The EEOC’s Boston Area Office just released their July 2010 newsletter, though good luck trying to find a copy of it online. In it, however, the EEOC has answered some common questions with its view on the proper way to proceed.
It is very helpful to employers not only in Connecticut who may deal with the EEOC, but also in other areas as well.
Will EEOC recognize the following language in a position statement: "the position statement is not submitted to the EEOC as an affidavit or for the purpose of being used as evidence at a later date"?
- EEOC will not agree with this characterization and will insist Respondent submit a sworn affidavit or other evidence to supplement the position statement.
Is it true that EEOC requires a copy of the settlement agreement when Charging Party and Respondent executes a private settlement agreement and Charging Party subsequently requests to withdrawal [sic] his/her complaint from the EEOC?
What are some of the terms and conditions EEOC will not agree to in a conciliation agreement?
- General releases of claims and no-rehire clause.
Do you have to submit a position statement when the charge is in mediation?
- No. If mediation is unsuccessful, EEOC will advise the Respondent with the name of the Investigator assigned to the case and a due date for submission of the position statement to the EEOC.
A few items to note from the above. First, these procedures only apply to EEOC proceedings, not proceedings that occur with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Also, take note of the fact that the EEOC seems to be insisting on a affidavit from an employer in responding to a complaint. For that reason, the company may want to consider strongly the possibility of retaining legal counsel very early on to ensure that what is said will not be harmful to a case later on in its defense in court.
Nevertheless, as I pointed out in an earlier post, the overwhelming majority of cases in Connecticut proceed through the state agency, not the EEOC. But knowing how each agency functions can help employers make good decisions in the aftermath of a new charge.