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Responding to an EEOC Charge


Hello everyone. Paul Simon here with the law firm of Simon Paschal, PLLC. Today, we wanted to give you guys a tip on how to respond to an EEOC charge and specifically as an employer, when you receive a charge from the EEOC, they’ll oftentimes request that you provide a position statement. And what that position statement is basically the factual denials of what the complaining party has presented to the EEOC. There’s some general tips. Now again, oftentimes people will retain counsel at this point once the EEOC charge has been filed and have your lawyer respond, but that’s not necessarily something you have to do. And so if you’re a company who does not want to retain counsel at this point for whatever reason, we just want to give you a few tips. I think what’s important to remember when responding to an EEOC charge is to take the emotion out of it.

Oftentimes, as an employer, we’re insulted, we have bad feelings because what we perceive is we just perceived someone calling us a racist or someone calling us a liar and it’s the furthest thing from the truth so it’s hard not to respond back with anger or some other sort of emotionally-charged statement. That’s the first thing to remember, to keep it very neutral in terms of how you respond. And what you’re really looking to provide to the EEOC is just facts and to the extent you have documents or other evidence to back up those facts even better. Again, you got to remember someone in an EEOC charge is saying, “I believe I was discriminated against or terminated because of my race, my age, my sex.” And so you as the employer are just explaining to the EEOC how that’s not true.

The reason we terminated this employee was because they have a long history of discipline. Here’s their discipline history. And if we can show written statements where we, over the last six months, where we’ve asked the person, “Hey, we need you to improve and they haven’t, and ultimately we made a decision, this is why we let them go.” You may also need to provide evidence of other similarly situated employees who didn’t have the same conduct and therefore weren’t terminated or others who are similarly situated who had the same sort of discipline and we terminated them as well. It shows that you don’t have any sort of discriminatory motive when it comes to this employee. That’s the tip for today. Again, it’s just keep it short and succinct, take out the emotion and just respond factually to the allegations.

 

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