Next steps for employers facing EEOC discrimination charges

Arizona employers may be uncertain about the steps to take after receiving a notice from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging a charge of discrimination

We have helped employers manage the consequences of an EEOC charge. 

Employers must respond to an EEOC charge 

If an employee files a claim of discrimination against you, EEOC will provide you with notice within 10 days. This notice will refer you to an online portal where you can review the charge. Even if you believe the claim is groundless, you should respond promptly to any EEOC communication and explain why you do not believe the charge has merit. 

EEOC will investigate the charge 

An EEOC investigator will examine the charge and your response to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe the allegations. The investigator may collect additional information in the form of documents, interviews, personnel files or a worksite inspection. You must provide EEOC with all relevant information, and EEOC may issue subpoenas if necessary. 

EEOC will determine reasonable cause 

If EEOC decides there is reasonable cause to believe the merits of the charge, it will issue a letter of determination noting its decision and giving the parties the opportunity to resolve the matter in a conciliation process. If conciliation is not successful, EEOC may file suit in federal court or, if it declines to do so, the charging employee may sue within 90 days. 

If EEOC is unable to find reasonable cause to believe the merits of the charge, it will provide a dismissal and notice of rights to both you and the employee filing the charge, and the charging employee has 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court. 

Proactive employers may be able to fend off charges of discrimination by developing comprehensive workplace policies and procedures. You may consult our website for further information about employment practices.