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Employers May Not Be Entitled to Full Disclosure of Potential EEOC Class Action Before Suit Is Filed

JDSupra (05/24/2012) Pete Land

Employers often believe that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must spell out the scope of a potential class action and give the employer a chance to resolve the matter before expanding a single-employee EEOC charge into a class-action lawsuit. However, a recent Illinois district court decision in EEOC v. Union Road Towing Inc. indicates that the EEOC can expand a case without giving the employer an opportunity to resolve class-wide claims. This ruling contradicts a decision by the Eighth Circuit in EEOC v. CRST Van Expedited Inc., issued a week earlier, that offered employers protection against class-action lawsuits. Employers in Illinois and elsewhere in the Seventh Circuit are urged to confirm the scope of potential class claims before terminating conciliation discussions in the absence of a Seventh Circuit or U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the matter.