Look at your corporate details to find possible defenses
The size of the company can determine EEOC complaint jurisdiction.
If you don’t meet the threshold number of employees, you should write to the EEOC and let them know that immediately. Write them a letter saying, hey, we received this EEOC complaint, but we only have this many employees and this law does not cover us.
What may happen is the EEOC will follow up with you and ask for proof of the number of employees that the company has, but otherwise, if you’re correct and the proof shows that, they will typically dismiss the matter because they don’t have jurisdiction over the matter.
Timeliness, check to see if the EEOC complaint was filed in a timely manner.
If somebody is complaining about actions that happened two years ago, the charge is too late. Remember that the alleged action must have occurred no more than 180 or 300 days earlier, depending on whether it’s a deferral jurisdiction or not.
Again, if you noticed that the EEOC complaint has not been filed in a timely fashion, you want to let the agency know immediately, because you don’t want to go through the work of doing a position statement and all of that, when there’s no need to.
Look at the EEOC complaint and try and figure out what exactly is the EEOC asking of the company?
When you look at the notice of an EEOC complaint for discrimination, you’re going to see that it has three boxes.
One is no action is required on your part at this time. Two is please submit a position statement. Three is please respond to the attached request for information.
Now, for obvious reasons, the no action option is the favorite. Some companies when they receive a no action form, saying, okay, we don’t need you to do anything right now. They feel they should call the EEOC just to check in. That’s a bad idea. If you’ve got a sleeping dog, you let it lie. If they haven’t asked you for anything, they haven’t asked you for anything. So, that’s what you should do with no action.
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 Feb. 14, 2007
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