Legal Alerts

09 Mar 2016

News from the EEOC: Charging Parties to Gain Access to Employer Responses

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that, for all charges filed with the EEOC as of Jan. 1, 2016 and later, Charging Parties and/or their attorneys will be able to request and receive a copy of the position statement as well as all non-confidential information submitted by the Respondent to the EEOC in connection with the charge.

The EEOC identified specific categories of information potentially qualifying as “confidential:”

  1. Sensitive medical information other than that of the Charging Party;
  2. Social Security numbers;
  3. Confidential commercial or financial information;
  4. Trade Secrets;
  5. Non-relevant personally identifiable information about a witness or non-parties and other third parties, such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth (non-age cases), home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.;
  6. References to charges filed against the Respondent by other Charging Parties.

If the Respondent is submitting confidential information with its response, the Respondent should provide this information in separately labeled attachments clearly marked as “confidential.”

NOTE: While the EEOC will provide the Respondent’s position statement and non-confidential information to Charging Parties upon request, the EEOC will not provide the Charging Party’s response to the Respondent during the investigation. The Charging Party will be afforded 20 days from receipt of the position statement to submit a verbal or written response to the position statement and any supporting evidence. Additionally, under the new system, the Charging Party will be notified of his or her right to request a copy of the employer’s position statement at the time he or she files a charge.

The new procedures stress the importance of retaining experienced counsel to assist in the preparation of position statements filed with the EEOC. If you have any questions about the new EEOC procedures, please do not hesitate to contact Karen E. Milner or Whitney P. Cooney.