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EEOC Systemic Discrimination Investigations and Litigation: Avoiding, Defending and Conciliating Charges

Responding to Expansive Requests for Information, Subpoenas and "Sue First, Ask Questions Later" Approach

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance to employment counsel for avoiding, defending and conciliating EEOC systemic discrimination investigations and litigation. The panelists will discuss best practices for responding to and challenging overly broad EEOC information requests and subpoenas, defending employers against the EEOC’s “sue first, ask questions later” litigation strategy, and proactive steps for avoiding a systemic discrimination charge.


The EEOC continues its focus on stamping out systemic discrimination by employers—28.5% of the cases on its docket at the close of FY 2016 were systemic discrimination matters. The EEOC is targeting barriers in recruitment and hiring, exploitation of vulnerable workers, pay discrimination, harassment, and other problem areas.

The EEOC initiates enforcement by presenting broad information requests to employers during investigations, issuing subpoenas to obtain documents not provided, and using what some courts are calling a “sue first, ask questions later” strategy to force the production of information during discovery.

Employment counsel must understand the EEOC’s current enforcement approaches and how an employer’s response to an individual charge impacts whether it will be targeted for a systemic discrimination lawsuit.

Counsel must also advise employers on proactive steps to avoid becoming the target of a systemic discrimination investigation and effective approaches for conciliating systemic cases.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment litigators explains the tactical enforcement tools the EEOC currently uses to eliminate systemic discrimination. The panel will discuss tactics for employers for responding to EEOC aggressive requests for information and subpoenas and best practices to minimize the likelihood of becoming a target for a systemic discrimination claim.



  1. EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan—areas targeted
  2. Responding to EEOC information requests and position statements
  3. Responding to EEOC subpoenas
  4. EEOC’s “sue first, ask questions later” strategy
  5. Avoiding EEOC systemic discrimination lawsuits
  6. Conciliating systemic discrimination lawsuits


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What specific employment actions has the EEOC targeted as areas ripe for systemic discrimination litigation?
  • What are some effective approaches for employers to respond to an overly broad information request during an EEOC investigation?
  • What are options for employers when served with an EEOC subpoena?
  • What is a “sue first, ask questions later” strategy and how is the EEOC using this as an enforcement tool?
  • What steps should employers and their counsel take to avoid systemic discrimination lawsuits?
  • How are some best practices for employers during conciliation of a systemic discrimination lawsuit?


Rhodes, Kate
Kate B. Rhodes, Esq.

Epstein Becker Green

Ms. Rhodes counsels clients on the termination and discipline of employees, effective employee misconduct...  |  Read More

Zadikany, Ruth
Ruth Zadikany, Esq.

Mayer Brown

Ms. Zadikany has represented clients in state and federal court in a broad range of labor and employment disputes, as...  |  Read More

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