Media Mentions

Gerald Maatman and Christopher DeGroff Quoted in Inside Counsel
"EEOC's discrimination crackdown poses challenges for employers"


Seyfarth Shaw Labor & Employment partners Gerald Maatman and Christopher DeGroff were extensively quoted in Inside Counsel on April 30. The article discussed new challenges faced by employers due to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) discrimination enforcement program, which has been becoming increasingly aggressive in its investigations and litigation strategies.

“The bottom line takeaway for employers is that being a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the EEOC today is a very different proposition than it was five years ago—you have a tiger by the tail,” said Jerry. “The EEOC is a very aggressive litigant, sometimes with a take-no-prisoners attitude.”

The article also points out that some federal district and circuit courts are taking steps to "rein in" the EEOC, with recent decisions ruling in favor of employers.

“The EEOC is using the tools of law enforcement in a very aggressive way,” Jerry remarked. “They are stretching the envelope, making them exposure laden, and some federal judges aren’t liking what is going on.”

Chris said that the EEOC's current litigation tactics have started using the plaintiffs bar tactic of seeking sanctions for e-discovery violations, thus underscoring the need for thorough e-discovery. He added that defense attorneys need quick access to the data in order to refute claims from the start.

He recommended to employers that having an early warning system for possible discrimination claims can include conducting ongoing audits of payroll procedures and hiring, pay and promotion practices.

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