The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the anti-discrimination laws, per the Federal Civil Rights Act, originally passed in 1964. The EEOC is a government agency that has the power to analyze charges and claims regarding unlawful discrimination cases, as well as reach initial judgments in these matters.
The following are the steps which you will need to take in order to file your EEOC charge
- First, you should contact your state’s civil rights commission and see if they can be of any assistance. Their response will usually be dependent upon the specific regulations in your state.
- The statute of limitations is extremely short compared to other claims, and you must file your claim within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
- You may file your charge online, by telephone, or in person at the EEOC office nearest to where you live. You will usually find an office open in most large cities.
- Your claim, or charge must include your nae, address, and telephone number. You should also furnish detail about your employer, the discrimination alleged and a provide as much detail as possible.
Other points to consider when filing an EEOC claim or charge:
- Be clear and concise when describing he alleged discriminatory events and acts.
- Attach any documents required to prove your complaint.
- Provide witness information if at all possible.
- You can stay anonymous by not feeling your name in the complaint, but this is not recommended and may result in your charge being denied.
Post charge procedures:
- Once your charge has been filed, the EEOC will begin the investigation process with the information which you have provided. They will contact the parties listed in the charge, analyze any documents and materials as well as gather information from third parties to investigate your charge.
- During the investigation, your employer is prohibited from taking any action against you. This could be considered retaliation for filing the charge, and may result i additional charges and penalties.
Resolving your charge:
- In some instances, where the EEOC finds merit to the charges, they may attempt to mediate with all parties in order to reach an mutually agreed settlement.
- In other cases, the EEOC may find for the charging party, and allow you to pursue your claim in court, or pursue the matter for you.
- If they do not find that the facts warrant a finding of discrimination, they will then inform you of their decision & will issue you a “right to sue” letter. You will then have 90 days to file a lawsuit in Federal Court.
Ultimately, Federal and State discrimination laws are somewhat complex, and it would probably be in your best interest to contact an attorney who is experienced in these matters.