29 CFR 1610.17 - Exemptions.
(a) 5 U.S.C. 552 exempts from all of its publication and disclosure requirements nine categories of records which are described in 552(b). These categories include such matters as national defense and foreign policy information, investigatory files, internal procedures and communications, materials exempted from disclosure by other statutes, information given in confidence, and matters involving personal privacy.
(b) Section 706(b) of title VII provides that the Commission shall not make public charges which have been filed. It also provides that (subsequent to the filing of a charge, an investigation, and a finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true) nothing said or done during and as a part of the Commission's endeavors to eliminate any alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion may be made public by the Commission without the written consent of the parties concerned; nor may it be used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding. Any officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public in any manner whatever any information in violation of section 706(b) shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year.
(c) Section 709 of title VII authorizes the Commission to conduct investigations of charges filed under section 706, engage in cooperative efforts with State and local agencies charged with the administration of State or local fair employment practices laws, and issue regulations concerning reports and record-keeping. Section (e) of section 709 provides that it shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the Commission to make public in any manner whatever any information obtained by the Commission pursuant to its authority under section 709 prior to the institution of any proceeding under the act involving such information. Any officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public in any manner whatever any information in violation of section 709(e) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year.
(d) Special disclosure rules apply to the case files for charging parties, aggrieved persons on whose behalf a charge has been filed, and entities against whom charges have been filed. The special disclosure rules are available in the public reading areas of the Commission. Under sections 706 and 709, case files involved in the administrative process of the Commission are not available to the public.
(e) Each executed statistical reporting form required under part 1602 of this chapter, such as Employer Information Report EEO-1, etc., relating to a particular employer is exempt from disclosure to the public prior to the institution of a proceeding under title VII involving information from such form.
(f) Section 107 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12117) and section 207(a) of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 2000ff-6) explicitly adopt the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in sections 706 and 709 of title VII. Accordingly, the prohibitions on disclosure contained in sections 706 and 709 of title VII as outlined in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section, apply with equal force to requests for information related to charges and executed statistical reporting forms filed with the Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
(g) Requests for information relating to open case files covering alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act (29 U.S.C. 206(b)) or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.) will ordinarily be denied under the seventh exemption of the Freedom of Information Act as investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
(h) The medical, financial, and personnel files of employees of the Commission are exempt from disclosure to the public.