The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for creating and enforcing workplace regulations, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies for American employers. The EEOC is also responsible for reviewing and investigating claims of employment discrimination and harassment. Therefore, if you work in California and experience any form of discrimination or harassment, you likely have grounds to file a claim with the EEOC to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
The EEOC claim process is complex and time-consuming, especially for someone who has never filed such a claim in the past. However, if you believe you have grounds to file an EEOC claim in California, it is vital to know what the process entails and how to increase your chance of success with the claim.
What to Expect From the EEOC
The EEOC handles thousands of complaints from American employees every day, and there are specific policies in place for addressing different types of complaints. If you believe you have grounds for filing an EEOC complaint about any reason in California, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible. Your legal team can provide valuable guidance and assist you with various aspects of the claim process.
You can find various claim forms from the EEOC’s website, and there are several options for contacting EEOC personnel with your concerns. Your attorney can help you determine which forms you need to complete for your complaint and assist with gathering any supporting documentation you need to submit with it. Once the EEOC receives your complaint, an investigator will review it, contact you for more information if necessary, and notify you of the agency’s findings.
What Happens Once the EEOC Reviews My Complaint?
Once the EEOC has completed their review of your complaint, they will determine that you either have grounds to sue the defendant named in your claim or that you do not have a case. If the former applies to your situation, the EEOC will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue, which allows you to proceed with legal action against the named defendant with the support of the EEOC.
If the EEOC determines your complaint does not qualify for legal action, they may request additional evidence and documentation to strengthen your claim or deny your claim. If you receive a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC, this empowers you to take legal action against the defendant named in your complaint.
Damages for Discrimination and Harassment
Obtaining a Right to Sue from the EEOC can significantly increase the claimant’s chances of successfully holding the aggressor named in their complaint accountable for their actions. For example, some claimants want reinstatement and lost income after being unfairly terminated or driven from their jobs due to adverse treatment.
Other claimants seek more substantial damages, such as lost income and benefits alongside compensation for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Your employment law attorney can help you determine what damages you could potentially secure after the EEOC concludes its investigation of your claim and provides you your Notice of Right to Sue.
Filing a successful EEOC claim can not only help you secure fair compensation for your losses but also prevent others from experiencing similar treatment in the future. In addition, the EEOC can also penalize employers that commit discrimination or harassment or that fail to prevent these issues from occurring due to ineffective internal policies.
FAQs About EEOC Complaint
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams have years of experience handling a wide range of EEOC claims on behalf of our clients in California. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from prospective clients regarding EEOC complaints and the EEOC’s processes for handling those complaints.
How Do I Win an EEOC Discrimination Complaint?
One of the best things you can do to increase your chance of success with your EEOC complaint is to hire an experienced attorney who can help you complete your claim forms appropriately and navigate the subsequent case proceedings. An experienced lawyer will help you gather all documentation you need to submit with your claim and assist you in taking legal action once you have your Right to Sue.
What Is Reasonable Cause?
The EEOC may state “reasonable cause” in handling your complaint, which basically states that based on the EEOC’s findings, the agency believes the negative behavior cited in the claim did occur. If the EEOC states reasonable cause, this typically translates to the claimant obtaining the Right to Sue.
What Qualifies for an EEOC Complaint?
The EEOC is responsible for investigating workplace discrimination and harassment complaints of any kind. This can include harassment or discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, age, or medical status. Therefore, if you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment due to your protected personal characteristics, you likely have grounds to file an EEOC complaint.
How Long Will the EEOC Take to Review My Complaint?
Claimants have 180 days to file an EEOC complaint following the date an alleged incident occurs. Similarly, the EEOC has 180 days from the date it receives a complaint to conclude its investigation and issue a Notice of Right to Sue to the claimant. However, it may not conclude its investigation within this time.
Many investigations take more than 10 months to a year to complete. However, once 180 days pass, the claimant has the right to proceed with the lawsuit. It’s important to note that a workplace discrimination or harassment claim is much more likely to succeed with the EEOC’s support in the form of a Notice of Right to Sue.
Experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace can be a distressing and isolating experience. It’s natural to wonder what you can do in this situation and hold the party that mistreated you accountable for their actions. The team at the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams has extensive experience helping clients navigate complex EEOC claims and the subsequent legal proceedings.
Our goal is to help you file your claim and secure the compensation you deserve for your experiences. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how our firm can assist you.