Q. We received a charge from the EEOC and we’re dealing with it. Now we’ve received correspondence from the state equal opportunity agency, too. What’s up? Are we going to be investigated twice?
A. Federal, state and local agencies that enforce similar anti-discrimination laws usually have work-sharing agreements. These agreements call for charges to be jointly filed but investigated by only one agency.
If someone files a charge with the EEOC that could also be filed with a state or local agency, the EEOC accepts it, cross-files it with the state or local agency, investigates it and notifies the other agency of its findings.
This works both ways. If the charge gets filed with the state or local agency, it gets cross-filed with the EEOC but gets investigated by the agency where it was filed. The agencies retain the right to conduct their own investigations and come to their own conclusions if they disagree with the findings of the investigating agency, but that almost never happens.
What you got from the state agency is probably just paperwork notifying you of the cross-filing. You don’t need to respond.
If by some chance you get contacted by an investigator for the state agency, or if you just want to be certain that you don’t need to respond, you can call either the EEOC or the state agency to make sure that efforts are not being duplicated. The agencies don’t want duplicate investigations any more than you do!
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