Federal Partners

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Maine Human Rights Commission and the EEOC have enjoyed a partnership since 1975, and operate together under a Worksharing Agreement which is revised and updated annually. The Agreement delineates how complaints that are jurisdictional under both state and federal laws administered by each agency are processed and reviewed.

The EEOC is the federal agency which enforces the principal federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin;
  • Sections of the Civil Right Act of 1991;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older,
  • The Equal Pay Act;
  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments.
  • Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment

U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) /Civil Rights Division/Disability Rights Section

In December 1997, the DOJ certified that the Maine Human Rights Act, as implemented by the Accessibility Regulations, was compatible with the federal requirements under the new construction and alterations provisions of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title III of the ADA requires newly built public accommodations and commercial facilities, including those that are altered, to be built in accordance with the ADA's Standards for Accessible Design. To better coordinate the ADA construction requirements with established state and local building inspection procedures, the Justice Department may certify that a building code is equivalent to the ADA requirements.

Maine was only the third state in the country to have a certified building code. If builders of covered buildings in Maine meet the requirements of the Maine Human Rights Act and Regulations, they will have a rebuttable presumption in any subsequent legal proceeding for evidence of ADA compliance because of this certification.

Department of Justice (DOJ) - Civil Rights Division/Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices

The DOJ - Office of Special Counsel is charged with enforcement of the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as amended, which prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of national origin or citizenship status, or in the form of "document abuse." The MHRC and the OSC entered into a Worksharing Agreement in 1994 to minimize duplication of effort and to ensure that matters within the jurisdiction of an agency are communicated to that agency without delay.

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Office of Fair Housing

The Maine Human Rights Commission entered into an Agreement for Interim Referrals and other services with the HUD - Office of Fair Housing in September 2002. In 2005 the Commission completed it's capacity building and currently partners with HUD under a Contributions Agreement. The Agreement provides for complaint filing procedures designed to address allegations of unlawful housing discrimination. The Commission investigates housing complaints for HUD, thus avoiding duplicate investigations in Maine.