Not All Email Links are Spam. Don’t Ignore This One from the EEOC.

How many “junk” emails do you delete each day? How do you decide which ones are worth reading and which ones to ignore? Do you ever fear that you might overlook something important? We are bombarded daily with more than 100 emails based on a recent article published by Earthweb. The majority of unsolicited emails dumped in the trusty junk folder are just that….junk. Some government agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will inform you that they will not send an email regarding your personal account and advise you to ignore such emails and avoid clicking on any associated links as they may include spyware or viruses. However, if you receive an email from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), DO NOT delete or ignore it. Open it immediately and follow the instructions to stay informed of an important timeline regarding an employee’s right to file a discrimination complaint.

In November 2017, the EEOC launched the EEOC Public Portal. The “Portal”’ is a secure, web-based application that enables individuals to sub

mit online inquiries and requests for intake interviews with the EEOC, and to submit and receive documents and messages pertaining to their EEOC charge of discrimination. The process begins when the Charging Party (employee) submits a dis

crimination complaint electronically through the Portal. The Respondent (employer) then submits its position and supporting documentatio

n. At the end of the investigation, one of the mo

st important automated emails that both parties will receive relays crucial information regarding the issuance of a Notice of Right to Sue. According to the EEOC Public Portal’s User’s Guide, the automated email will read as follows:

FROM: U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC)

TO: {Charging Party Email}; {Charging Party Contact/Legal Representative Email(s)}

SUBJECT: Important Document Available for EEOC Charge {EEOC #}

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission {Charge’s Accountable Office}

EEOC has made a decision regarding charge number {EEOC #}. It is very important that you download and retain a copy of this document. You may review this decision by logging into {EEOC Public Portal link}.

This email is an official notification from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding charge {EEOC #}. Please do not reply to this email.

Notice of Confidentiality: The information contained in this transmission may contain privileged and confidential information, including information protected by federal and state privacy laws. It is intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution, or duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact us at and destroy all copies of the original message and attachments.

Both the Charging Party (employee) and the Respondent’s (employer’s) legal representative during the EEOC process should receive the same email communication.


Why is it so important to read this particular email?

Those individuals who file an employment discrimination claim with the EEOC are required to exhaust all administrative remedies before pursuing claims in federal court. Exhaustion occurs when the employee (plaintiff) files a timely charge with the EEOC and receives a statutory notice of right to sue. Under most anti-discrimination statutes, a plaintiff has 90 days to file a civil action after receiving the notice of right to sue. Prior to the launch of the EEOC Public Portal in November 2017, these notices were mailed to both parties, and most jurisdictions started the 90-day time period from the date the notice was actually received by the plaintiff.

Here’s the important part – now that the Portal is in place and the notice is uploaded and issued online and both parties receive a real-time email notification informing them to log in and retrieve the document, recent court proceedings have determined that the 90-day clock starts immediately upon issuance of the email notification. Both parties may still receive a copy in the mail, but the countdown may have already started by the time they receive it.

What should you do when you receive this email?

Failure to open the link promptly could result in an employee filing an untimely lawsuit. As more courts are ruling that the EEOC’s email notification can trigger the 90-day deadline to file an employment discrimination lawsuit, employers and/or their legal representative should access the EEOC Portal as soon as they receive the notification to obtain any important documents during the EEOC process, which could include the Notice of Right to Sue. Document the date you receive the email that provides the link to access the Notice of Right to Sue to help you track the 90-day window for an employee to file such a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed after the 90-day deadline upon receipt of the email notification, there may be a strong argument for having the complaint dismissed as untimely.


HR Advisor, HR Advisory Services

With a lifelong interest in relationship management and a deep curiosity for human behavior in the workplace, Rema Gray began her payroll and HR career over 25 years ago. She pursued a degree in Psychology from the University of South Alabama and parlayed her education and training into a Human Resource Management career. Her experience ranges from managing the intricacies of human capital growth and development of small local businesses to developing teams and managers for large national corporations. She has worked in many industries, including chemical plants and oil refineries, business services, retail, and many other spaces. She currently manages HR for Crescent Payroll Solutions, contributing to the creation of policies and procedures, measuring and managing organizational risk, organizing, training, and development of the operations team, and maintaining a high level of employee engagement. Rema’s passion is getting everyone in the proverbial boat rowing in the same direction. She believes employee commitment to the organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values is not only essential to the achievement of its goals but also paramount to the overall health and sustainability of the organization itself.

“Human Resources is a basic term to describe a dynamic topic. Focusing on the human part of it is integral to the success of any employee-based business.”