Labor Law -- 2017

EEOC v. Day & Zimmermann NPS, Inc.   (D. Conn.)

EEOC interference with employer free speech

This case concerns the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filing prosecutorial claims against an employer for retaliation and interference under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The claim is based on a letter the employer sent to employees regarding employees’ rights during such investigation.

The NAM filed an amicus curiae brief arguing that the EEOC’s action was unlawful. First, the letter did not violate the ADA because it neither constitutes an “adverse action” within the meaning of section 503(a) nor violates any rights secured in section 503(b). Second, the EEOC is interfering with the employer’s First Amendment right to communicate with its employees. The EEOC is offering an unreasonable interpretation of the letter, and permitting this EEOC claim would negatively impact the employer/employee relationship and violate public policy. The ability of manufacturers to communicate freely with their employees is important for productive workplaces, and the EEOC should not interfere First Amendment rights to communicate.

The parties settled the case on November 30, 2017, which the court approved and executed by administratively closing the case.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (October 28, 2016)


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