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EEOC Issues Final Rule for Online Filing in Discrimination Cases

EEOC discrimination in workplace

In a final ruling dated October 15, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expanded a pilot program that began in 2015 to allow the EEOC and private employers to electronically submit documents and communicate with the agency online.

The EEOC enforces federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What does the Final Rule Include?

The final ruling improves communication in determination letters to charging parties and respondents about the EEOC’s decision to close an investigation.

The final ruling also maintains its commitment to preserving the confidentiality of charge-related information and is bound by strict confidentiality requirements…which make it unlawful for commission employees to make public any charge-related information prior to the institution of a lawsuit involving the information. Additionally, the final rule memorializes changes that have been occurring over the past several years as the EEOC has made significant strides in providing digital services.

What do Employers Need to Know?

When the EEOC receives a bias claim from a worker, it sends a notice to the employer. The EEOC suggests that employers review charge notices carefully and follow directions. Employers may be asked to provide a response to the charge, which gives them an opportunity to explain why the claims may be incorrect or not illegal. The EEOC recommends that employers consider resolving claims through mediation.

Once the claim is investigated by the EEOC, the agency will send a form to the charging employee if no cause for a discrimination claim was found. Employees still have the right to file a lawsuit in court after such a determination, and the final rule adds language to EEOC regulations stating that a dismissal will include notice of the employee’s statutory right to file a lawsuit. The final rule also adds language clarifying that a “no cause” determination and dismissal does not mean the claims have no merit.

Premier HR Solutions is an Austin based HR consulting company providing human resource services to emerging companies. Whether your company employs 5 people or 500, we can provide additional human resource assistance to help you grow or manage your business. If you have any questions about this topic or any other HR or recruiting-related questions, we are happy to help. Click on the link above to learn more about our services and to schedule a free consultation with one of our HR Advisors.

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