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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter XIV → Part 1621


Title 29: Labor


PART 1621—PROCEDURES—THE EQUAL PAY ACT


Contents
§1621.1   Purpose.
§1621.2   Definitions.
§1621.3   Procedure for requesting an opinion letter.
§1621.4   Effect of opinions and interpretations of the Commission.

Authority: Secs. 1-19, 52 Stat. 1060, as amended, secs. 10-16, 61 Stat. 84, Pub. L. 88-38, 77 Stat. 56 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.); sec. 1, Reorgan. Plan No. 1 of 1978, 43 FR 19807; E. O. 12144, 44 FR 37193.

Source: 49 FR 31411, Aug. 7, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§1621.1   Purpose.

The regulations set forth in this part contain the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for issuing opinion letters under the Equal Pay Act.

§1621.2   Definitions.

For purposes of this part, the term the Act shall mean the Equal Pay Act the Commission shall mean the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or any of its designated representatives.

§1621.3   Procedure for requesting an opinion letter.

(a) A request for an opinion letter should be submitted in writing to the Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE., Washington, DC 20507, and shall contain:

(1) A concise statement of the issues for which an opinion is requested;

(2) A full statement of the relevant facts and law; and

(3) The names and addresses of the person(s) making the request and other interested persons.

(b) Issuance of an opinion letter by the Commission is discretionary.

(c) Informal advice: When the Commission, at its discretion, determines that it will not issue an opinion letter as defined in §1621.4, the Commission may provide informal advice or guidance to the requestor. An informal letter of advice does not represent the formal position of the Commission and does not commit the Commission to the views expressed therein. Any letter other than those defined in §1621.4 will be considered a letter of advice and may not be relied upon by any employer within the meaning of section 10 of the Portal to Portal Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. 255.

[49 FR 31411, Aug. 7, 1984, as amended at 71 FR 26831, May 9, 2006; 74 FR 3430, Jan. 21, 2009]

§1621.4   Effect of opinions and interpretations of the Commission.

(a) Section 10 of the Portal to Portal Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. 255, which applies to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), provides that:

In any action or proceeding based on any act or omission on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, no employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment *  *  * if he pleads and proves that the act or omission complained of was in good faith in conformity with and in reliance on any written administrative regulation, order, ruling, approval or interpretation *  *  * or any administrative practice or enforcement policy of [the Commission].

The Commission has determined that only the following documents may be relied upon by any employer as a “ruling, approval or interpretation” or as “evidence of any administrative practice or enforcement policy” of the Commission within the meaning of the statutory provisions quoted above.

(1) A written document, entitled “opinion letter,” signed by the Legal Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission;

(2) A written document issued in the conduct of litigation, entitled “opinion letter,” signed by the General Counsel on behalf of and as approved by the Commission;

(3) A matter published and specifically designated as such in the Federal Register.

(b) An opinion letter issued pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, when issued to a specific addressee, has no effect upon circumstances beyond the situation of the specific addressee.

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