If you believe that you have violated your employment rights, you may file charges of discrimination with the Commission for Equality of Opportunities in Employment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC). If you want to protect your identity, another person or entity (such as the union of employment) may file the charge for you. The EEOC will contact you and your employer within 10 days of its submission, which will continue an investigation of the charge. The research takes some months depending on the complexity of the position.
If the EEOC decides that your employer has violated the anti-discrimination laws, will seek to reach a settlement with the employer or bring the case to court. If the agency decides not to sue, it will send a “Notice of right to sue” regardless of its decision regarding the research. However, you cannot sue your employer in federal court without first file charges with the EEOC.
You may also file a discrimination charge if you are a u.s. citizen employed by a company incorporated in the united States with offices abroad. Simply present your position before the district office of the EEOC closer to the central offices of the employer in the United States.
Before filing charges
The agency does not process charges of discrimination over the Internet: you must present the charge in person or by mail. However, the online assessment tool of the EEOC is designed to help you determine if the filing of charges with the agency is your best option. If so, you can complete a questionnaire online submission and send it by mail or bring it to your local office of the EEOC.
You will be asked the following information when filing their charges of discrimination:
- Your name, address and phone number
- The name, address, and telephone number of your employer, employment agency or other entity who has committed the alleged discrimination (and the number of employees)
- Brief description of the alleged violation of the discriminatory
- Date of the alleged violation
- If you are an employee or applicant to a federal office, review the general Description of the process of demands for equality of opportunity in employment in the federal sector.
How to file charges of discrimination
The EEOC does not accept charges by phone, but you can speed up the process if you call 1-800-669-4000 and sends the basic information. Then, the agency will send the information to the office of the EEOC nearest, which is in contact with you to coordinate an in-person meeting. Provide the above information if you choose to file the charge by mail, including an explanation of the reason for which he considers that he has been the victim of discrimination (race, religion, sex, etc) and sign for the presentation.
For filing charges of discrimination in person, locate the EEOC office in closest. Bring all documentation that may help clarify your case, such as emails or performance assessments that show a harassment. It will also help if you can indicate the names and contact information of other people who are aware of the alleged violation. You can bring a guest to the meeting, including an attorney. If you need an interpreter or some other type of special assistance, please inform the office staff in advance.
Time limits for filing charges
All charges of discrimination must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged violation. If the charge also is covered by state or local laws, this filing deadline is extended to 300 days. However, the term is not extended in case of charges of discrimination based on age, if only a local law prohibits age bias (must be a state law). As a general rule, it is a good idea to contact the EEOC immediately after you suspect an act of discrimination on the part of your employer.
An exception includes charges under the Equal Pay Act, which does not require the filing of charges with the EEOC before starting a lawsuit. However, the demands in the framework of this law usually involve charges for sex discrimination under title VII, so the EEOC advises that it also charges to the agency in accordance with title VII (within the specified time limits).
Legal help with a claim for discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer or potential employer, either as an applicant or employee, it is important that you discuss the situation with a lawyer who specializes in labor law to better safeguard their legal rights. In view of the time limits of the filing of the EEOC mentioned above, find a lawyer as soon as possible will ensure that you do not lose your right to a legal remedy.