When responding to a charge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state fair employment agency, should an employer provide its entire handbook or full policies in support of its position?

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

When responding to a charge of discrimination, harassment or retaliation by the EEOC or a state fair employment agency, it is not necessary for an employer to provide its entire employee handbook or full policies to support its position unless specifically asked to do so. An employer need only attach the relevant excerpts that will support its case. An employer may create a bigger issue by providing the entire handbook as agencies are carefully looking at policies and seeking to find employers at fault. However, in establishing a defense to a charge, if an employer had a clear policy that it followed or that the employee clearly violated, the employer should be sure to show that it had a relevant workplace policy included in the employee handbook that was distributed to all employees and that the employees provided their acknowledgement of and consent to such a policy.