1. Home
  2. Employers
  3. Small Business Resource Center
  4. 9. What should I do if I receive an EEOC charge of discrimination?

9. What should I do if I receive an EEOC charge of discrimination?




  • Review the charge notice carefully. The EEOC "Notice of a Charge of Discrimination" informs you that a complaint (a "charge of discrimination" or a "charge") has been filed against your business. It does not mean that you have violated the laws that the EEOC enforces. A charge is a complaint of discrimination, not a determination that discrimination has occurred.
  • Follow the directions on the EEOC charge notice. The notice may ask you to provide a response to the charge (a "position statement" ). This is your opportunity to explain why the claims in the charge are incorrect or not illegal.
    • You are not required to hire a lawyer to help you draft a position statement or otherwise respond to a charge of discrimination. However, at any point in the EEOC charge process, you may do so, if you would like.
  • Consider EEOC mediation to resolve the charge quickly and confidentially, at no cost.
  • Respond to requests for additional information from the EEOC, even if you believe that the charge is frivolous. The EEOC investigator may request documents, interviews, a conference or an on-site inspection. The information you provide may cause us to dismiss the charge.
    • If you need additional time to respond, or if you have questions or concerns about the type or amount of information that the EEOC has requested, contact the investigator assigned to the charge. The EEOC may grant you an extension or modify the information request, depending on the circumstances.
  • Protect employees from retaliation. Ensure that the employee is not punished for filing the charge, and ensure that employees are not punished for participating in an investigation.
    • Retaliation is illegal, even if the EEOC concludes that the charge of discrimination does not have merit.
  • Retain relevant documents. If you are not sure whether a document is relevant, ask your investigator.
  • Contact the EEOC investigator assigned to your charge if you have questions.


See also:

How can the EEOC's mediation program help me resolve a charge of discrimination?

What is retaliation and how can I prevent it?

Preventing Retaliation Tips

Manager Responsibilities - Treating Employees Consistently

Example - Justifying Inconsistent Treatment