liable for all violations of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part by the recipient, unless the Governor has:

(1) Established and adhered to a Methods of Administration, under § 38.54, designed to give reasonable guarantee of the recipient's compliance with such provisions;

(2) Entered into a written contract with the recipient that clearly establishes the recipient's obligations regarding nondiscrimination and equal opportunity;

(3) Acted with due diligence to monitor the recipient's compliance with these provisions; and

(4) Taken prompt and appropriate corrective action to effect compliance.

(b) If the Director determines that the Governor has demonstrated substantial compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, he or she may recommend to the Secretary that the imposition of sanctions against the Governor be waived and that sanctions be imposed only against the noncomplying recipient.

What are a Governor's oversight responsibilities regarding recipients' recordkeeping?

The Governor must ensure that recipients collect and maintain records in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 38.38 and any procedures prescribed by the Director under § 38.38(b). The Governor must further ensure that recipients are able to provide data and reports in the manner prescribed by the Director.

What are a Governor's obligations to develop and maintain a Methods of Administration?

(a)(1) Each Governor must establish and adhere to a Methods of Administration for State programs as defined in § 38.4. In those States in which one agency contains both SESA or unemployment insurance and WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs, the Governor should develop a combined Methods of Administration.

(2) Each Methods of Administration must be designed to give a reasonable guarantee that all recipients will comply, and are complying, with the nondiscrimination and equal Start Printed Page 43892opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

(b) The Methods of Administration must be:

(1) In writing, addressing each requirement of § 38.54(d) with narrative and documentation;

(2) Reviewed and updated as required in § 38.55; and

(3) Signed by the Governor.

(c) [Reserved]

(d) At a minimum, each Methods of Administration must:

(1) Describe how the State programs and recipients have satisfied the requirements of the following regulations:

(i) Sections 38.20 through 38.22 (Assurances);

(ii) Sections 38.23 through 38.28 (Equal Opportunity Officers);

(iii) Sections 38.29 through 38.36 (Notice and Communication);

(iv) Sections 38.38 through 38.41 (Data and Information Collection and Maintenance);

(v) Section 38.42 (universal access);

(vi) Section 38.53 (Governor's oversight responsibilities regarding recipients' recordkeeping); and

(vii) Sections 38.70 through 38.79 (Complaint Processing Procedures); and

(2) Include the following additional elements:

(i) A system for determining whether a grant applicant, if financially assisted, and/or a training provider, if selected as eligible under section 122 of the Act, is likely to conduct its WIOA Title I—financially assisted programs or activities in a nondiscriminatory way, and to comply with the regulations in this part;

(ii) A system for periodically monitoring the compliance of recipients with WIOA section 188 and this part, including a determination as to whether each recipient is conducting its WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity in a nondiscriminatory way. At a minimum, each periodic monitoring review required by this paragraph (d)(2)(ii) must include:

(A) A statistical or other quantifiable analysis of records and data kept by the recipient under § 38.38, including analyses by race/ethnicity, sex, age, and disability status;

(B) An investigation of any significant differences identified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(A) of this section in participation in the programs, activities, or employment provided by the recipient, to determine whether these differences appear to be caused by discrimination. This investigation must be conducted through review of the recipient's records and any other appropriate means; and

(C) An assessment to determine whether the recipient has fulfilled its administrative obligations under section 188 or this part (for example, recordkeeping, notice and communication) and any duties assigned to it under the MOA;

(iii) A review of recipient policy issuances to ensure they are nondiscriminatory;

(iv) A system for reviewing recipients' job training plans, contracts, assurances, and other similar agreements to ensure that they are both nondiscriminatory and contain the required language regarding nondiscrimination and equal opportunity;

(v) Procedures for ensuring that recipients comply with the requirements of Section 504 and this part with regard to individuals with disabilities;

(vi) A system of policy communication and training to ensure that EO Officers and members of the recipients' staffs who have been assigned responsibilities under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part are aware of and can effectively carry out these responsibilities;

(vii) Procedures for obtaining prompt corrective action or, as necessary, applying sanctions when noncompliance is found; and

(viii) Supporting documentation to show that the commitments made in the Methods of Administration have been and/or are being carried out. This supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:

(A) Policy and procedural issuances concerning required elements of the Methods of Administration;

(B) Copies of monitoring instruments and instructions;

(C) Evidence of the extent to which nondiscrimination and equal opportunity policies have been developed and communicated as required by this part;

(D) Information reflecting the extent to which Equal Opportunity training, including training called for by §§ 38.25(f) and 38.26(c), is planned and/or has been carried out;

(E) Reports of monitoring reviews and reports of follow-up actions taken under those reviews where violations have been found, including, where appropriate, sanctions; and

(F) Copies of any notices made under §§ 38.29 through 38.36.

When must the Governor carry out his or her obligations with regard to the Methods of Administration?

(a) Within either January 19, 2016, or the date on which the Department gives final approval to a State's Five-Year Plan, whichever is later, a Governor must:

(1) Develop and implement a Methods of Administration consistent with the requirements of this part, and

(2) Submit a copy of the Methods of Administration to the Director.

(b) The Governor must promptly update the Methods of Administration whenever necessary, and must notify the Director in writing at the time that any such updates are made.

(c) Every two years from the date on which the initial MOA is submitted to the Director under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the Governor must review the Methods of Administration and the manner in which it has been implemented, and determine whether any changes are necessary in order for the State to comply fully and effectively with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

(1) If any such changes are necessary, the Governor must make the appropriate changes and submit them, in writing, to the Director.

(2) If the Governor determines that no such changes are necessary, s/he must certify, in writing, to the Director that the Methods of Administration previously submitted continues in effect.

Subpart D—Compliance Procedures

How does the Director evaluate compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part?

From time to time, the Director may conduct pre-approval compliance reviews of grant applicants for, and post-approval compliance reviews of recipients of, WIOA Title I financial assistance, to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part. Reviews may focus on one or more specific programs or activities, or one or more issues within a program or activity. The Director may also investigate and resolve complaints alleging violations of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

Is there authority to issue subpoenas?

(a) Yes, section 183(c) of WIOA authorizes the issuance of subpoenas. A subpoena may direct the individual named on the subpoena to take the following actions:

(1) To appear:

(i) Before a designated CRC representative;Start Printed Page 43893

(ii) At a designated time and place;

(2) To give testimony; and/or

(3) To produce documentary evidence.

(b) The subpoena may require the appearance of witnesses, and the production of documents, from any place in the United States, at any designated time and place.

Compliance Reviews

What are the authority and procedures for conducting pre-approval compliance reviews?

(a) As appropriate and necessary to ensure compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part, the Director may review any application, or class of applications, for Federal financial assistance under Title I of WIOA, before and as a condition of their approval. The basis for such review may be the assurance specified in § 38.20, information and reports submitted by the grant applicant under this part or guidance published by the Director, and any relevant records on file with the Department.

(b) Where the Director determines that the grant applicant for Federal financial assistance under WIOA Title I, if financially assisted, might not comply with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements of WIOA or this part, the Director must:

(1) Notify, in a timely manner, the Departmental grantmaking agency and the Assistant Attorney General of the findings of the pre-approval compliance review; and

(2) Issue a Letter of Findings. The Letter of Findings must advise the grant applicant, in writing, of:

(i) The preliminary findings of the review;

(ii) The proposed remedial or corrective action under Section 38.94 and the time within which the remedial or corrective action should be completed;

(iii) Whether it will be necessary for the grant applicant to enter into a written Conciliation Agreement as described in §§ 38.95 and 38.97; and

(iv) The opportunity to engage in voluntary compliance negotiations.

(c) If a grant applicant has agreed to certain remedial or corrective actions in order to receive WIOA Title I-funded Federal financial assistance, the Department must ensure that the remedial or corrective actions have been taken, or that a Conciliation Agreement has been entered into, before approving the award of further assistance under WIOA Title I. If a grant applicant refuses or fails to take remedial or corrective actions or to enter into a Conciliation Agreement, as applicable, the Director must follow the procedures outlined in §§ 38.98 through 38.100.

What are the authority and procedures for conducting post-approval compliance reviews?

(a) The Director may initiate a post-approval compliance review of any recipient to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part. The initiation of a post-approval review may be based on, but need not be limited to, the results of routine program monitoring by other Departmental or Federal agencies, or the nature or frequency of complaints.

(b) A post-approval review must be initiated by a Notification Letter, advising the recipient of:

(1) The practices to be reviewed;

(2) The programs to be reviewed;

(3) The information, records, and/or data to be submitted by the recipient within 30 days of the receipt of the Notification Letter, unless this time frame is modified by the Director; and

(4) The opportunity, at any time before receipt of the Final Determination described in §§ 38.99 and 38.100, to make a documentary or other submission that explains, validates or otherwise addresses the practices under review.

(c) The Director may conduct post-approval reviews using such techniques as desk audits and on-site reviews.

What procedures must the Director follow when CRC has completed a post-approval compliance review?

(a) Where, as the result of a post-approval review, the Director has made a finding of noncompliance, he or she must issue a Letter of Findings. This Letter must advise the recipient, in writing, of:

(1) The preliminary findings of the review;

(2) Where appropriate, the proposed remedial or corrective action to be taken, and the time by which such action should be completed, as provided in § 38.94;

(3) Whether it will be necessary for the recipient to enter into a written assurance and/or Conciliation Agreement, as provided in §§ 38.96 and 38.97; and

(4) The opportunity to engage in voluntary compliance negotiations.

(b) Where no violation is found, the recipient must be so informed in writing.

What is the Director's authority to monitor the activities of a Governor?

(a) The Director may periodically review the adequacy of the Methods of Administration established by a Governor, as well as the adequacy of the Governor's performance under the Methods of Administration, to determine compliance with the requirements of §§ 38.50 through 38.55. The Director may review the Methods of Administration during a compliance review under §§ 38.62 and 38.63, or at another time.

(b) Nothing in this subpart limits or precludes the Director from monitoring directly any WIOA Title I recipient or from investigating any matter necessary to determine a recipient's compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part.

What happens if a recipient fails to submit requested data, records, and/or information, or fails to provide CRC with the required access?

The Director may issue a Notice to Show Cause to a recipient failing to comply with the requirements of this part, where such failure results in the inability of the Director to make a finding. Such a failure includes, but is not limited to, the recipient's failure or refusal to:

(a) Submit requested information, records, and/or data within 30 days of receiving a Notification Letter;

(b) Submit, in a timely manner, information, records, and/or data requested during a compliance review, complaint investigation, or other action to determine a recipient's compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part; or

(c) Provide CRC access in a timely manner to a recipient's premises, records, or employees during a compliance review, as required in § 38.40.

What information must a Notice to Show Cause contain?

(a) A Notice to Show Cause must contain:

(1) A description of the violation and a citation to the pertinent nondiscrimination or equal opportunity provision(s) of WIOA and this part;

(2) The corrective action necessary to achieve compliance or, as may be appropriate, the concepts and principles of acceptable corrective or remedial action and the results anticipated; and

(3) A request for a written response to the findings, including commitments to corrective action or the presentation of opposing facts and evidence.

(b) A Notice to Show Cause must give the recipient 30 days to show cause why enforcement proceedings under the nondiscrimination and equal Start Printed Page 43894opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part should not be instituted.

How may a recipient show cause why enforcement proceedings should not be instituted?

A recipient may show cause why enforcement proceedings should not be instituted by, among other means:

(a) Correcting the violation(s) that brought about the Notice to Show Cause and entering into a written assurance and/or entering into a Conciliation Agreement, as appropriate, under §§ 38.95 through 38.97;

(b) Demonstrating that CRC does not have jurisdiction; or

(c) Demonstrating that the violation alleged by CRC did not occur.

What happens if a recipient fails to show cause?

If the recipient fails to show cause why enforcement proceedings should not be initiated, the Director must follow the enforcement procedures outlined in §§ 38.99 and 38.100.

Complaint Processing Procedures

Who may file a complaint concerning discrimination connected with WIOA Title I?

Any person who believes that either he or she, or any specific class of individuals, has been or is being subjected to discrimination prohibited by WIOA or this part, may file a written complaint, either by him/herself or through a representative.

Where may a complaint be filed?

A complainant may file a complaint with either the recipient or the Director. Complaints filed with the Director should be sent to the address listed in the notice in § 38.30.

When must a complaint be filed?

Generally, a complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. However, for good cause shown, the Director may extend the filing time. The time period for filing is for the administrative convenience of CRC, and does not create a defense for the respondent.

What information must a complaint contain?

Each complaint must be filed in writing, and must contain the following information:

(a) The complainant's name and address (or another means of contacting the complainant);

(b) The identity of the respondent (the individual or entity that the complainant alleges is responsible for the discrimination);

(c) A description of the complainant's allegations. This description must include enough detail to allow the Director or the recipient, as applicable, to decide whether:

(1) CRC or the recipient, as applicable, has jurisdiction over the complaint;

(2) The complaint was filed in time; and

(3) The complaint has apparent merit; in other words, whether the complainant's allegations, if true, would violate any of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part; and

(d) The complainant's signature or the signature of the complainant's authorized representative.

Are there any forms that a complainant may use to file a complaint?

Yes. A complainant may file a complaint by completing and submitting CRC's Complaint Information and Privacy Act Consent Forms, which may be obtained either from the recipient's EO Officer, or from CRC at the address listed in the notice contained in § 38.30.

Is there a right of representation in the complaint process?

Yes. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to be represented by an attorney or other individual of their choice.

What are the required elements of a recipient's discrimination complaint processing procedures?

(a) The procedures that a recipient adopts and publishes must provide that the recipient will issue a written Notice of Final Action on discrimination complaints within 90 days of the date on which the complaint is filed.

(b) At a minimum, the procedures must include the following elements:

(1) Initial, written notice to the complainant that contains the following information:

(i) An acknowledgment that the recipient has received the complaint; and

(ii) Notice that the complainant has the right to be represented in the complaint process;

(2) A written statement of the issue(s), provided to the complainant, that includes the following information:

(i) A list of the issues raised in the complaint; and

(ii) For each such issue, a statement whether the recipient will accept the issue for investigation or reject the issue, and the reasons for each rejection;

(3) A period for fact-finding or investigation of the circumstances underlying the complaint;

(4) A period during which the recipient attempts to resolve the complaint. The methods available to resolve the complaint must include alternative dispute resolution (ADR), as described in paragraph (c) of this section;

(5) A written Notice of Final Action, provided to the complainant within 90 days of the date on which the complaint was filed, that contains the following information:

(i) For each issue raised in the complaint, a statement of either:

(A) The recipient's decision on the issue and an explanation of the reasons underlying the decision; or

(B) A description of the way the parties resolved the issue; and

(ii) Notice that the complainant has a right to file a complaint with CRC within 30 days of the date on which the Notice of Final Action is issued if he or she is dissatisfied with the recipient's final action on the complaint.

(c) The procedures the recipient adopts must provide for alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The recipient's ADR procedures must provide that:

(1) The choice whether to use ADR or the customary process rests with the complainant;

(2) A party to any agreement reached under ADR may file a complaint with the Director in the event the agreement is breached. In such circumstances, the following rules will apply:

(i) The non-breaching party may file a complaint with the Director within 30 days of the date on which the non-breaching party learns of the alleged breach;

(ii) The Director must evaluate the circumstances to determine whether the agreement has been breached. If he or she determines that the agreement has been breached, the complainant may file a complaint with CRC based upon his/her original allegation(s), and the Director will waive the time deadline for filing such a complaint.

(3) If the parties do not reach an agreement under ADR, the complainant may file a complaint with the Director as described in §§ 38.71 through 38.74.

Who is responsible for developing and publishing complaint processing procedures for service providers?

The Governor or the LWIOA grant recipient, as provided in the State's Methods of Administration, must develop and publish, on behalf of its service providers, the complaint processing procedures required in § 38.76. The service providers must then follow those procedures.

Start Printed Page 43895
Does a recipient have any special obligations in cases in which the recipient determines that it has no jurisdiction over a complaint?

Yes. If a recipient determines that it does not have jurisdiction over a complaint, it must notify the complainant, in writing, immediately. This Notice of Lack of Jurisdiction must include:

(a) A statement of the reasons for that determination; and

(b) Notice that the complainant has a right to file a complaint with CRC within 30 days of the date on which the complainant receives the Notice.

If, before the 90-day period has expired, a recipient issues a Notice of Final Action with which the complainant is dissatisfied, how long does the complainant have to file a complaint with the Director?

If, during the 90-day period, the recipient issues its Notice of Final Action, but the complainant is dissatisfied with the recipient's decision on the complaint, the complainant or his/her representative may file a complaint with the Director within 30 days after the date on which the complainant receives the Notice.

What happens if a recipient fails to issue a Notice of Final Action within 90 days of the date on which a complaint was filed?

If, by the end of 90 days from the date on which the complainant filed the complaint, the recipient has failed to issue a Notice of Final Action, the complainant or his/her representative may file a complaint with the Director within 30 days of the expiration of the 90-day period. In other words, the complaint must be filed with the Director within 120 days of the date on which the complaint was filed with the recipient.

Are there any circumstances under which the Director may extend the time limit for filing a complaint with him or her?

(a) Yes. The Director may extend the 30-day time limit:

(1) If the recipient does not include in its Notice of Final Action the required notice about the complainant's right to file with the Director, as described in § 38.76(b)(5)(ii); or

(2) For other good cause shown.

(b) The complainant has the burden of proving to the Director that the time limit should be extended.

Does the Director accept every complaint for resolution?

No. The Director must determine whether CRC will accept a particular complaint for resolution. For example, a complaint need not be accepted if:

(a) It has not been timely filed;

(b) CRC has no jurisdiction over the complaint; or

(c) CRC has previously decided the matter.

What happens if a complaint does not contain enough information?

(a) If a complaint does not contain enough information, the Director must try to get the needed information from the complainant.

(b) The Director may close the complainant's file, without prejudice, if:

(1) The Director makes reasonable efforts to try to find the complainant, but is unable to reach him or her; or

(2) The complainant does not provide the needed information to CRC within the time specified in the request for more information.

(c) If the Director closes the complainant's file, he or she must send written notice to the complainant's last known address.

What happens if CRC does not have jurisdiction over a complaint?

If CRC does not have jurisdiction over a complaint, the Director must:

(a) Notify the complainant and explain why the complaint falls outside the coverage of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part; and

(b) Where possible, transfer the complaint to an appropriate Federal, State or local authority.

Are there any other circumstances in which the Director will send a complaint to another authority?

Yes. The Director refers complaints to other agencies in the following circumstances:

(a) Where the complaint alleges discrimination based on age, and the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, then the Director must refer the complaint, in accordance with the provisions of 45 CFR 90.43(c)(3).

(b) Where the only allegation in the complaint is a charge of individual employment discrimination that is covered both by WIOA or this part and by one or more of the laws listed below, then the complaint is a “joint complaint,” and the Director may refer it to the EEOC for investigation and conciliation under the procedures described in 29 CFR part 1640 or 1691, as appropriate. The relevant laws are:

(1) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e to 2000e-17);

(2) The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended (29 U.S.C. 206(d));

(3) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1976, as amended (29 U.S.C. 621, et seq.); and

(4) Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

(c) Where the complaint alleges discrimination by an entity that operates a program or activity financially assisted by a Federal grantmaking agency other than the Department, but that participates as a partner in a One-Stop delivery system, the following procedures apply:

(1) Where the complaint alleges discrimination on a basis that is prohibited both by Section 188 of WIOA and by a civil rights law enforced by the Federal grantmaking agency, then CRC and the grantmaking agency have dual jurisdiction over the complaint, and the Director will refer the complaint to the grantmaking agency for processing. In such circumstances, the grantmaking agency's regulations will govern the processing of the complaint.

(2) Where the complaint alleges discrimination on a basis that is prohibited by Section 188 of WIOA, but not by any civil rights laws enforced by the Federal grantmaking agency, then CRC has sole jurisdiction over the complaint, and will retain the complaint and process it pursuant to this part. Such bases generally include religion, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, and/or participation in a WIOA Title I—financially assisted program or activity.

(d) Where the Director makes a referral under this section, he or she must notify the complainant and the respondent about the referral.

What must the Director do if he or she determines that a complaint will not be accepted?

If a complaint will not be accepted, the Director must notify the complainant, in writing, about that fact, and provide the complainant his/her reasons for making that determination.

What must the Director do if he or she determines that a complaint will be accepted?

If the Director accepts the complaint for resolution, he or she must notify the complainant, the respondent, and the grantmaking agency. The notice must:

(a) State that the complaint will be accepted;

(b) Identify the issues over which CRC has accepted jurisdiction; and

(c) Explain the reasons why any issues were rejected.

Who may contact CRC about a complaint?

Both the complainant and the respondent, or their authorized representatives, may contact CRC for information about the complaint. The Director will determine what Start Printed Page 43896information, if any, about the complaint will be released.

May the Director offer the parties to a complaint the option of mediation?

Yes. The Director may offer the parties to a complaint the option of mediating the complaint. In such circumstances, the following rules apply:

(a) Mediation is voluntary; the parties must consent before the mediation process will proceed.

(b) The mediation will be conducted under guidance issued by the Director.

(c) If the parties are unable to reach resolution of the complaint through mediation, CRC will investigate and process the complaint under §§ 38.82 through 38.88.

Determinations

If a complaint is investigated, what must the Director do when the investigation is completed?

At the conclusion of the investigation of the complaint, the Director must take the following actions:

(a) Determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has violated the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part; and

(b) Notify the complainant, the respondent, and the grantmaking agency, in writing, of that determination.

What notice must the Director issue if he or she finds reasonable cause to believe that a violation has taken place?

If the Director finds reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has violated the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part, he or she must issue an Initial Determination. The Initial Determination must include:

(a) The specific findings of the investigation;

(b) The corrective or remedial action that the Department proposes to the respondent, under § 38.94;

(c) The time by which the respondent must complete the corrective or remedial action;

(d) Whether it will be necessary for the respondent to enter into a written agreement under §§ 38.95 and 38.96; and

(e) The opportunity to engage in voluntary compliance negotiations.

What notice must the Director issue if he or she finds no reasonable cause to believe that a violation has taken place?

If the Director determines that there is no reasonable cause to believe that a violation has taken place, he or she must issue a Final Determination under § 38.100. The Final Determination represents the Department's final agency action on the complaint.

What happens if the Director finds that a violation has taken place, and the recipient fails or refuses to take the corrective action listed in the Initial Determination?

Under such circumstances, the Department must take the actions described in § 38.99.

What corrective or remedial actions may be imposed where, after a compliance review or complaint investigation, the Director finds a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part?

(a) A Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause, or Initial Determination, issued under § 38.62 or §§ 38.63, 38.66, and 38.67, or § 38.91 respectively, must include the specific steps the grant applicant or recipient, as applicable, must take within a stated period of time in order to achieve voluntary compliance.

(b) Such steps must include:

(1) Actions to end and/or redress the violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part;

(2) Make whole relief where discrimination has been identified, including, as appropriate, back pay (which must not accrue from a date more than 2 years before the filing of the complaint or the initiation of a compliance review) or other monetary relief; hire or reinstatement; retroactive seniority; promotion; benefits or other services discriminatorily denied; and

(3) Such other remedial or affirmative relief as the Director deems necessary, including but not limited to outreach, recruitment and training designed to ensure equal opportunity.

(c) Monetary relief may not be paid from Federal funds.

What procedures apply if the Director finds that a recipient has violated the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part?

(a) Violations at State level. Where the Director has determined that a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part has occurred at the State level, he or she must notify the Governor through the issuance of a Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause or Initial Determination, as appropriate, under § 38.62 or §§ 38.63, 38.66, and 38.67, or § 38.91, respectively. The Director may secure compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part through, among other means, the execution of a written assurance and/or Conciliation Agreement, under paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Violations below State level. Where the Director has determined that a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part has occurred below the State level, the Director must so notify the Governor and the violating recipient(s) through the issuance of a Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause or Initial Determination, as appropriate, under § 38.62 or §§ 38.63, 38.66, and 38.67, or § 38.91, respectively.

(1) Such issuance must:

(i) Direct the Governor to initiate negotiations immediately with the violating recipient(s) to secure compliance by voluntary means;

(ii) Direct the Governor to complete such negotiations within 30 days of the Governor's receipt of the Notice to Show Cause or within 45 days of the Governor's receipt of the Letter of Findings or Initial Determination, as applicable. The Director reserves the right to enter into negotiations with the recipient at any time during the period. For good cause shown, the Director may approve an extension of time to secure voluntary compliance. The total time allotted to secure voluntary compliance must not exceed 60 days.

(iii) Include a determination as to whether compliance must be achieved by:

(A) Immediate correction of the violation(s) and written assurance that such violations have been corrected, under § 38.96;

(B) Entering into a written Conciliation Agreement under § 38.97; or

(C) Both.

(2) If the Governor determines, at any time during the period described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, that a recipient's compliance cannot be achieved by voluntary means, the Governor must so notify the Director.

(3) If the Governor is able to secure voluntary compliance under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, he or she must submit to the Director for approval, as applicable:

(i) Written assurance that the required action has been taken, as described in § 38.96;

(ii) A copy of the Conciliation Agreement, as described in § 38.97; or

(iii) Both.

(4) The Director may disapprove any written assurance or Conciliation Agreement submitted for approval under paragraph (b)(3) of this section that fails to satisfy each of the Start Printed Page 43897applicable requirements provided in § 38.96 or § 38.97.

(c) Violations in National Programs. Where the Director has determined that a violation of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part has occurred in a National Program, he or she must notify the Federal grantmaking agency and the recipient by issuing a Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause, or Initial Determination, as appropriate, under § 38.62 or §§ 38.63, 38.66, and 38.67, or § 38.91, respectively. The Director may secure compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part through, among other means, the execution of a written assurance and/or Conciliation Agreement under § 38.96 or § 38.97, as applicable.

What are the required elements of a written assurance?

A written assurance must provide documentation that the violations listed in the Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause or Initial Determination, as applicable, have been corrected.

What are the required elements of a Conciliation Agreement?

A Conciliation Agreement must:

(a) Be in writing;

(b) Address each cited violation;

(c) Specify the corrective or remedial action to be taken within a stated period of time to come into compliance;

(d) Provide for periodic reporting on the status of the corrective and remedial action;

(e) Provide that the violation(s) will not recur; and

(f) Provide for enforcement for a breach of the agreement.

When will the Director conclude that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means?

The Director will conclude that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means under the following circumstances:

(a) The grant applicant or recipient fails or refuses to correct the violation(s) within the time period established by the Letter of Findings, Notice to Show Cause or Initial Determination; or

(b) The Director has not approved an extension of time for agreement on voluntary compliance, under § 38.95(b)(1)(ii), and he or she either:

(1) Has not been notified, under § 38.95(b)(3), that the grant applicant or recipient has agreed to voluntary compliance;

(2) Has disapproved a written assurance or Conciliation Agreement, under § 38.95(b)(4); or

(3) Has received notice from the Governor, under § 38.95(b)(2), that the grant applicant or recipient will not comply voluntarily.

If the Director concludes that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means, what actions must he or she take?

If the Director concludes that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means, he or she must either:

(a) Issue a Final Determination;

(b) Refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that an appropriate civil action be instituted; or

(c) Take such other action as may be provided by law.

What information must a Final Determination contain?

A Final Determination must contain the following information:

(a) A statement of the efforts made to achieve voluntary compliance, and a statement that those efforts have been unsuccessful;

(b) A statement of those matters upon which the grant applicant or recipient and CRC continue to disagree;

(c) A list of any modifications to the findings of fact or conclusions that were set forth in the Initial Determination, Notice to Show Cause or Letter of Findings;

(d) A statement of the grant applicant's or recipient's liability, and, if appropriate, the extent of that liability;

(e) A description of the corrective or remedial actions that the grant applicant or recipient must take to come into compliance;

(f) A notice that if the grant applicant or recipient fails to come into compliance within 10 days of the date on which it receives the Final Determination, one or more of the following consequences may result:

(1) After the grant applicant or recipient is given the opportunity for a hearing, its WIOA Title I funds may be terminated, discontinued, or withheld in whole or in part, or its application for such funds may be denied, as appropriate;

(2) The Secretary of Labor may refer the case to the Department of Justice with a request to file suit against the grant applicant or recipient; or

(3) the Secretary may take any other action against the grant applicant or recipient that is provided by law;

(g) A notice of the grant applicant's or recipient's right to request a hearing under the procedures described in §§ 38.112 through 38.115; and

(h) A determination of the Governor's liability, if any, under § 38.52.

Whom must the Director notify of a finding of noncompliance?

Where a compliance review or complaint investigation results in a finding of noncompliance, the Director must notify:

(a) The grant applicant or recipient;

(b) The grantmaking agency; and

(c) The Assistant Attorney General.

Breaches of Conciliation Agreements

What happens if a grant applicant or recipient breaches a Conciliation Agreement?

When it becomes known to the Director that a Conciliation Agreement has been breached, the Director may issue a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement.

Whom must the Director notify about a breach of a Conciliation Agreement?

The Director must send a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement to the Governor, the grantmaking agency, and/or other party(ies) to the Conciliation Agreement, as applicable.

What information must a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement contain?

A Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement must:

(a) Specify any efforts made to achieve voluntary compliance, and indicate that those efforts have been unsuccessful;

(b) Identify the specific provisions of the Conciliation Agreement violated;

(c) Determine liability for the violation and the extent of the liability;

(d) Indicate that failure of the violating party to come into compliance within 10 days of the receipt of the Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement may result, after opportunity for a hearing, in the termination or denial of the grant, or discontinuation of assistance, as appropriate, or in referral to the Department of Justice with a request from the Department to file suit;

(e) Advise the violating party of the right to request a hearing, and reference the applicable procedures in § 38.111; and

(f) Include a determination as to the Governor's liability, if any, in accordance with the provisions of § 38.52.

Whom must the Director notify if enforcement action under a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement is commenced?

In such circumstances, the Director must notify:

(a) The grantmaking agency; and

(b) The Governor, recipient or grant applicant, as applicable.

Start Printed Page 43898

Subpart E—Federal Procedures for Effecting Compliance

What enforcement procedures does the Department follow to effect compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part?

(a) Sanctions; judicial enforcement. If compliance has not been achieved after issuance of a Final Determination under §§ 38.99 and 38.100, or a Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement under §§ 38.102 through 38.105, the Secretary may:

(1) After opportunity for a hearing, suspend, terminate, deny or discontinue the WIOA Title I financial assistance, in whole or in part;

(2) Refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that an appropriate civil action be instituted; or

(3) Take such action as may be provided by law.

(b) Deferral of new grants. When proceedings under § 38.111 have been initiated against a particular recipient, the Department may defer action on that recipient's applications for new WIOA Title I financial assistance until a Final Decision under § 38.112 has been rendered. Deferral is not appropriate when WIOA Title I financial assistance is due and payable under a previously approved application.

(1) New WIOA Title I financial assistance includes all assistance for which an application or approval, including renewal or continuation of existing activities, or authorization of new activities, is required during the deferral period.

(2) New WIOA Title I financial assistance does not include assistance approved before the beginning of proceedings under § 38.111, or increases in funding as a result of changed computations of formula awards.

What hearing procedures does the Department follow?

(a) Notice of opportunity for hearing. As part of a Final Determination, or a Notification of Breach of a Conciliation Agreement, the Director must include, and serve on the grant applicant or recipient (by certified mail, return receipt requested), a notice of opportunity for hearing.

(b) Complaint; request for hearing; answer. (1) In the case of noncompliance that cannot be voluntarily resolved, the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement is considered the Department's formal complaint.

(2) To request a hearing, the grant applicant or recipient must file a written answer to the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement, and a copy of the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement, with the Office of the Administrative Law Judges, 800 K Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20001.

(i) The answer must be filed within 30 days of the date of receipt of the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement.

(ii) A request for hearing must be set forth in a separate paragraph of the answer.

(iii) The answer must specifically admit or deny each finding of fact in the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement. Where the grant applicant or recipient does not have knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief, the answer may so state and the statement will have the effect of a denial. Findings of fact not denied are considered admitted. The answer must separately state and identify matters alleged as affirmative defenses, and must also set forth the matters of fact and law relied on by the grant applicant or recipient.

(3) The grant applicant or recipient must simultaneously serve a copy of its filing on the Office of the Solicitor, Civil Rights Division, Room N-2464, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20210.

(4)(i) The failure of a grant applicant or recipient to request a hearing under this paragraph (b), or to appear at a hearing for which a date has been set, waives the right to a hearing; and

(ii) Whenever a hearing is waived, all allegations of fact contained in the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement are considered admitted, and the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement becomes the Final Decision of the Secretary as of the day following the last date by which the grant applicant or recipient was required to request a hearing or was to appear at a hearing. See § 38.112(b)(3).

(c) Time and place of hearing. Hearings will be held at a time and place ordered by the Administrative Law Judge upon reasonable notice to all parties and, as appropriate, the complainant. In selecting a place for the hearing, due regard must be given to the convenience of the parties, their counsel, and witnesses, if any.

(d) Judicial process; evidence. (1) The Administrative Law Judge may use judicial process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents authorized by Section 9 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 49).

(2) Evidence. In any hearing or administrative review conducted under this part, evidentiary matters will be governed by the standards and principles set forth in the Uniform Rules of Evidence issued by the Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges, 29 CFR part 18.

What procedures for initial and final decisions does the Department follow?

(a) Initial decision. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge must issue an initial decision and order, containing findings of fact and conclusions of law. The initial decision and order must be served on all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b) Exceptions; final decision—(1) Final decision after a hearing. The initial decision and order becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless exceptions are filed by a party or, in the absence of exceptions, the Secretary serves notice that he or she will review the decision.

(i) A party dissatisfied with the initial decision and order may, within 45 days of receipt, file with the Secretary and serve on the other parties to the proceedings and on the Administrative Law Judge, exceptions to the initial decision and order or any part thereof.

(ii) Upon receipt of exceptions, the Administrative Law Judge must index and forward the record and the initial decision and order to the Secretary within three days of such receipt.

(iii) A party filing exceptions must specifically identify the finding or conclusion to which exception is taken. Any exception not specifically urged is waived.

(iv) Within 45 days of the date of filing such exceptions, a reply, which must be limited to the scope of the exceptions, may be filed and served by any other party to the proceeding.

(v) Requests for extensions for the filing of exceptions or replies must be received by the Secretary no later than 3 days before the exceptions or replies are due.

(vi) If no exceptions are filed, the Secretary may, within 30 days of the expiration of the time for filing exceptions, on his or her own motion serve notice on the parties that the Secretary will review the decision.

(vii) Final decision and order. (A) Where exceptions have been filed, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless the Secretary, within 30 days of the expiration of the time for filing exceptions and replies, has Start Printed Page 43899notified the parties that the case is accepted for review.

(B) Where exceptions have not been filed, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary unless the Secretary has served notice on the parties that he or she will review the decision, as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(vi) of this section.

(viii) Any case reviewed by the Secretary under this paragraph (b) must be decided within 180 days of the notification of such review. If the Secretary fails to issue a Final Decision and Order within the 180-day period, the initial decision and order of the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Decision and Order of the Secretary.

(2) Final Decision where a hearing is waived.

(i) If, after issuance of a Final Determination under § 38.100 or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement under § 38.104, voluntary compliance has not been achieved within the time set by this part and the opportunity for a hearing has been waived as provided for in § 38.111(b)(4), the Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement becomes the Final Decision of the Secretary.

(ii) When a Final Determination or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement becomes the Final Decision of the Secretary, the Secretary may, within 45 days, issue an order terminating or denying the grant or continuation of assistance or imposing other appropriate sanctions for the grant applicant or recipient's failure to comply with the required corrective and/or remedial actions, or referring the matter to the Attorney General for further enforcement action.

(3) Final agency action. A Final Decision and Order issued under paragraph (b) of this section constitutes final agency action.

What procedure does the Department follow to suspend, terminate, withhold, deny or discontinue WIOA Title I financial assistance?

Any action to suspend, terminate, deny or discontinue WIOA Title I financial assistance must be limited to the particular political entity, or part thereof, or other recipient (or grant applicant) as to which the finding has been made, and must be limited in its effect to the particular program, or part thereof, in which the noncompliance has been found. No order suspending, terminating, denying or discontinuing WIOA Title I financial assistance will become effective until:

(a) The Director has issued a Final Determination under § 38.100 or Notification of Breach of Conciliation Agreement under § 38.104;

(b) There has been an express finding on the record, after opportunity for a hearing, of failure by the grant applicant or recipient to comply with a requirement imposed by or under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA or this part;

(c) A Final Decision has been issued by the Secretary, the Administrative Law Judge's decision and order has become the Final Decision of the Secretary, or the Final Determination or Notification of Conciliation Agreement has been deemed the Final Decision of the Secretary, under § 38.112(b); and

(d) The expiration of 30 days after the Secretary has filed, with the committees of Congress having legislative jurisdiction over the program involved, a full written report of the circumstances and grounds for such action.

What procedure does the Department follow to distribute WIOA Title I financial assistance to an alternate recipient?

When the Department withholds funds from a recipient or grant applicant under these regulations, the Secretary may disburse the withheld funds directly to an alternate recipient. In such case, the Secretary will require any alternate recipient to demonstrate:

(a) The ability to comply with these regulations; and

(b) The ability to achieve the goals of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA.

What procedures does the Department follow for post-termination proceedings?

(a) A grant applicant or recipient adversely affected by a Final Decision and Order issued under § 38.112(b) will be restored, where appropriate, to full eligibility to receive WIOA Title I financial assistance if the grant applicant or recipient satisfies the terms and conditions of the Final Decision and Order and brings itself into compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA and this part.

(b) A grant applicant or recipient adversely affected by a Final Decision and Order issued under § 38.112(b) may at any time petition the Director to restore its eligibility to receive WIOA Title I financial assistance. A copy of the petition must be served on the parties to the original proceeding that led to the Final Decision and Order. The petition must be supported by information showing the actions taken by the grant applicant or recipient to bring itself into compliance. The grant applicant or recipient has the burden of demonstrating that it has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section. While proceedings under this section are pending, sanctions imposed by the Final Decision and Order under § 38.112(b) (1) and (2) must remain in effect.

(c) The Director must issue a written decision on the petition for restoration.

(1) If the Director determines that the grant applicant or recipient has not brought itself into compliance, he or she must issue a decision denying the petition.

(2) Within 30 days of its receipt of the Director's decision, the recipient or grant applicant may file a petition for review of the decision by the Secretary, setting forth the grounds for its objection to the Director's decision.

(3) The petition must be served on the Director and on the Office of the Solicitor, Civil Rights Division.

(4) The Director may file a response to the petition within 14 days.

(5) The Secretary must issue the final agency decision denying or granting the recipient's or grant applicant's request for restoration to eligibility.

End Part End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

7.  42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Public Law 110-325, section 2(b)(1), 122 Stat. 3553 (2008).

Back to Citation

9.  Executive Order 11246 (30 FR 12319), as amended by Executive Order 11375 (32 FR 14303), Executive Order 12086 (43 FR 46501), Executive Order 13279 (67 FR 77141), Executive Order 13665 (79 FR 20749) and Executive Order 13672 (79 FR 42971).

Back to Citation

11.  On April 16, 2015, the Departments of Education and Labor published a joint NPRM to implement the provisions of WIOA that affect all of the WIOA core programs (titles I-IV) and which will be jointly administered by both Departments. See 80 FR 20574 (April 16, 2015). In addition, the Departments published separately four agency-specific NPRMs to implement additional provisions of WIOA that are administered separately by the Departments. See 80 FR 20689 (April 16, 2015).

Back to Citation

12.  The 56 State entities are the recipients for the subset of programs below.

Back to Citation

19.  BLS OES, May 2014, 11-1021 General and Operations Managers (http://www.bls.gov/​oes/​current/​oes111021.htm).

Back to Citation

20.  Although DOL believes there may be others that need to familiarize themselves with this rule, this cost may nonetheless be overstated. DOL included all recipients as having E.O. Officers who are managers when the rule (29 CFR part 38) excepts small recipients from this requirement and recipients who do have E.O. Officers may have compensation rates lower than the estimate.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2015-17637 Filed 7-22-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE P