In the past, employees who wanted to file a discrimination claim against their employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had to do so either over the phone or in-person. Many victims were surprised to find out that the EEOC did not have a way to file the complaint online, which is far more convenient than providing the information via the phone or in person. But thankfully, the EEOC has finally introduced an online portal to make it easier for applicants to submit their complaints. Some people say the convenience of submitting a claim through the portal could lead to an increase in discrimination complaints, but is this true?
It’s certainly true that submitting a claim online is easier than doing it over the phone or finding a local field office and making the trip to do it in person. But, it’s important to note that the entire complaint process cannot be handled online. The EEOC believes it is important to have face-to-face meetings with victims before deciding whether or not to move forward with their claim. Anyone who submits a complaint—even if it is submitted online—is required to meet with a representative from the EEOC at a local field office. Even though it is more convenient to initiate the process of filing a claim, victims still have to make the same effort to travel to an EEOC office at some point. Therefore, the introduction of the online portal may not lead to an increase in discrimination claims.
However, the online portal may make it easier for the EEOC and the victim to work together to reach a resolution. Claimants can use the online portal to send important documents to the EEOC, privately communicate with the EEOC, check the status of their claim, and agree to attend mediation with their employer. Being able to take these actions online may make it easier for the EEOC to get the information they need from the claimant to move to the next step in the process. As a result, it’s possible that claims may move through the process faster than they did before.
It’s not clear whether or not the online portal will lead to an increase in claims, but it will certainly level the playing field between the employer and the victimized employee. Employers involved in EEOC claims have been able to access an online portal for several years, so the introduction of this portal gives both parties the convenient access to the EEOC that they deserve.
Workplace discrimination victims should seek legal representation as soon as possible. The employment law attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. are dedicated to seeking justice against employers with discriminatory practices. Please call us today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.