The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) created the Action Council for Transformation to a Digital Charge System (“ACT Digital”) to enable the electronic submission of documents between the parties to a Charge of Discrimination and the EEOC. Phase I of the system allows an employer against whom a Charge of employment discrimination has been filed to electronically interact with the EEOC through its online service for respondents, the EEOC Respondent Portal. The pilot program for Phase I began in May 2015 in the Commission’s Charlotte and San Francisco field offices and rolled out to other offices, including Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis and Phoenix. It is expected that the Respondent Portal will be available in all EEOC field offices by October 1, 2015.
An employer named as a respondent in a Charge of Discrimination filed with the EEOC may receive a Notice of Charge of Discrimination by electronic mail, rather than a paper notice. The electronic Notice of Charge will include an https://link, Charge number, and unique login information to allow the employer access to the Respondent Portal. System access by a Charging Party is not currently available.
The Respondent Portal allows the employer to electronically:
- View and download the Charge;
- Review an invitation to mediate and respond to the Charge;
- Submit a position statement to the EEOC; and
- Provide/verify the employer’s contact information, including the designation of a legal representative.
Extensions of time may not be requested through the Portal. If the employer has not logged onto the Respondent Portal within 10 days of the emailed Notice, the EEOC will attempt to re-serve the Notice of Charge. The EEOC has published a User Guide for employers and guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.
Employers may wish to notify their information technology services personnel about the electronic notification system to ensure emails ending with a “.gov” domain are not captured by spam filters. Employers should also inform their human resources and management personnel about the system and instruct them to forward immediately to the appropriate individuals/department all communications, documents and notices received from the EEOC.