Information flow in the internal EEOC investigation

by on May 18, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Who need to know what, when , and how much

Investigation documentation
With respect to documentation, everything you write down as part of your internal EEOC investigation is going to be discoverable unless it’s from conversations with your attorney and things like that. Take your notes in a way that you wouldn’t mind showing them to a jury if this ever got to litigation.

EEOC and retaliation
Another point to remember, when conducting your own internal EEOC investigation here, it’s very important not to retaliate or give the impression that you are retaliating. Remind your colleagues of the same thing, and the managers and supervisors.

Who are you going to inform when you get this EEOC charge?
Well, for one thing you’re going to tell the company’s counsel-general counsel will definitely want to be on notice of this one. You’re going to tell those who need to know but only those who need to know. We really want to limit this to the appropriate players in your internal EEOC investigation.

Who you tell may differ depending on whether the EEOC investigation centers on an applicant, an employee or a former employee. Obviously, the situation with an employee is the most difficult. And you want to be particularly careful in keeping the people who know to a minimum.

If you have insurance, employment practices liability insurance or something like that, you want to notify the insurance company because receipt of a charge may be the first required notice for the insurance company.

And who you tell may also differ depending on what the EEOC investigation is asking for. If you’ve got to do an investigation and write a position statement, more people are going to need to know than if you’ve got a no action required situation. Managers and supervisors who know about the EEOC investigation charge need to be reminded about retaliation.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar: “EEOC Charges: How to Prepare an Airtight Response and Avoid Costly Payouts” by Alyssa T. Senzel, Esq. on 2-7-2008

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