EEOC Rolls Out Online Portal for Employees’ Initial InquiriesPDF
The EEOC announced in March that it has gone live with its pilot Online Inquiry and Appointment System in Charlotte, North Carolina, and district offices in four other cities. The system allows employees who live within 100 miles of participating district offices to submit initial inquiries and schedule intake appointments—generally the first steps toward filing a charge of discrimination—through an online portal.
The pilot program, which includes Chicago, New Orleans, Phoenix and Seattle, in addition to Charlotte, is the latest step in the EEOC’s “ACT Digital” initiative to modernize and streamline the Commission’s records and filing systems. The EEOC implemented the first phase in 2015, when it launched a system that allows lawyers and employers to respond to charges electronically, and launched the second in 2016 with a system that allows complainants to track their charge via the Internet.
It is unclear whether the new Online Inquiry and Appointment System will increase the number of charges that are ultimately filed. The EEOC reported in its press release that it receives approximately 200,000 inquiries a year and that slightly less than half—approximately 90,000—result in formal charges. The EEOC plans to review the program and solicit comments from the public before rolling it out nationwide later this year.
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