The crushing caseload of EEOC is universally recognized. See, e.g., Occidental Life Insurance Co. v. EEOC, 432 U.S. 355, 97 S. Ct. 2447, 53 L. Ed. 2d 402, 45 U.S.L.W. 4752, 4754 (1977) (quoting S. Rep. No. 415, 92d Cong., 1st Sess. 23 (1971)). In this case several hundred charges were lodged against Sears. Requiring a separate investigation and file for each charge would be a waste of precious administrative resources. Cf. EEOC v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 414 F. Supp. 227 (D. Md. 1976). In addition, the fact that charging parties may, upon request, receive data related to, but not specifically concerned with their individual claims is not a prejudicial result of consolidation. As the Court has noted above, charging parties will receive no information beyond that to which they would have been entitled had the investigation not been consolidated. And since Sears was not "adversely affected" by consolidation and had "actual and timely notice" of the consolidation procedures, it cannot claim a violation in the Commission's failure to publish § 11 in the Federal Register. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a) (1) (1970 & Supp. V. 1975). Nor can it claim a violation of § 4 of the APA because, like the disclosure rules, § 11 is exempt from the requirements of that statute. Id. § 553(b)(A).
C. Freedom of Information Act
Sears claims finally that various exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), id. § 552(b), bar disclosure of investigative data by EEOC. By the statute's own terms, the FOIA exemptions apply only to claims made under the Act. In these cases the information is neither sought nor will it be released under the FOIA.
Therefore, the exemptions are inapplicable.
Based on the foregoing the Court enters certain declarations and orders as set forth in the attached Judgment and grants partial summary judgment to each party in both Civil Action No. 77-393 and Civil Action No. 77-924.
For the reasons set forth in the Memorandum of the Court filed this day, it is hereby
Declared that EEOC may release information obtained in the course of its consolidated investigation to any charging party requesting such information only if 180 days have passed since the filing of the charge and the requesting party signs the non-disclosure agreement required by EEOC Compliance Manual § 83.4. Provided, however, that only such information as is relevant to the individual charge shall be released; and
Provided that this provision shall be stayed, and confidentiality of all documents preserved, for thirty days in order to enable the plaintiff to determine upon and to perfect an appeal and to seek such further stay as it may desire in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and it is further
Declared that information obtained by the Commission in the course of predetermination settlement discussions, whether relevant or not, may not be released at any time without the consent of the plaintiff; and it is further
Ordered that the defendants are enjoined from releasing to any person or organization other than a representative of a federal, state, or local agency the whole or any part of Commission Decision 77-21 without the written consent of the plaintiff; and it is further
Declared that Letters of Determination may not include any factual information relating to the charge; and it is further
Ordered that all court papers sealed by prior order of the Court are to remain sealed subject to further Court order.