EEOC Launches Digital Charge System Pilot Program

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 19, 2015

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that it will launch a pilot program to electronically transmit documents between the EEOC and employers regarding discrimination charges. The program, called ACT Digital, will be implemented in 11 of its 53 offices.

By the end of this month, the following offices will have implemented ACT Digital:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina;
  • Greensboro, North Carolina;
  • Greenville, North Carolina;
  • Norfolk, Virginia;
  • Raleigh, North Carolina;
  • Richmond, Virginia;
  • San Francisco, California;
  • Denver, Colorado;
  • Detroit, Michigan;
  • Indianapolis, Indiana; and
  • Phoenix, Arizona.

The system will apply to private and public employers, unions and employment agencies.

EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang noted in a press release that the pilot "is an important step forward that will benefit the public and our staff." Although the system aims to improve customer service by reducing administrative burdens and use of paper submissions, an employer may opt out of the system and continue to communicate with the EEOC using written documentation.

The EEOC maintains that the system constitutes a safe method of communication for employers. Each charge is assigned a unique password in the notice an employer receives. An employer may then access the system through a secure portal to respond to the charge. Specifically, an employer may:

  • View and download the charge;
  • Review and respond to an invitation to mediate;
  • Submit a position statement; and
  • Provide and verify contact information.

The system will provide employers with triggering messages, reminders and action steps. Employers may access the EEOC's training materials for further information, including FAQs and a User's Guide.

Chair Yang also encourages "employers to provide candid feedback and suggestions during the pilots so we can make adjustments to strengthen the system." Employers may contact their local EEOC office through email with any questions regarding the pilot program.

Planned enhancements to the system include expanding the capabilities of the EEOC respondent portal (including allowing for the electronic submission of responses to Requests for Information) and adding a secure portal for individuals who file a charge of employment discrimination.