The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established to prevent employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their race, gender, pregnancy, age, or disability. While this law exists to protect everyone, many people don’t know how to go about filing a complaint. This article explains the process so that victims of workplace discrimination know what to do and what to expect.
Step One: The first step is filing your charge with the EEOC. Keep in mind you must file the charge no later than 180 days after your termination. You can file in person at the EEOC office closest to you. Phoenix residents can also submit inquiries online and request an intake interview.
Step Two: After you file a charge, The EEOC has 10 days to inform your employer of the charge. This doesn’t mean they found that your work engaged in discrimination yet. After this happens, your employer may choose to mediate the problem and try to come to a settlement.
Step Three: If your employer doesn’t try to come to a settlement, the EEOC will investigate the situation. Both the charging party and the employer will be required to provide information. The EEOC will then evaluate all the information and determine whether it is reasonable to believe that there was discrimination that took place.
The place of employment may be asked to provide a statement of position so that the EEOC can hear their side. They may also be asked to submit their personnel policies and approve a tour of the workplace. Witnesses may also be asked to give interviews about what they witnessed.
Step Four: After the investigation is over, the EEOC will determine the merits of the charge. If they are unable to conclude that discrimination occurred, the charging party will receive a Dismissal and Notice of Rights. If it finds that discrimination did occur, both parties will be notified and asked to join the agency in seeking to find a resolution. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the EEOC then has the right to fine and sue the employer.
For more information on this process, visit eeoc.gov.