Employment Law Report

EEOC Announces Contingency Plans in the Event of a Shutdown

By Edwin S. Hopson

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posted on its website its contingency plan in the event of a federal government shutdown.  Pursuant to that plan, it will continue to:

–docket new charges and federal sector appeals;

–litigate lawsuits where a continuance has not been granted;

–examine new charges to determine whether prompt judicial action is necessary to protect life or property and, if appropriate, file such action to obtain preliminary relief;

–maintain the integrity and viability of EEOC’s information systems;

–maintain the security of its offices and property; and

–perform necessary administrative support to carry out those excepted functions. 

The bulk of this work will be handled by EEOC field office staff.

EEOC’s activities that will not take place during any shutdown are:

–staff will not be available to answer questions from the public or respond to correspondence from the public;

–investigation of charges will not take place;

–insofar as the courts grant EEOC’s requests for extensions of time, EEOC will not litigate in the federal courts;

–mediations will be cancelled;

–federal sector case hearings will be cancelled, and federal employees’ appeals of discrimination complaints will not be decided;

 –outreach and education events will be cancelled; and

 –no Freedom of Information Act requests will be processed.