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EEOC Suspends Issuance of Right-to-Sue Letters

April 09, 2020

By: Morey Raiskin & Rachel D. Gebaide

The EEOC has announced that it has temporarily stopped issuing right-to-sue letters for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic unless a charging party specifically asks the agency to issue the notice.

The EEOC’s announcement was in response to a request received from a coalition of over 75 civil rights advocacy groups, including the ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center, the NAACP, Lambda Legal, and many plaintiff-side lawyers, that are concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on a claimant’s ability to file a lawsuit during the 90-day window following the issuance of the right-to-sue letter.

When announcing the temporary suspension, which concludes the administrative proceeding, the EEOC spokeswoman stated that “people with pending charges may have the belief that they might have to choose between jeopardizing their safety and protecting their rights” and that “during the COVID-19 pandemic the EEOC is continuing our mission of advancing equal employment… while taking steps to preserve the safety and well-being of our employees and people who believe they have experienced employment discrimination.”

Although employers may see a decline in discrimination lawsuits filed in the immediate future, this temporary hiatus will eventually end. Once the moratorium is lifted, the backlog of pending discrimination charges created during the pandemic will likely lead to more suits being filed in a relatively short period of time.

Significantly, the advocacy coalition asked the EEOC to make it easier to file a charge of discrimination and extend the deadline to do so, but the EEOC has no power itself to change the statutorily created filing deadlines. Rather, the advocacy coalition will need to lobby Congress and state legislatures to relax the statutorily imposed filing deadlines for charges of discrimination.

If you have questions about this or any other employment-related issue, contact Morey RaiskinRachel Gebaide, or the Lowndes lawyer you regularly work with for additional assistance.

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This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.
Morey

A Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Morey Raiskin works in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group.


Over the past 38 years, Morey has represented management of both large and small employers. He has successfully litigated cases in state and federal courts and represented clients in administrative proceedings involving the EEOC, DOL and FCHR. Morey also serves as an advisor to his clients, counseling them on virtually any workplace issue they may confront.

Morey develops non-compete and employment agreements, personnel policies, employment application forms, employee handbooks, and counsels clients on wage and hour, discrimination, WARN Act planning and union avoidance strategies. He litigates these same issues in state and federal courts or in administrative proceedings before the EEOC, U.S. Department of Labor or the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Morey began practicing law in Las Vegas, Nevada, before moving to Orlando in 1984. In 1986, he accepted an in-house opportunity with a diversified publisher, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, eventually becoming Lead Labor and Employment Counsel and Administrative Vice President of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sea World. In 1990, Morey returned to private practice and has served in a myriad of roles, including as a shareholder and chair of the Labor and Employment Law Group at Lowndes from 1990—2012.


Rachel

Rachel D. Gebaide is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the Labor and Employment Law Group. She is an experienced employment litigator and adviser, counseling companies in the management of their human resources issues.


Rachel regularly represents employers in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies in defending against claims involving allegations of employment discrimination and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and other employment laws. She also defends discrimination claims arising under the Fair Housing Act.  

In addition to her litigation practice, Rachel drafts and reviews employee handbooks, employment agreements, non-competition agreements, separation agreements, and other personnel documents. She regularly advises clients regarding workplace issues and compliance with the FMLA, FLSA, WARN Act, the Affordable Care Act, and other employment laws. Rachel also has extensive experience in conducting independent investigations. 

A frequent speaker, Rachel often writes articles on developing issues in labor and employment law for client-focused publications, legal industry news outlets, and the firm’s employment law blog

Rachel is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association. She is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association, having served as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Committee. Rachel is active in the Litigation and Employment Law Group of Meritas, a global alliance of independent law firms. 

She also serves as Executive Vice President of Congregation Ohev Shalom and Vice President, Legal of TOP Jewish Foundation. 

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