United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
UNITED STATES EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Applicant,
GROUPON, INC., Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. ELLIS United States District Judge.
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) filed an application for an order to
show cause  to enforce two administrative subpoenas served
on Groupon, Inc., (“Groupon”) in the course of an
investigation of a race discrimination charge by Adrian
Stratton, an unsuccessful job applicant, filed under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title
VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. The
Court finds that the subpoenas are relevant to the underlying
charge and not overly broad. Additionally, the Court finds
that Groupon fails to demonstrate that compliance with the
subpoenas would be unduly burdensome. Therefore, the Court
grants the application and enforces the subpoenas.
October 16, 2014, Stratton filed a Charge of Discrimination
(“Charge”) against Groupon alleging that Groupon
discriminated against him on the basis of his race by failing
to hire him for the position Vice President of Merchandising.
Stratton's Charge stated in relevant part, “I
applied for a position with [Groupon] on or around January
2014. I was not hired. I believe I have been discriminated
against because of my race, Black, in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.” Doc. 3-1
sent Groupon notice of the Charge on October 23, 2014, and
began to investigate whether Groupon's hiring policies
and practices violate Title VII by discriminating against
applicants based on race. Groupon filed a response with EEOC
denying the allegations on November 24, 2014.
February 2, 2015, EEOC made its first request for information
from Groupon. Specifically it requested to conduct on-site
interviews of the individual who reviewed Stratton's
application and of other individuals identified by Groupon as
familiar with the company's policies and practices for
recruiting and hiring new employees. Groupon responded on
February 12, 2015, offering to produce the relevant
employees. EEOC conducted interviews of these employees on
February 18, 2015.
March 13, 2015, EEOC sent Groupon a request for additional
information, to which Groupon objected on April 10, 2015,
arguing that the request was overly broad. However, Groupon
did provide information it deemed directly related to the
hiring of the Vice President of Merchandising position in
response to this request.
13, 2015, EEOC requested access to Groupon's Chicago
headquarters to conduct an on-site investigation. Groupon
objected on May 21, 2015, arguing that the on-site
investigation was irrelevant to the Charge.
3, 2015, EEOC issued two administrative subpoenas, Subpoena
Nos. CH-15-027 and CH-15-028 (the “Subpoenas”),
to Groupon. Subpoena No. CH-15-027 requests the following
information from January 1, 2014 to present:
• Category 1: Identification of all systems used by
Groupon to advertise or recruit prospective candidates;
• Category 2: A database of all employees including
their race, date of application, source of application
(referral, direct, etc.), position, date of separation,
address, and the name and race of the individual who referred
the employee, if applicable;
• Category 3: A database of applicants for employment
seeking the same information described in Category 2;
• Category 4: A database of the 192 applicants for the
VP position for which Stratton applied seeking the same
information described in Category 2; and
• For each individual described in Category 4,
submission of unredacted copies of all application materials
including social media account ...