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Keep digging: EEOC complaint might not tell the whole story

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

When you receive an EEOC complaint, investigate what other claims the employee, applicant or former employee could potentially bring.

Courts have been granting more latitude to throw additional accusations into EEOC complaints after the fact. Find out what else may be lurking so you won’t be caught unprepared.

Recent case: Cassandra Bott sued her employer, U.S. Airways, when a man got a promotion she wanted. First, she filed an EEOC discrimination complaint. In it, she made some references to sexual harassment. When the EEOC gave her the go-ahead to sue, she added many more details.

The airline said it shouldn’t have to defend against harassment charges that Bott hadn’t raised earlier.

The court disagreed, concluding the original complaint had enough information to put the employer on notice sexual harassment was an issue, too. (Bott v. U.S. Airways, No. 03-CV-113, WD NC, 2009)

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