Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and age. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination or participate in an investigation into discrimination.
Employees who are victims of discrimination or retaliation have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC has an online portal to make it easier for applicants to submit their complaints. You must file your complaint within 300 days of the last act of discrimination.
It is important to note that the EEOC only investigates employee complaints to determine if they are valid; it does not award compensation or punish employers for violations. However, you must file a complaint with the EEOC before pursuing a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer.
If you do file a complaint with the EEOC online, you will be required to meet with a representative from the local EEOC field office. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these visits are currently being conducted via phone. During the intake interview, you and an EEOC staff member will discuss the information you have provided, as well as your rights and responsibilities under the laws that the EEOC enforces, the investigative process, and what happens after you file a charge.
How an Attorney Can Help
While you can file a complaint with the EEOC without legal help, there are a few circumstances where it helps to have legal assistance. If you are determined to sue your employer, you should retain an attorney at the beginning of the process with the EEOC. This gives your attorney more time to build a case and he or she could also be helpful in resolving the dispute prior to filing a lawsuit.
In addition, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf during mediation or conciliation. He or she will be able to evaluate the strength of your case, explain the pros and cons of any settlement offers, and provide constructive advice on how you should proceed.
Have you been discriminated against or harassed at work? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. Our team will fight to protect your rights and recover compensation from your employer. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.