Responding to an EEOC Complaint

The Importance of Responding to an EEOC Complaint

In the following educational legal video, Andrew P. Fleming, an experienced Hamburg employment lawyer discusses the the importance of responding to an EEOC complaint.

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When an employer calls me after having received an EEOC complaint, we each have certain steps that we have to take. In my opinion, the most important thing to remember when dealing with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights – in the event that an employer receives a complaint filed by an employee through one of those agencies – is to cooperate with those agencies.

Both agencies ask for a number of different documents, including things you don’t think will be in any way relevant. Tough beans. The best thing an employer can do is go ahead and give those items to them anyway. You want to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation with the investigators, because they are in the ultimate position to hold things you don’t provide against you.

Thereafter, you have to make yourself available to the agencies for meetings – and they do happen. They’ll call you in and say, “Well, we want to have an investigative information gathering session where we have the claimant and the company present. You’re not going to be allowed to talk to each other, but we want to talk to you in each other’s presence.” Those meetings are called investigative face-to-face conferences.

Of course, you have to show up – and bring any other requested people with you. You have to prepare those people in advance of that meeting – in terms of demeanor, what they’re going to say, and what not to say. An employer often has to be prepared to mediate right on the spot. This may take place right up front. In other words, be prepared to talk settlement, even early on. Most of the employers I represent don’t want to hear that. Most employers say, “We didn’t do anything wrong. Why are we going to pay anything?” I tell them that they have to demonstrate – again, in the spirit of cooperation with these investigative agencies – through some conversational points, that they’re willing to be cooperative and work with them. Sometimes that includes making modest settlement offers early on.

The experienced Hamburg employment lawyers at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP have extensive experience in aggressively representing the rights of employers in all kinds of workplace disputes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us walk you through responding to an EEOC complaint. Let our experience work for you.

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