Is the EEOC misusing the Freedom of Information Act to penalize employers that adopt mandatory employment arbitration programs?

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The EEOC is denying employers’ FOIA requests for the EEOC’s charge investigation files when resulting employment claims are proceeding in arbitration rather than litigation. Our panel will discuss whether the EEOC’s justifications for denying such FOIA requests are consistent with FOIA and other governing federal statutes. We will consider a number of related issues. What is the EEOC’s basis for treating litigation and arbitration differently in responding to employers’ FOIA requests?  How long has the EEOC been making this distinction between litigation and arbitration? In light of the increasing prevalence of employment arbitration, should employers challenge the EEOC’s FOIA practices and, if so, how?

Featuring:

Janet Dhillon, Commissioner, EEOC

Eric Dreiband, Partner, Jones Day

Moderator: Christopher C. Murray, Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

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