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EECO Onsite Investigations Multiply

9.26.12

SHRM.org interviewed Chicago partner Nesheba Kittling for the article "EECO Onsite Investigations Multiply." The article reported on the increasing number of investigations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of single charges to identify possible class actions. Nesheba said too many employers are handing the agency way too much information in response to its requests. She advised that employers respond to EEOC requests for information in the narrowest terms possible. If it asks for policies about harassment, give it only those policies, not the whole handbook. She also warned about handing over personnel files that may be the perfect place for the agency to go on a fishing expedition and raise issues not relevant to the initial case. The EEOC is also being more aggressive not only in how it conducts investigations, but also in settlement negotiations. "Like never before, HR should take time in responding to EEOC requests and charges, and be as narrow as possible." If there are going to be onsite interviews, she stressed the importance of not sending employees into interviews unprepared.

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