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The EEOC’s Online Filing Tool is Now Operational
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November 16, 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) online filing portal, (or Public Portal), was just rolled out across the country. As of November 1, individuals will be able to begin discrimination charges against employers using an online Portal, Online Inquiry and Appointment System (OIAS).

In March, the EEOC began a test program for the Portal in five cities across the country. They seemed to be pleased with the results, so they instituted it to everyone on November 1.

The system is not a carte blanche system allowing individuals to directly file charges against employers, instead, it is another way for them to take the initial step and to navigate through the process. They can only file a discrimination charge with an EEOC representative’s guidance. The EEOC explained that the use of OIAS did not even guarantee the agency would file a charge, but it was a place to start.

One can use the website to ask about potential bias claims and then to electronically sign and file the discrimination charges (again with help from an EEOC Representative). The agency says the portal enables workers to carry out the first steps necessary to file a charge of discrimination in a digital format: asking questions of EEOC representatives about whether their employment rights have been violated, and going through the complaint intake process.

The new system also allows users to perform various administrative tasks associated with their charge of discrimination, such as updating their personal information, uploading documents that could be used to support their charge, track the status of their charge, or agree to a conciliation process.
EEOC’s Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic says, “It’s a giant leap forward for the EEOC in providing online services.”

Is it all bad for employers? Maybe not. Employers will have access to the EEOC’s Respondent Portal allowing them electronic access to the agency for certain functions associated with the discrimination charge process.

We at KardasLarson are here for you if you need help before, during, or after such a complaint is filed – on the Portal or the old-fashioned way. Give us a call earlier rather than later for the best results.

Lois Krause

Lois Krause

Author

With 25+ years of experience, Lois Krause's HR strengths include labor law, employee relations, OD, and performance management. Lois has advanced HR certifications.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    When is EEOC required to upload cases into the publicportal? Is EEOC required to upload all complaints filed into the publicportal? What is the time frame for such?

    Reply
    • Lois Krause

      The EEOC only uploads the case file into the public portal when a claimant has filed a charge of discrimination, via the portal and they have informed the responded of the claim, within 10 days of the filing.

      The Respondent and their Attorney will be notified via email of the claim and they will have 20 days to respond to the claim. They may ask for an extension if they can show cause for the extension. If the claimant or the respondent have confidential documents to present, they may do so as attachments, saying they are confidential. Those documents will not be able to be seen by the other party.

      If the claimant and respondent agree to mediation, that will be scheduled as soon as possible, otherwise the EEOC has up to 30 days after the claimant and responded have given their statements to issue a decision about fact finding.
      Only claimants and respondents of each specific case will be able to access the portal for those specific case submissions. No one else will be able to see the cases or statements.

      Reply

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