Electronic Data at Issue in EEOC Discrimination Case
In the employment discrimination case EEOC v. DolgenCorp LLC d/b/a Dollar General, No. 13-cv-04307 (N.D. Ill. May 5, 2015), Plaintiff EEOC filed a motion to compel Defendant to produce electronically stored information (ESI) regarding conditional hires. Specifically, the EECO wanted electronic data with names, social security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers. The EEOC also asked the court to reproduce certain ESI that Defendant redacted due to purported lack of relevance.
The EEOC contended that it needed the ESI to prove its allegations that criminal background checks for African-American applicants had a disparate impact and violated federal law. Defendant argued that producing this information would infringe on the privacy rights of the applicants, although Defendant admitted that the information was relevant to the litigation. The court ordered Defendant to produce the data under a protective order to address the privacy concerns.
Regarding the redacted data, Defendant argued that it should be permitted to maintain the redactions because the information was proprietary and not relevant to the litigation. The court disagreed, noting that even irrelevant information may be relevant to understanding the context of a document. The court found that Defendant had failed to establish that the information was sufficiently sensitive to warrant such redactions, and ordered Defendant to reproduce the data in full, noting that the confidentiality order in place provided protections to assuage Defendant’s concerns regarding the proprietary data.