Do you know that the response you submit to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Charge can be your adversary’s best piece of evidence in a discrimination case? Most plaintiffs’ attorneys scour the EEOC response for signs of any discrepancy in explanations that an employer has given over time. Why?—because if a court finds that the employer has not been consistent in its explanation of the reasons behind a discharge, a jury will be entitled to sort through the reasoning and decide if there was any bias in play. In many ways, your EEOC response needs to be your closing argument in a trial, even though it may be the first time you have had to put in writing the reasons a particular employee was fired.
In this program, we examine how EEOC responses can be used in litigation and how savvy employers get their points across without compromising the ability to defend a lawsuit. As training, we focus on how to be persuasive in your response, thorough in your preparation, and careful in the wording of what is said to the investigating agency. Even if you have the benefit of legal counsel ready to step in when an EEOC Charge is filed, understanding the keys to the process is important. And as we explain, what works with the EEOC also works with other agencies where employees may one day file charges of discrimination or retaliation, including the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and various industry-specific governing bodies.