Rules Amend Regulations to Provide for Digital Transmission of Documents and Clarifies Language in Letters of Determinations
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a final rule that amends its procedural regulations to explicitly provide for digital transmissions of documents and to update no cause determination procedures. This final rule was posted by the Federal Register for public inspection today and will be published in the Federal Register on October 15, 2020.
On February 22, 2019, the EEOC published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the EEOC’s procedural regulations for charges of employment discrimination. Public comments in response to the NPRM were due on or before April 23, 2019. On August 19, 2020, the Commission voted to send the final rule to OMB for review before publication in the Federal Register.
This final rule makes no changes to the charge filing process, but simply amends portions of the EEOC’s regulations in parts 1601 and 1626 to account for the digital transmission of charge-related documents. The final rule memorializes changes that have been occurring over the past several years as the EEOC has made significant strides in providing digital services. Revisions to the EEOC’s procedural regulations do not create a new system of digital transmission of charge-related documents.
The EEOC also made changes to the language in our letters of determination to more clearly communicate with charging parties and respondents about the EEOC’s decision to close an investigation.
This final rule amends section 1601.18(a) to add language clearly communicating that a dismissal includes notice of the charging party’s statutory right to file a lawsuit. This final rule also amends section 1601.19(a) to add language clarifying the meaning and import of the EEOC’s issuance of a “no cause” determination, specifically, that such a dismissal does not mean the claims have no merit.
The EEOC also amends sections 1601.18(a) and 1601.19(a) to bring greater efficiencies to charge closures by permitting further delegation. The EEOC believes further delegation will allow decisions to be made closer to the point of investigation, increase accountability, and not delay decision making.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.