When one files a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) it then becomes the agency’s responsibility to determine whether or not there is reason to believe that discrimination took place. Both the Charging Party (complainant) and the Respondent (defendant) are given an opportunity to provide information and explain what happened. The EEOC requests that the Respondent submit a statement of position, or position statement, with supporting evidence to prove why they do not deserve to be charged. Here are the guidelines, as recommended by the EEOC, on how to create an effective position statement:
- Focus on the facts, be clear and concise.
- Address each alleged discriminatory act and your position regarding it and provide copies of documents supporting your position and/or version of the events.
- Provide a description of the organization; include the organization’s legal name and address, the name, address, title, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for responding to the charge, the primary nature of the business, and the number of employees. A staffing or organizational chart is also useful in helping to focus the investigation.
- Provide any applicable practices, policies or procedures applicable to the allegations in the charge.
- Identify any individuals other than the Charging Party who have been similarly affected by these practices, policies or procedures; describe the circumstances in which the practices, policies, or procedures have been applied.
- Explain why individuals who were in a similar situation to the Charging Party were not similarly affected.
- Identify official(s) who made decisions or took action relating to the matter(s) raised in the charge.
- Be specific about date(s), action(s) and location(s) applicable to this case.
- Provide internal investigations of the alleged incidents or grievance hearing reports.
- Inform EEOC if the matter has been resolved or can be resolved; if it can be resolved, please indicate your proposal for resolution.
Please be mindful of confidential information when preparing the statement, described below:
Respondent should segregate the following information into separate attachments and designate them as follows:
- 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.
Supporting documentary evidence is also important. You may submit statements or affidavits from witnesses with direct knowledge of the alleged events and/or from the alleged harasser responding to the Charging Party’s allegations.
By Amber Younce, Legal Assistant