The agency maps out the partial government shutdown’s impact on complaint-related timelines, including that the right-to-sue deadline cannot be extended.
The EEOC has posted a Q&A document explaining information that stakeholders should know about the impact of the recent partial federal government shutdown on EEOC timelines. Notably, the EEOC continued to accept charges during the shutdown in order to preserve the rights of complainants.
The Q&A addresses concerns about filing deadlines and matters that were scheduled during the shutdown. The EEOC said that its offices and staff are working diligently to resume operations and reschedule matters as soon as is possible.
Private sector complaints. As to private sector charges and investigations, the Q&A explained the following:
Right-to-sue deadlines. The Q&E also explained that a charging party’s right-to-sue deadline is not affected by the lapse in appropriations. Once the charging party receives a Notice of Right to Sue, he or she must file any lawsuit within 90 days. This deadline is set by law. Charging parties who do not file in time may be prevented from going forward with a lawsuit.
As to those who have submitted a request for reconsideration during the lapse in appropriations, the EEOC noted that it cannot waive or extend the deadline to file a lawsuit based on a discrimination charge. While office directors take every effort to respond to requests for reconsideration in a timely manner, the agency cannot guarantee that complainants will receive a response before the right-to-sue deadline expires.
The Q&A also provides detailed information about federal sector complaints, hearings, appeals, and relevant deadlines; the EEO-1 survey (opening postponed until early March, deadline extended to May 31); and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.