The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed rule revising its procedural regulations to account for its increasing reliance on digital charge technology and communications. It also took the opportunity to make some slightly more substantive changes as well.

The revisions related to digital communications consist mostly of technical changes to the language (e.g. “contact information” in place of “address and phone number”). Of somewhat more interest, the EEOC also:

  • Clarifies that a “jurisdiction having a [fair employment practices] agency without jurisdiction over the statutory basis [of discrimination] alleged in the charge (e.g. an agency that does not have enforcement authority over sex discrimination) is equivalent to a jurisdiction having no FEP agency.” Under such circumstances, the time period for filing a charge would be 180 days, rather than the normal 300 days applicable where the FEP agency has such statutory basis jurisdiction.
  • Specifically states that a “no cause” determination “does not mean the claims in the charge have no merit.”
  • Adds language to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act regulation to recognize that charges may be filed on behalf of another individual, and the charge need not identify by name the person on whose behalf it is made, although that name and contact information must be provided to the Commission. This language conforms the ADEA regulation with already-existing language in the Title VII/Americans with Disabilities Act/Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act regulation.

The proposed rule is open for public comment for a 60-day period, ending April 23, 2019. Comments may be submitted by clicking on the “Submit a Formal Comment” button on the Federal Register webpage for the proposed rule. Once it has considered the comments, the EEOC will issue a final rule.