EEOC cases and their attached findings can make or break a court case

EEOC cases and cause findings
The EEOC could issue a cause-finding, although they do that in only 2.5% to 4% of the cases that they have. If they issue a cause-finding, they would invite you to enter into conciliation discussions and if those resolve the matter, great. If they’re unsuccessful, then either the EEOC could file a lawsuit or the complainant could file a lawsuit. Hopefully, you’ll never get to that point.

No-Cause findings
Many of the EEOC cases are resolved by issuing a no cause-finding and a right to sue letter and then there are some situations where there are administrative dismissals such as — or no jurisdiction, this is, you’re out of time. You didn’t have enough employees. We can’t find the complainant. You failed to state — the complainant failed to state a claim under title 7, the ADA, the ADEA or the Equal Pay Act.

Dismissal and the “right to sue” letters
The dismissal and notice of “right to sue” is the most common ending to EEOC cases. It’s called, an EEOC Form 161.What happens is, the EEOC explains the reasons that it’s closing its files and then it gives a notice of right to sue.

The complainant gets 90 days after receipt to sue in federal court, although they have two years under the Equal Pay Act and 90 days under Title VII, the ADA or the ADEA.

If they don’t sue within that time, they’re barred from suing on that claim. So, that’s why once you get a right to sue letter, you watch the clock. It starts ticking and you hope that you don’t get a charge.

If you do get a lawsuit, then it is out of the EEOC’s hands. It’s in the district court or the state, if this is a state proceeding. But you’ve done your position statement. You’ve done a lot of your legwork already, so hopefully, you’re in a better position

These are the edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar “EEOC Charges: How to Prepare an Airtight Response and Avoid Costly Payouts” by Alyssa Senzel, Esq on August 1, 2007

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