Fortune on the EEOC’s legal war against employers

by Walter Olson on October 15, 2013

For the fourth time in two months a judge has chastised the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for its high-handed ways, reports Claire Zillman at Fortune:

According to court filings, EEOC personnel arrived with subpoenas in hand, intimidated the small office’s staff, rifled through its confidential personnel and patient files, and illegally took company documents. The EEOC acted “as if it were the FBI executing a criminal search warrant,” HNI said in a court filing.

On September 30, a federal magistrate judge in Atlanta ruled that the commission’s tactics constituted a “highly inappropriate search and seizure operation.” The agency’s “failure to follow its own regulations, its foot-dragging, its errors in communication which caused unnecessary expense for HNI” constituted a “misuse of its authority as an administrative agency.”

Last month federal judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan whacked the agency in a discrimination suit against Bloomberg LP, dismissing most charges and ruling that the agency had failed to shoulder its responsibility to investigate before litigation. [Reuters, NY Post, NY Daily News]

Much more on the agency’s waywardness: Hans Bader; DeGroff and Maatman on 10th Circuit TriCore case.

{ 6 comments }

1 great unknown 10.15.13 at 7:51 am

And this has cost the agency and/or the responsible attorneys exactly how much?
Sticks and stones…but words can only increase demand for me within the corrupt catacombs of government agencies.

2 marco73 10.15.13 at 8:28 am

They have a $367 million budget, and no SWAT team?
Really, when they conduct a raid, if a government agency doesn’t point guns at people and shoot the dog, they really aren’t trying to intimidate.

3 rxc 10.15.13 at 8:51 am

This is part of the promised transformation of America.

4 Richard Nieporent 10.15.13 at 9:25 am

Too bad the members of the EEOC can’t be held individually responsible for their illegal actions. I bet they wouldn’t be so quick to violate the rights of the people.

5 Isabelle 10.15.13 at 3:31 pm

Are there any government employees who do their jobs and do them well? If I knew of any, I might have a reason to be upset about the furlough. But I had the regional director of HUD tell me they don’t enforce their own rules and that if I didn’t like the fact that a drug dealer was living illegally in a Sect. 8 home across the street, that was MY problem. I’m assuming that Sect. 8 is a Republican-backed program designed to turn liberals into diehard conservatives. Pretty clever, that.

6 Mike 10.16.13 at 9:47 am

Sect. 8 is a program designed to export the problems of the cities into the suburbs.

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