The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has formal relationships with over 190 state and local fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs) that are designed to avoid duplication of enforcement efforts when both federal law and state or local law prohibit the same type of discrimination.

A FEPA worksharing agreement is significant for charge filing purposes because it can extend the period under which a party can file a timely charge from 180 days to 300 days. And although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ostensibly requires an individual to dual file a charge with a FEPA to take advantage of the 300 day filing period, a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the mere existence of a FEPA extends the time in which an individual may file a timely charge to 300 days.

In Jones v. Federal Express Corp., No. 19-5072 (6th Cir. March 12, 2020), the appeals court reversed a trial court ruling that had dismissed the plaintiff’s claim on timeliness grounds. Although Jones never filed a charge with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC), which has a worksharing agreement with the EEOC, the court found that the worksharing agreement between the EEOC and the THRC automatically triggered the 300-day extended deadline.

A copy of the Sixth Circuit’s opinion is available online.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.