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EEOC can bring case without alleged victim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When the EEOC gets wind of alleged discrimination, it is free to investigate that practice and sue the employer—all without naming an actual victim.

Recent case: An HR employee tipped off the EEOC that an employer had refused to consider female applicants for open sales positions. The company president, according to the EEOC, refused to even consider qualified women. Only three out of 120 sales representatives were female, and none had been hired during a three-year stretch in which 70 men came on board.

The EEOC sued and the company tried to get the case tossed out because the lawsuit didn’t list as litigants any women who were denied jobs. But the court reasoned that since the agency was bringing the case in the public’s interest, it did not need to name victims. (EEOC v. PMT, No. 14-599, DC MN, 2014)

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