The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has rescinded a proposed rule that would have made it much more difficult for the EEOC to engage in pre-suit conciliation. The changes to the conciliation process were proposed to make it easier for employers accused of employment law violations to fight the accusations. However, the rule was ultimately rescinded due to the chance that it would have made bringing charges against employers too burdensome.
What is Conciliation?
Conciliation is the process used by the EEOC to attempt to resolve alleged violations of employment law through private negotiation with the accused employer. During the conciliation process, the employer is provided with certain basic pieces of information by the EEOC to help defend themselves against the accusation. However, due to privacy and efficiency concerns, the amount of information the employer receives is generally limited, a fact they often complain about.
What Did This Proposed Rule Do?
The new proposed rule would significantly expand the disclosure requirements for the EEOC when beginning the conciliation process. In simple terms, the EEOC would need to provide a lot more information to an employer accused of employment law violations, including information about the legal theory the EEOC intended to pursue and what the estimated damages would be. This would make it much easier for employers to defend themselves against alleged violations, at the cost of significantly slowing down the conciliation process.
Why Was This Rule Proposed?
Employers have long complained that the EEOC’s pre-suit conciliation process disfavored employers and pressured them into accepting deals they might not accept if they had more information. The new rule would greatly expand the information available to them, and put more responsibility on the EEOC to accommodate their expanded disclosure obligations. This, in turn, would put greater strain on the EEOC’s personnel, who already struggle to handle the large number of employment and labor law violations that are reported to them every year.
Why Was The Rule Rescinded?
The proposed rule was put into place in January 2021, just days before the new presidential administration took office. While the expanded disclosure requirements were favored under the old administration, President Biden saw this new rule as being overly burdensome and not in line with the statutory requirements demanded of the EEOC. Thus, the rule was reversed, putting it back in line to how things were before the new rule was proposed. This is a significant boon for anyone hoping for a timely resolution for pre-suit conciliation cases, but detrimental to employers who were hoping to get an edge in their cases before the EEOC.
If you have gotten into a legal dispute with your employer, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 40 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steven Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000 or visit his contact page.