GEWIN, Circuit Judge:
The appellant Georgia Power Company filed a petition in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia seeking an order setting aside a Demand for Access to Evidence served on the company by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The information sought by the demand purported to relate to a charge of sex and racial discrimination filed with the EEOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The district court rejected the company's contentions concerning the adequacy and timeliness of the charge but modified the Demand by delimiting the scope of permissible discovery. The EEOC has not appealed from the modification of its Demand; the company, however, argues anew that the charge of discrimination was untimely and inadequate and that the district court did not sufficiently restrict the scope of the Demand. We affirm the judgment of the district court.
The relevant facts involved in this case are undisputed. The charging party before the EEOC was a Negro female, Mrs. Neloise R. Adkins, who had applied to the company for employment on July 31, 1967. At that time, the company needed a customer representative trainee, an entry-level position in the company's customer service department. Mrs. Adkins' application was brought to the attention of the head of that department and, after an interview, an employment test was given on August 10, 1967. She took the examination, and in accordance with instructions, called the department head the following day concerning her score and employment prospects. She was told that she did not score high enough on the examination to qualify for the customer service trainee position.
In an unsworn, handwritten letter dated August 27, 1967 and addressed to Mr. Donald Hollowell, regional director of the EEOC, the charging party stated in pertinent part:
In addition to the appellant company, the letter detailed the charging party's "experiences" with three other companies and a private employment agency. On November 16, 1967, some ninety-seven days after the rejection of her application for employment, the charging party amended her letter charge by transferring the facts alleged to an EEOC form and by swearing to the contents. The formal charge also specifically alleged employment discrimination on account of race or sex. Seven days later, on November 23, 1967, the company was served with the formal, sworn charge. The company thereafter demanded a copy of the charging party's original letter and the EEOC supplied the company with a redacted copy, from which all identifying references to the other companies and the employment agency mentioned in the letter were deleted.
The company petitioned the district court on June 3, 1968, for an order (1) setting aside the Demand on the ground that an adequate and timely charge had not been filed with the EEOC and (2) limiting the scope of the Demand. The EEOC answered and cross-petitioned for an order enforcing the Demand. The district court rejected the company's attack on the validity of the charge served on the company. However, the court agreed with the company that the Demand was unduly broad in some respects and, accordingly, narrowed the scope of the Demand. The court held that the Demand should be limited geographically to the company's Atlanta facilities and temporally to the five-year period prior to the alleged discrimination. In addition, the court held that the Demand must be limited to non-supervisory employees. Thus the court delimited Demand No. 1 to information concerning non-supervisory personnel in the Atlanta area from August 11, 1962, and eliminated Demand No. 5 as being impermissibly broad and vague.
The company's attack on the charge filed with the EEOC is basically twofold: (1) assuming that the charging party's original letter was timely, the company contends that the letter was not, for various reasons, adequate; and (2) assuming that the formal charge was adequate, that charge was neither timely nor a legitimate amendment of the letter.
The adequacy of the original letter as a charge is impugned on a number of grounds. The primary basis of attack stems from the fact that, under subsection 706(a) of the Act, the EEOC could not serve the company with a copy of the letter without deleting references to other charged parties. Subsection 706(a) makes it a misdemeanor for "[a]ny officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public in any manner whatever" a charge filed with the EEOC.
We cannot agree with this contention because, among other things, we think that the company was served with the entirety of the charge against it. The charging party's letter related to four business establishments other than the appellant company; thus the letter was not a single charge but rather multiple charges made together. The mere fact that the charges were contained in an integrated instrument does not entitle the company to be served with charges against other companies. Thus it is clear that the portion of the charging party's letter relevant to the company could have been served as written. The company's argument that it might be advantageous to know the names of other charged parties should be addressed to Congress; before this tribunal, subsection 706(a) concludes the matter.
The opinion of this court in Weeks v. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co.
This regulation likewise disposes of the company's contention that the letter is not a proper charge because it did not charge "that any company mentioned therein had violated any law." The charging party's letter is "sufficiently precise to identify the parties and to describe generally the action or practices complained of"; therefore, it is adequate for the notice purpose it was intended to serve. We have already defined, in another context, the adequacy of Title VII charges:
The company's last-gasp attack on the efficacy of the charging party's letter deserves little attention. It argues that the letter was addressed to Mr. Hollowell and "[f]rom all that appears of record in this case, the letter may have been sent to Mr. Hollowell at his residence address as a private individual." How a charging party goes about putting a charge in the hands of the EEOC is wholly irrelevant to any right of the company. Since the EEOC receives more charges than it can handle,
Under subsection 706(d), a Title VII charge must be filed within ninety days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.
In support of its contention that the EEOC's Demand should be limited further, the company argues that the scope of the EEOC's investigatory authority is severely restricted. The basis of this argument is the change, effected by the Mansfield-Dirksen amendments,
The company appears to be correct that the reason for this legislative change was the fear of some senators — particularly Senator Dirksen — that the House-passed version would permit "fishing expeditions" by the EEOC.
However, our agreement with the company stops here, for we think that the information required by the amended Demand is clearly relevant to the charge under investigation. The company contends that the only relevant data were "the records and information pertaining to Mrs. Adkins, together with such records and information pertaining to the individual who was hired in preference to Mrs. Adkins." Certainly this information is relevant, but we cannot agree that it was the only relevant evidence. Discrimination on the basis of race or sex is class discrimination. The EEOC cannot reasonably be expected to discern such discrimination by examining data relating to two individuals.
The contention that the EEOC should not have access to data concerning employment positions other than the one applied for by the charging party is without merit. Comparative evaluation of job qualifications is obviously essential to the EEOC's task. To limit the investigation to a single position would in many, if not most, instances severely restrict comparative study of the charged party's hiring practices. Thus we think it clear that information concerning other positions is relevant to the investigation. Moreover, the amendments to the Demand made by the district court narrowed the discovery to a reasonable breadth. The court limited the Demand geographically, temporally, and in scope. The Demand as amended is reasonable and is limited to relevant information. It should, therefore, be enforced.
The judgment of the district court is affirmed.
The company argues broadly that Title VII must be strictly construed because it is in derogation of the common law. Whatever efficacy that old bromide may have in other areas of law, it is clearly inapplicable to the socially remedial statute involved here. See Llewellyn, Remarks on the Theory of Appellate Decision and the Rules or Canons About How Statutes Are To Be Construed, 3 Vand.L.Rev. 394, 401 (1950).