According to the EEOC (n.d.), there is a specific charge handling process that occurs when an employer has a charge filed against them. Specific steps take place to ensure proper handling of the claim.
If a charge has been filed against an employer, the employer “will be notified within 10 days that a charge of discrimination has been filed” against them, along with the contact information for the investigator assigned to the case (para. 1). The employer may choose to resolve the dispute through settlement or mediation, if the other party agrees. The employer will be asked to provide specific information, including:
- Statement of position – the employers story of what happened
- Copies of the businesses personnel policies
- Copies of the charging employees’ personnel files
- Personnel files of any other individuals requested
- The employer would need to authorize an on-site visit
- Contact information of any potential witnesses to the discrimination
In addition, the EEOC asks that the employer responds promptly and thoroughly to all requests for information, even if the employer feels as if the charge is frivolous. Once the EEOC has evaluated all information, completed any interviews, etc. they will determine the merits of the charge(s) against the employer. At that time the EEOC will notify both parties as to the findings and if the employee has a basis to file a claim against the employer.
As the employer responds to the EEOC, he or she shouldn’t make any drastic moves, such as firing the employee or writing up the employee because it could be viewed as retaliation against the employee. I would also recommend hiring an attorney to draft any responses to the EEOC just to ensure everything is in order. Also, the employer should not throw any documents away or change anything in the charging employee’s file.
Have you ever had to deal with the EEOC in a situation like this? What was the experience like?
EEOC. (n.d.). The charge handling process. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/process.cfm