The EEOC has said that the partial shutdown resulted in backlogged work in many of its functions and caused it to extend deadlines for cases involving federal employees and agencies as well as those involving the private sector.
The EEOC noted that even while closed, it continued accepting cases so that individuals did not lose out on their legal rights by missing filing deadlines. For federal sector cases, “all deadlines that fell within December 22, 2018 through January 25, 2019 will be extended for 40 calendar days from the date of the original deadline. This means that all relevant complaint processing deadlines (counseling, investigations, final agency decisions) are due 40 calendar days from their original due date.”
The agency is contacting all parties who had federal sector hearings scheduled during that period to reschedule them, and hearings officers have discretion to further extend deadlines. The extension also applies to the appeals stage. The delays apply to agency filings even for agencies not affected by the shutdown.
For private sector cases, the EEOC said that it is working to contact all those who filed complaints during the shutdown period and to reschedule mediation that had been scheduled during that period.
It added that it received a “large number” of FOIA requests during the shutdown and cautioned that there will be delays in responding; for timeliness purposes, all requests received during the shutdown will be deemed to have been received on January 29, the day the agency reopened.
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