EEOC Opens Online Portal to File and Track Discrimination Charges
Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor
November 6, 2017
Employees seeking help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can now go online to file and sign claims. The EEOC announced the launch of a public portal on November 1 to provide online access for individuals to request intake interviews, make appointments and track their charge information.
In addition to intake inquiries and interview requests, the new system lets individuals digitally file and sign an EEOC-prepared charge. The system does not handle charges not prepared by the EEOC. Initial inquiries and intake interviews are typically the first steps an employee takes in filing an EEOC discrimination charge.
In its announcement, the EEOC noted that it had responded to over 550,000 calls to its toll-free number and more than 140,600 inquiries in field offices in fiscal year 2017. The new online service is expected to reduce the time and expense of processing paper submissions. With the new portal, an employee who has filed a charge can:
- Provide and update contact information;
- Upload documents to the charge file;
- Check the status of his or her charge;
- Agree to mediation; and
- Receive charge documents and messages from the EEOC.
These features are available for new charges and charges filed on or after Jan. 1, 2016 that are in investigation or mediation.
EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic called the new system "a giant leap forward" by the agency in providing online services. "This secure online system makes the EEOC and an individual's charge information available wherever and whenever it is most convenient for that individual," Lipnic said.
The EEOC also stated that online access will be available soon to individuals who filed charges on or before January 1, 2016, when the agency has an email address and the pending charges are currently under investigation or in mediation. Individuals without online access can still call the EEOC's toll-free phone number (1-800-669-4000) for information about submitting inquiries at a local EEOC office.