The EEOC received some 93,727 charges of discrimination last year. Locally, each EEOC investigator carries a case load of 75-95 cases per year. Those numbers indicate very little time is devoted to actual investigation. The open secret is that the EEOC conducts very few true investigations. Yet, many folks still think that when the EEOC rejects a case, that rejection means something.
Several years ago, I had to laugh when a management oriented lawyer suggested the EEOC might be "on the hunt" for some particular employer. See prior post here. As I mentioned then, I once heard a federal Judge chastise a government lawyer for suggesting that since the EEOC had rejected my client’s case, then the case must be weak. No, insisted the judge, "we" get these cases all the time because the EEOC does nothing to to investigate and resolve possibly meritorious cases.
In reality, most employers fear very little from the EEOC. Not because the EEOC lacks teeth, but because they are so overburdened with complaints of discrimination. They can effectively investigate only a handful of cases. So, when an annoyed employer tells me my client’s case is baseless and he knows this because the EEOC said so, I just smile. Much the same way I smile when No. 2 son would claim No. 1 son ate that last cookie….