The request for information in the EEOC complaint process

by on May 21, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Always answer the EEOC complaint , but narrow the scope to pertinent information

Canned list vs. EEOC complaint specific questions
With your EEOC complaint, you will get is either a canned list of questions or a list of questions that’s been tailored to your case. Generally, you get this separate list. They may say, we want a position statement. We also want you to respond to this request for this information.

And if possible, you want to narrow the scope of what you’re being asked to respond to. If you get canned questions, they’re going to be very broad. They’re not going to be particular to your EEOC complaint. They’re often issued in a vacuum with no knowledge about the nature of your company’s business.

Narrow the scope
In most cases, the agencies are willing to work with you to narrow the scope or clarify the scope of the request to make them truly relevant to the EEOC complaint. They want good information as well, so if something is really off the mark, you can work with them to clear it up.

Answer any specific questions asked by the agency and they’re going to request – in some cases, specific kinds of information such as the names of employees disciplined or discharged for the same or similar reasons as the person in the EEOC complaint

If you have a question that seeks information that seems really irrelevant, impermissible, unduly burdensome, then you should go ahead and object to providing it. And your objection should be stated clearly and completely. And you want to be clear about the reason for the objections.

Create a record of reasonable cooperation
Why you’re doing this is it helps to create a record of reasonable cooperation and could lead to a discussion with the EEOC on how the request can be modified so as to be reasonable with the information pertaining to the EEOC complaint.

It will also help the company in defending its position if the EEOC ever seeks court enforcement of its – you know, to get the request, to answer through a subpoena or to obtain the information.

Tailor the request based on your specific EEOC complaint
Tailor your questions depending on what kind of request you get. If everything is really super broad, you may want to call the EEOC and talk to them or you may just want to answer as you see fit and explain why you answered in the way that you did.

But, if they’re asking for information about everybody in a particular department, that’s going to be seen as over broad, you might want to narrow it.

You want to establish a rapport with the agency staffers. You may be talking to them on the phone. You know, be chatting with them on occasion. You want to be both professional and cordial. It shouldn’t be a very difficult relationship. You want it to be as smooth as it possibly can be.

Extensions of time.
You can get them if you really know that you’re not going to be able to finish the position statement by X day or, you need more time to do a request for information and response, that’s fine. But, ask for them sparingly. You don’t want to be asking for them over and over again.

And again, you may be able to negotiate the request for information once you determined what the agency is really looking for.

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