This new procedure should cause employers to rethink how they respond to EEOC charges. In the past, employers might have had some protection against confidential, internal information being shared with a charging party. Information such as contact information for present and former employees, employer trade secrets, and sensitive information from an internal investigation may have been provided to the agency but not necessarily given to an employee because of the sensitivity of the information or the wishes of the person providing it. Under the new procedures, the EEOC will release the first formal document received from the charging party (the charge) and the first formal document received from the respondent (the position statement). Other documents might be disclosed in the future but, for now, the plan is to release just these documents.
This new procedure may mean that disclosure will become the norm, and employers who have provided extensive material in their responses should rethink that approach. The EEOC (in its Q&A for respondents) recommends that employers refer to “but not identify” sensitive information such as medical information, social security numbers, confidential commercial or financial information, trade secrets, non-relevant, personally identifiable information of witnesses, comparators or third parties, or references to charges filed by other charging parties.
The new procedures are described on the EEOC’s website at:
The new procedures are not necessarily in place at state deferral agencies, but will be applied for any materials submitted directly to the EEOC.
Employers who are responding to EEOC charges should review the new procedures and should consider the implications carefully before submitting any information to the agency. Is this important information that the agency needs to see to resolve the complaint? Does it fit neatly in the categories outlined by the EEOC? Can it be submitted separately or later in the investigation? Do you care if the charging party sees the information or document? If you do, think about how you can make your argument without submitting it.
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Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2017 por Barran Liebman LLP.