EEOC Settles Recruiter Dispute With Staffing Company

By Staff Report

Jan. 26, 2010

Staffing firm Aerotek agreed to allow recruiters who are in nonmanagement positions to speak with representatives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission privately and without an attorney from the company present as part of an EEOC investigation, the agency announced Monday, January 25.

Aerotek had allegedly required its recruiters in some of its Chicago offices to speak with an EEOC representative only with a company attorney present, according to the EEOC. The agency was investigating a separate complaint of alleged discrimination.

The EEOC said it sought a preliminary injunction against Aerotek to overturn the requirement.

Both sides went to court but reached a negotiated agreement whereby Aerotek agreed to advise recruiters in its Schaumburg, Rockford and Crystal Lake, Illinois, sites that they can speak with an EEOC representative in private and without an Aerotek attorney. The statement included the words: “At no time will any adverse action be taken against you by Aerotek based on whether or not you choose to speak to the EEOC,” according to the EEOC.

“Responsible employers understand that they have nothing to gain by attempting to interfere with EEOC investigations,” said EEOC regional attorney John Hendrickson.

“Interfering employers frequently end up only shooting themselves in the foot, and the EEOC investigation goes forward in any event. The controlling principles are clear: The law permits the EEOC to speak directly with nonmanagement employees outside of the presence of employers and their counsel, and the law protects the employees who speak with the EEOC from retaliation.”

Aerotek is part of the Allegis Group, the largest U.S. staffing firm.

Filed by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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