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Questions and Answers for Charging Parties on EEOC's New Position Statement Procedures

EEOC has implemented nationwide procedures that provide for the release of Respondent position statements and non-confidential attachments to a Charging Party or her representative upon request during the investigation of her charge of discrimination.

These procedures apply to all EEOC requests for position statements made to Respondents on or after January 1, 2016.

The new procedures provide for a consistent approach to be followed in all of EEOC's offices, which enhances service to the public. The procedures will also provide EEOC with better information from the parties to strengthen our investigations.

Summary of Position Statement Procedures

During the investigation of a charge, EEOC may request that the Respondent employer  submit a position statement and documents supporting its position. EEOC's resource guide for Respondents, "Effective Position Statements," advises Respondents to focus their position statements on the facts relevant to the charge of discrimination and to identify the specific documents and evidence supporting its position.  A position statement focused on the allegations of the charge helps EEOC accelerate the investigation and tailor its requests for additional information.

A Respondent generally has 30 days to gather the information requested and to submit its position statement and attachments to the EEOC. If the Respondent relies on confidential information in its position statement, it should provide such information in separately labeled attachments. With EEOC's new Digital Charge System, Respondents can upload their position statement and attachments into the digital charge file rather than faxing or mailing the documents.

After EEOC reviews the Respondent's position statement and attachments on a specific charge, EEOC staff may redact confidential information as necessary prior to releasing the information to a Charging Party or her representative.

EEOC will provide the Respondent's position statement and non-confidential attachments to Charging Parties upon request and provide them an opportunity to respond within 20 days. The Charging Party's response will not be provided to Respondent during the investigation.

Questions and Answers for Charging Parties

  1. How do I make a request for the Respondent's position statement?

    When you file a charge with the EEOC, you will be notified that you may request a copy of the Respondent's position statement in investigations in which Respondent submits a position statement. You or your representative should inform the investigator that you are requesting the Respondent's position statement and non-confidential attachments.

  2. How much time will I have to provide a response to the Respondent's position statement?

    EEOC requests that you provide your response within 20 days from the date EEOC sent the Respondent's position statement to you. If we have you or your representative's email address, we will send it to via email.

  3. Does my response have to be in writing?

    No. You may submit a written response or contact the investigator to provide your response over the phone or in a meeting.

  4. What should be in my response?

    Your response should focus on the facts and identify the specific documents and evidence supporting your allegations of discrimination or challenging the Respondent's position.   

  5. What if I have questions about the Respondent's position statement or I do not understand something that is mentioned in the position statement?

    You should immediately contact the investigator assigned to your case.  You should ask them any questions that you may have about the Respondent's position statement.  

  6. Can I request an extension to provide a response to the Respondent's position statement?

    Yes, we encourage you to contact the investigator as early as possible and also request that you follow up in writing (by email or letter) confirming your request for an extension and the agreed upon due date.

  7. When would EEOC grant an extension of time?

    A brief extension of time may be allowed to a party in particular cases, but only when it is clear that the Charging Party or Respondent is working with due diligence to supply all of the necessary information.

  8. Will EEOC provide me or my representatives all the information submitted by the Respondent?

    No. EEOC will release the Respondent's position statement and non-confidential attachments after we have removed confidential information from the documents. We instruct Respondents to put confidential information in separate attachments to the position statement labeled "Sensitive Medical Information," "Confidential Commercial" or "Confidential Financial Information," or "Trade Secret Information" to expedite EEOC's review of the information.

  9. What type of information is "confidential" that EEOC may not release?

    EEOC has instructed Respondents to put the following information into separate attachments:

    • Sensitive medical information (except for the Charging Party's medical information).
    • Social Security Numbers.
    • Confidential commercial or confidential financial information.
    • Trade secrets information.
    • Non-relevant personally identifiable information of witnesses, comparators or third parties, for example, social security numbers, dates of birth in non-age cases, home addresses, personal phone numbers, personal email addresses, etc.
    • Any reference to charges filed against the Respondent by other charging parties.
  10. How much time does EEOC give the Respondent to submit its position statement?

    EEOC generally provides the Respondent with 30 days to gather the information requested and submit its position statement and attachments.

  11. Will the Respondent receive a copy of my response to its position statement?

    No, your response will not be provided to Respondent during the investigation. The Commission is releasing the first formal document received from the Charging Party, the Charge, and the first formal document received from the Respondent, the Position Statement.  No other disclosures are contemplated at this time. If during the course of the investigation, EEOC determines that it needs additional evidence from the Respondent, including information to address the Charging Party's rebuttal to the position statement, the Investigator will contact the Respondent. This supports effective and efficient management of the charge workload to focus the agency's resources where government enforcement can have the greatest impact.

  12. After I provide my response to the Respondent's position statement, what are the next steps in the investigation?

    The investigator will review your response and discuss with you the next steps in the investigation which may include requesting additional information from you or the Respondent.