On February 18, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a new nationwide procedure providing for the release of respondent position statements and nonconfidential attachments to charging parties. Previously, this procedure was the norm in some, but not all, EEOC offices. Pursuant to the new procedure, if a respondent relies on confidential information in its position statement, it should provide such information in a separate attachment to the position statement labeled “Sensitive Medical Information,” “Confidential Commercial Information,” “Confidential Financial Information,” “Trade Secret Information,” and so on.
The EEOC provided the following list of information it considers confidential and should be treated as such:
- sensitive medical information (except for the charging party’s medical information);
- Social Security numbers;
- confidential commercial or financial information;
- trade secrets information;
- nonrelevant, personally-identifiable information of witnesses, comparators, or third parties—for example, Social Security numbers, dates of birth in cases other than age discrimination cases, home addresses, personal phone numbers, personal email addresses, etc.; and
- any reference to charges filed against the respondent by other charging parties
Note that the EEOC will not be providing charging party response or rebuttal statements to the respondents.