Is It Legal For the EEOC to Send 1,330 Emails to Your Employees?

From the HR blog at TLNT.
From the HR blog at TLNT.

By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating Case New Holland, Inc. for age discrimination, or so a complaint that Case New Holland recently filed in federal court alleges.

So, how is this news?

Apparently, the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to Case New Holland email addresses trolling for potential class-action plaintiffs — or so the Case New Holland complaint alleges. And by sending those emails, the EEOC violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution — or so Case New Holland alleges.

Would sending 1,330 emails break the law?

So, if the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to your workplace, would that rub you the wrong way?

Well, probably so, unless your workplace is the EEOC. But, would 1,330 emails actually break the law?

Article Continues Below

If the concern is that the emails could potentially be used to gin up a class-action lawsuit against your company, then according to a federal court, in this opinion (New Holland v. EEOC), the answer is probably not:

Plaintiffs “cannot manufacture standing by choosing to make expenditures based on hypothetical future harm that is not certainly impending. … Nothing in the Complaint or the plaintiffs’ opposition suggests that class-action litigation is “certainly impending,” and thus, this alleged injury is also speculative and insufficient to establish standing.”

So, the clear takeaway here is that if the EEOC sends 1,330 emails to your business, you need to wait until your employees form a class and sue you before filing against the EEOC.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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