By John Doran
In a classic “man bites dog” story, the Florida Senate filed a federal lawsuit against the EEOC yesterday. The suit seeks to kill an EEOC charge and administrative hearing alleging that a senator sexually harassed a legislative assistant. While the actual dispute involves only a single senator, the entire Florida Senate was named as the respondent. The Senate’s lawsuit claims that the EEOC is stonewalling by refusing to turn over roughly 1,000 pages of evidence and a sworn statement from the alleged victim. Instead, the EEOC has provided only a one-page charge that references, but does not attach any evidence. This, the Senate claims, violates due process. The Senate also claims that it is immune from the charge and hearing process due to sovereign immunity.
Frankly, we are shocked, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked by this alleged EEOC stonewalling. Never before has an employer ever been forced to defend itself to the EEOC with no more information than that provided in a one-page charge. And never before has an employer been denied much-needed information to defend itself by the EEOC. Oh, wait, yes, yes that happens pretty much every single time the EEOC investigates a charge. So good luck with that argument Florida Senate.