Bad faith by EEOC? Ask court to make it pay — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Bad faith by EEOC? Ask court to make it pay

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Usually, the EEOC leaves liti­­gation to em­­ployees and their attorneys. But when the EEOC decides to take the lead, chances are it believes the case is worth fighting for—tooth and nail. When that happens, employers can ex­­pect to spend a bundle defending themselves.

Fortunately, federal judges will level that playing field if they believe the EEOC didn’t play fair.

Recent case: When the EEOC sued Dollar General, alleging that harassment caused severe stress for some female employees, the retailer asked for medical records. The EEOC resisted, believing Dollar General was trying to intimidate the women. The agency withheld some of the documents based on its own assessment that they were irrelevant.

The judge disagreed—and then ordered the EEOC to pay half of Dollar General’s costs, including attorneys’ fees. (EEOC v. Dollar General, No. 1:09-CV-700, MD NC, 2011)

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