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EEOC allowed my former employer to control "investigation" Georgia

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  • EEOC allowed my former employer to control "investigation" Georgia

    First of all, I know that I am at a point in this process where I should probably just throw up my hands and go home,. It has been four years and a lost civil suit BUT....

    I have discovered that the EEOC did not require my former employer to submit the information requested by the EEOC investigator. The only response they EEOC received was that he would "respond to the questions of a previous request" because "personalities have changed". My former employer is a State agency with a retention schedule for the EEOCrequested records and information. Regardless, the EEOC did not require the information. (personnel files and a list of employees hired between certain dates) They allowed him to control the investigation. I received a right to sue; sued and lost.

    If the EEOC had insisted my former employer answer their questions and provide the information, it would have been apparent that I was the victim of compound discrimination (black female) before they issued a right to sue. Instead I had to fight a civil suit for "race" discrimination ONLY. Turns out the respondent hated my race when it combined with my gender. By the time we discovered the truth, it was too late to amend the charge.

    My civil case exposed several lies that were presented by my former employer when they responded to my charge; that is a felony. I requested reconsideration from the Atlanta District EEOC office. First, the Director writes that the EEOC has no jurisdiction after the 90 day right to sue. Knowing that is a lie, I try again, gently reminder her of the CFR statutes that place no time limits on the EEOC. This time she denies for lack of evidence in the existing file. Both of my communications told the Director that the respondent had lied to the EEOC during its investigation and that new evidence from my civil case proves compound/intersectional discrimination. Because she is not the only person who can reconsider a case, I contact EEOC in Washington for help. There I am told the first thing they have to do is get the case file. Today I learned that the Atlanta Office destroyed my file in February. Interestingly enough, the second denial for reconsideration was sent to me on February 9th. Considering that the Director knew I was attempting to have my case reopened and that I had alledged felony behavior from the respondent, her destoying the case file before I had the opportunity to completely persue my efforts seems more than questionable.

    Comments, thoughts, suggestions??? I would love at least one encouraging word.

  • #2
    I wish I could offer you an encouraging word. Unfortunately, I do not think I will be able to comply.

    If I understand your post, the EEOC, in your estimation, essentially screwed up its investigation by failing to require the respondent to produce certain pertinent information. Even if what you have alleged concerning the EEOC’s failure is 100% true, it would not appear to be of any moment. You cannot sue or obtain any other practical relief from the EEOC for botching the investigation.

    Your most viable option was to sue your former employer in court. If you or your counsel requested pertinent documents or other information, the trial court should have compelled the defendant to produce said information. However, based on your post, it appears that you subsequently lost in court.

    If the foregoing is accurate, the most encouraging thing I can offer is to respectfully suggest that you move forward. Your losing this employment discrimination action should not define who you are. These types of cases are incredibly difficult to win. Your inability to prove your employer’s discrimination should not serve as a referendum on you. You did what most victims do not: FIGHT!

    You apparently did your best. That is all that can be asked of anyone.


    • #3
      I have to say I am very surprised. I have been involved in a number of EEO invesitgations and I have found the EEOC to very employee oriented. The EEOC doesnt investigate often, but they can be brutal to the employer (even had an EEO investigator threaten to have an employee fired because the EEO investigator thougtht he was leaning toward the employer).

      If you didnt get a fair shake from the EEO, thats unfortunate. I just ahve never seen any case where the EEO favored the employer and let anything slide.

      And I have dealt with teh Atlanta office in all my EEO dealings.
      I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
      Thomas Jefferson


      • #4
        Thank you both for your responses and for being so gentle.

        The respondent in my case actually stated in his correspondence with the EEOC that he was, and I quote, "responding to a previous request". He avoided the questions pertaining to my charge and the EEOC allowed it. Had he responded to the request regarding my case, the investigator would have seen that my employer added 9 men and 1 white female to the original staff of 4 black females, 1 black male and 1 caucasian male, who, BTW, was the one who did the hiring. He also eliminated one of the black females from staff. The EEOC allowed that information to be withheld. I mistakenly thought it was just my blackness that was subject to the discrimination. So did the investigator.

        I have almost all of the requested information that the respondent denied the EEOC as I obtained the files from my former attorneys. Without the female part of me in the court battle, the numbers did not add up to a successful case. I twice offered that new evidence and the withheld information to the Atlanta Director. I explained that it contained evidence of felony behavior on the part of the respondent. She did not acknowledge my allegations nor question me regarding new evidence. She simply denied my request and then she stopped my pursuit of justice in its tracks by destroying the file.

        What about the Director destroying the file while I was seeking reconsideration?? She is not the end of the line on that process. Any hope there??

        Civil rights violation?? The EEOC is a law enforcement agency. Any ideas there maybe?

        I need to know I have truly crossed all t's and dotted all i's.

        Thanks for your continuing thought process.


        • #5
          esteele pointed out that you should have been able to request the information and present it during your court case. Did that occur?


          • #6
            Again, I do not think any direct means exist to hold the EEOC accountable for its failing to press the respondent-defendant for the requested information and/or for its destruction of its files after the fact. You can and perhaps should complain to your congressional representative and your senator about the agency’s mishandling of this case. A letter from a congressional staffer may shed some light on this matter. At the end of the day, though, I do not believe you can obtain any tangible relief from the EEOC for its purported mistake.

            Based on what you have written, the trial court judge may have committed an error by not allowing you to amend your complaint based on the newly discovered evidence uncovered during the judicial proceeding. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the judge agreed with you and your counsel on this critical point. (I presume you unsuccessfully appealed the trial court’s ruling.)

            As mentioned earlier, I am sympathetic to your situation. On occasion, cases with objectively substantial merit fall apart due to unforeseen procedural issues and/or dubious pretrial rulings. As a result, a truly aggrieved individual can find herself denied justice. This may be your situation here.

            In sum, I do not think you have any viable basis for holding the EEOC liable for the consequences of its error. With that said, if one of the sage responders to this site has any alternative ideas, I hope for your sake one of them will post and offer a suggestion.

            Finally, I would finally recommend to you that you put a personal “deadline” on rehashing this litigation (e.g., 45 days). In my opinion, you have come to end of the road. You may have lost this battle. However, you can fight the good fight in other battles and you can secure victories in your future. This setback should not derail you. It will hopefully only make you stronger.


            • #7
              You already had the ultimate chance to "prove" your side which is a trial. The EEOC can and one rare ocasion does take cases to trial but most of the time they do not. The number of cases the EEOC takes on themselves is very low. I am not sure what result you were looking for that you did not achieve but any shortcomings on the EEOC portion of the investigation had ample chance to be remedied once you sued and had the trial. Your counsel had the opportunity to subpeona any records they needed to make your case during discovery so it matters not that the EEOC failed to obtain those records. Even if the EEOC had gotten the records, the end result very well could have been the same; trial.

              Numbers on their own are virtually meaningless. They *might* get you past summary judgement but they do not prove anything on their own. The fact that one of 3 black females was let go doesn't even come close to making a case that the reason you were discriminated against is because you are a black female. I don't know the details of your case but from what you have shared it seems you might not be familiar with what constitutes evidence of discrimination.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


              • #8
                Unfortunately having been on the employer side of one EEOC investigation, the investigator was, shall we say, not overly competent? In the end, her report was literally a cut and paste of information that I provided in 3 or 4 letters that included the documentation the EEOC asked for. Literally word for word. The last letter I wrote was one demanding that the EEOC finalize the case and either charge us with something or close it. They closed it with a "right to sue" and the complaintant never did.

                But through it all I found her to be pro-employEE and she obviously was looking for ANYTHING that could prove the employer's guilt. But in the end, she couldn't find any violations because there were not any.

                Like others said, the EEOC can not possibly take every claim to court and it is up to you and your attorneys to do so. Usually the cases they take on tend to be more like class action suits. Where there are multiple complaints against the same corporation. Where there are big dollars to fine/win.

                I have to agree that if you have been to court and lost, that is the end of the road. You could write your representative and express your disagreement with how the EEOC handled your claim. But that won't get you much, possibly a bit of peace of mind.


                • #9
                  You all have been terrific. Thanks for sharing your experience and advise. Yes, my attorneys said "no" to me about amending the case but as a contingency client I was stuck. Could not force them to do anything. They threatened to quit my case.

                  Just in case anyone is interested, I will update this post with any activity I may "create". And I will most likely have another query or two along the way.

                  God Bless you All.



                  • #10
                    Good luck to you. If your employer did engage in gender and race discrimination, I am truly sorry you lost the case.


                    • #11
                      Well, I am listening to you all. I have made a 9:30 AM appointment with my US Representative's office on Tuesday. It is a start towards closure or resolution of some sort. We will see how things go.

                      Thanks to everyone for taking time to help me out.

                      And Beth, sadly it really did happen, and I appreciate your sympathy. Whatever the final outcome, I must go the distance.

                      Ya'll are great!



                      • #12
                        Tracy, you may want to consider what the cost to your emotional health will be if you continue. If you continue to dwell on this case, it may lead you to a place emotionally where it is tough to recover from. By continually thinking about the case and retelling it to others, it is always fresh in your mind and you never get to push it into your memories and thus dull the pain.

                        Imagine what your reasonable final outcome is. Now imagine you get that result. What happens to you next? How will that resolution make your life better? I am not saying you should not continue but take the time to consider what happens to you by the end.

                        Good luck.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HRinMA View Post
                          How will that resolution make your life better?
                          Thanks for the advise. My life is going on even amid this particular situation. I am most comfortable when I "leave no stone unturned". I will let it rest when the spirit truly moves me or there is nowhere else to turn. At this point, there is no resolution. Things actually just got interesting. Before, I thought I was simply dealing with incompetance. Now, it seems the pattern of deceit was supported by the EEOC. What a rollercoaster!! I know the cards are stacked against me, but I am not ready to leave the table. Maybe this will be one of those times when good defeats evil. I am hoping so but will also be okay if I have to accept the defeat. Life sure is, and I am showing my age here, "a trip".

                          Thanks for your good wishes.



                          • #14
                            Taking another step

                            Well, I am continuing the journey for justice. I have the full support of my Congressman and the assistance of one of his representatives. She delivered info and evidence to the Dept. of Justice last week requesting an investigation. She received a request from the EEOC for us to meet with them on Monday. She told me she will be my "Congressional Witness" to what they have to say. I do not expect the EEOC to do more than try to convince us how wrong we are about everything, but the evidence proves otherwise.
                            My research shows that many have dealt with identical EEOC brick walls. I hope I can put at least a crack in the seemingly inpenatrable fortress they have created.

                            Not to worry, my friends. I remain emotionally strong and life goes on.

                            I am still open to thoughts and tactics.


                            • #15
                              Sounds like what I'm going through now.

                              Can you fill me in as to how that worked for you with contacting your Congressman/woman? My 90 days to sue will be here next week. Last week, I received copies of my file last week and which show that my former supervisor lied repeatedly, according to the investigator's own notes. This supposedly is a felony. I'm convinced the the investigator interviewed my perpetrator, she denied my charges, so they closed the case. End of story. I've been at this now for over 2.5 years and really can't afford a lawyer. Even the EEOC investigator's own supervisor admitted that this was her first "big" case and everything will hinge on her investigation. One blatant lie to the investigator is that my previous supervisor is married to a Caucasian, so there is no way she can be racist, when the truth is that he too is Puerto Rican. Plus, I have 4-5 other statements that I can easily prove as false.

                              Can't wait to hear from you (or anyone else). Thank you!