How to File a Discrimination Charge

Filing an EEOC complaint may seem like a daunting task but doing so can give you the opportunity to have your voice be heard after an incident of workplace discrimination.

In America, the relationship between an employer and their employees can be a complicated one.

When conflict occurs between these parties, the occasion may arise when a dispute has to be taken to a higher authority for judgment.

This can be accomplished for the employee by filing an official complaint with the U.S. government.

However, it is also important to consider that these types of complaints are very serious accusations and should not be taken lightly.

Even if employment discrimination is not obvious at first sight, it happens all across the country.

Additionally, because of the complex and sometimes embarrassing nature of reporting potential abuses, this type of discrimination goes undocumented much of the time.

In order to make sure that you are aware of your rights as a worker, it is very important to learn about these laws and utilize them whenever there is a civil breach of justice committed by an employer or a business.

This article will teach you everything there is to know about filing an EEOC complaint form and what to expect after your claim has been submitted.

What is an EEOC complaint?

An EEOC claim comes from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a branch of the United States federal government. This agency is mainly responsible for regulating and enforcing employer discrimination laws, which cover many different workforce actions and span across all 50 states.

They do this through investigating claims made by employees who have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against all around the country, settling those claims whenever possible and bringing employers to trial when a compromise cannot be reached. In this way, the EEOC is one of the biggest and most important resources for protecting workers.

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An actual EEOC complaint form includes information regarding the nature of your complaint, including your personal identification, your company information, an account of the alleged wrongdoing and more, as outlined below.

If a company has more than 14 employees, they may be held responsible for wrongdoing by the EEOC. The agency will receive a complaint, review it and conduct a thorough investigation on the matter with interviews and document collection from all involved parties.

While the verdict of this investigation can lay out hefty fines and other penalties, there are also plenty of costs in running an investigation through the EEOC for both employers and employees.

Should I file a discrimination complaint?

There are many reasons to file an EEOC complaint as a worker, including if you feel that you are being discriminated against by your employer, based on your:

  • Race.
  • Nationality.
  • Age.
  • Religion.
  • Sex.
  • Disability.

However, it is important to know the right time for filing an EEOC complaint, as there is a limited window during which you can legally do so. After you have contacted your EEOC counselor and discussed your complaint with them, you have 15 days to file a claim before it is automatically dismissed by the statute of limitations.

If you wait too long, filing through the EEOC will not be as effective.

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Additionally, it is important to know filing an EEOC discrimination claim may be costly. While submitting your initial claim to the EEOC is free, the eventual lawyer fees that you may have to pay down the line are not. These claims can be a drain of both money and time, with some cases stretching across multiple trial dates over months to even years.

However, if you have the time, money and desire for justice in your discrimination case, filing a claim through the EEOC is the most efficient and legal way to go.

How to File an EEOC Complaint & What to Prepare

If you have determined your need to file for discrimination against your employer, there are certain actions that you can take in order to speed up this process. To fill out an EEOC charge of discrimination form completely and without any hassle, you should prepare the following documents ahead of contacting the agency:

  • Your identifying information. This can include your name, address, phone number and any other relevant contact information.
  • Your employer’s information. This can include the name, address and phone number of your company, as well as that company’s number of employees.
  • Information about your complaint. This can include the discriminatory actions that you believe were committed against you, who you are blaming for the incident, the dates of any incidents and other relevant information.

Once this information has been compiled, you are ready to complete and submit your form with the EEOC. Completing an EEOC complaint form online is perhaps one of the easiest methods of doing this, as it allows you to file a charge from the comfort of your own home.

By making an account with the EEOC online portal and submitting your documents online, you can save a lot of time in the application and processing periods.

If you would like to submit your discrimination form as a physical copy, there are also ways to go about doing so.

You may present the information listed above to your local EEOC office in person or by mail. For in-person applications, you will need to schedule an appointment with an agent of your nearest EEOC office.

This can be an especially useful method if you need to bring a translator, lawyer or other relevant person to your application. For mail applications, it is incredibly important that you include your signature in your letter of application materials. Without it, the EEOC cannot verify that you consent to their future investigation of your case.

What Happens After Your EEOC Claim Has Been Submitted

When your discrimination complaint has been processed through the EEOC, you will receive a letter in the mail informing you of the agency’s intentions.

They have up to 180 days to review all of the appropriate information and complete their investigation on the matter. The result of this investigation could end in the agency agreeing to your complaint and working out a settlement with your employer, choosing to bring your complaint to a legal hearing or dismissing your case due to a lack of evidence.

The most ideal outcome for the EEOC is to set up a mediation service for you and your employer, who will work out your differences in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner.

But regardless of the verdict, you may choose to take your case to a higher court for further judging, if you accept the additional legal fees that come with it.

Learning how to file a discrimination complaint against an employer can be complicated at times, but the process can be worth the time and money if you truly believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace.

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