Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Claims and Charges
When you feel you’ve been discriminated against at work, the last thing you want to worry about is trying to handle the complicated investigation and series of deadlines the process entails. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is a federal agency that investigates, enforces, and litigates violations of laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. Our lawyers have acted on behalf of clients before the EEOC by submitting formal documents and correspondence, appearing in and advocating in mediations, managing case deadlines, and demanding notices of right to sue, which are required before filing of a federal discrimination lawsuit.EEOC Facts and Notes
Here are some important facts you should know about the EEOC process:Time Limits
Generally speaking, if you work in the private sector, you have 180 days to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. An important thing to understand is that this is 180 days from the date of the discrimination, not from the date that you were fired or from the date of any other adverse employment action. It is an important and common misconception that you can wait to file until 180 days after you have been terminated. You will lose critical portions of your rights and be hamstringed in pursuing your case if you do fail to file in a timely manner.
If you work for the federal government, you only have 45 days to contact your EEO counselor or you will lose your right to pursue your claim. This is a very short and easy-to-miss deadline. Again, this deadline is based on the date of the discrimination, not the day on which adverse employment action was taken against you. Be diligent and report issues promptly. If you think someone has made inappropriate or discriminatory comments about you or discriminated against you in any other way, contact our attorneys to find out if you should take immediate action.
If you work for a government contractor and you feel that you have been discriminated against by your contracting federal agency, you have the right to pursue a federal EEO charge against the agency. In this situation, you are subject to the federal rules for complaints against agencies, including the 45 day time limit to contact the relevant EEO counselor at your agency.Filing a Charge
Our attorneys can help you draft and file a charge of discrimination; however, if you think you may be out of time and wish to file your complaint as quickly as possible, many people file charges with the EEOC every day through their intake process without counsel. If at all possible, the best way to do this is to visit an EEOC Field Office in person and discuss your situation with an Intake Specialist. The Intake Specialist will help you fill out the necessary forms, decide which facts are appropriate to include in your charge, and otherwise guide you through the early stages of filing a charge. Protecting your rights through a timely filing is paramount. If you contact our lawyers before filing, we can assist you with drafting the necessary documents. If you contact our attorneys after filing, we can manage the investigation process, deadlines, and communications with the EEOC.Notice of Right to Sue
After you have filed your charge, the EEOC will begin its investigation. This process can take months or years. However, you have the right to request a Notice of Right to Sue 180 days after you file your charge. This document is necessary to file most employment discrimination cases in court. In almost all cases, an employment discrimination case must spend at least 180 days with the EEOC (or a similar state agency) before an action can be pursued in court. This is referred to as exhausting your administrative remedies. In short, it means that you are telling the court in which you file a lawsuit that you did everything you could to resolve the matter using processes outside the judicial system.
Our lawyers know how to navigate and work with the EEOC every step of the way. This includes the filing process, EEOC mediation, and other matters. Please contact us for a consultation if you have ben subjected to employment discrimination and we can help you navigate the often-confusing and sometimes-stressful waters of the EEOC complaint process.