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Section 83 Disclosure of Information in Charge Files

Only charge files can be requested using Section 83. “Section 83” refers to section 83 of the EEOC’s Compliance Manual

How do I submit a Section 83 request?

To submit a Section 83 request, submit a signed written request (via mail or email) to the District Director responsible for the district, field, area or local office where you believe the records are located (generally the office location where you filed your charge).  The same rules about who can request a charge file, and when it can be requested, apply to Section 83 requests and FOIA requests.

What is the difference between a Section 83 request and a FOIA request?

Section 83's special disclosure rules only apply to requests for disclosure of investigatory employment discrimination charge files.  The special disclosure rules are discussed in § 1610.17(d) of 29 C.F.R. and in Section 83.  Section 83 is another means for aggrieved parties (persons on whose behalf a charge is filed), charging parties (individuals who file charges), respondents (entities that the charges are filed against), and their attorneys to access charge files after the Commission has completed its processing of a charge.  Section 83 is a simpler means, with few formal requirements, for gaining access to your charge file.

FOIA applies to all types of agency records, including charge files.  FOIA requests must be processed in accordance with the statutory dictates of the FOIA and EEOC regulations.  As an illustration, EEOC regulations require that the request be identified as a "FOIA Request", and the FOIA specifically requires that federal agencies inform the requester in writing of the amount of information withheld, the exemption used, how the exemption applies to the information withheld, and that the requester has a right to appeal the determination on the FOIA.

Can I make a FOIA request for a copy of my charge file after making a request for the same file under Section 83 of the EEOC Compliance Manual?

Yes.  A prior request for a copy of your charge file under Section 83 will not preclude you from making a request for the same file under the FOIA, as long as your FOIA request is made before your 90-day notice of right to sue period expires.