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V. How to Make a FOIA Request

Requests must be in writing, either handwritten or typed. Requests may be mailed or faxed to the appropriate EEOC office (http://www.eeoc.gov/contact/offices.cfm) or e-mailed to the District Director for that office (FirstName.LastName@eeoc.gov). FOIA requests to EEOC Headquarters may also be e-mailed to FOIA@eeoc.gov , or sent by fax to 202/663-4679, or internet to http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/index.cfm which permits the requester to follow the status of the request online.

There is no special form or particular wording for making requests. Simply state that you are requesting documents under the FOIA and describe the documents you are requesting. In making your request, you should be as specific as possible with regard to names, dates, places, events, subjects, etc. In addition, if you seek records about a charge or a case, you should provide the names of the parties, and the court or office in which the case/charge was filed. If known, you should include any charge, case or file numbers or descriptions for the records that you want. You do not have to give the name or title of a specific record. The more specific you are about the records or types of records that you want, the more likely it will be that the EEOC will be able to locate those records and that any search charges will be minimized. For example, if you filed a charge of discrimination and you wish to request a copy of the file, listing the charge number, the EEOC office where it was filed, and the name of the respondent will be helpful in deciding where to search and in determining which records respond to your request.

A FOIA request can be made for any agency record. However, this does not mean that the EEOC will disclose any record sought. There are statutory exemptions that authorize the withholding of certain information. When the EEOC does withhold information, it will specify which exemption of the FOIA permits the withholding. You should be aware that the FOIA does not require agencies to do research for you, to analyze data, to answer written questions, or to create records in order to respond to a request.