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EEOC seeks broad subpoenas? Ask to have them limited

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

If the EEOC thinks a complaint it receives may have national implications and wants more information, it has the power to expand its investigation. The agency can seek subpoenas to demand a long list of records from your company as it seeks to develop a broader, perhaps national case against you.

The good news is that federal courts generally will scale down the request if you ask. That’s what happened in one recent case.

Recent case: Vicky Sands applied for a cashier and bagger job at a Kroger’s grocery store. Sands, who has a hearing impairment, failed the communications part of a pre-employment test. She didn’t get the job and filed an EEOC complaint.

The EEOC issued a broad subpoena demanding all of Kroger’s testing results for every job category. The trial court limited the subpoena to information about testing cashier and bagger applicants at Kroger’s. (EEOC v. Kronos, No. 09-MC-0079, WD PA, 2009)

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