Discrimination: Why You Must File a Complaint with the EEOC
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) upholds federal laws that prohibit employers from condoning retaliation, discrimination or harassment in the workplace. An employee can file a complaint when race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or genetic information play an inordinate role in an employer’s hiring, firing, promotion, training, wage, benefits or employment decisions.
The EEOC filing process must be followed exactly. An employee has 180 days from the last discriminatory act to file a complaint with the EEOC or the appropriate state agency, or else the employee can lose the right to sue. The filing deadline exists to ensure that EEOC investigators have the chance to properly investigate the complaint and pursue a mediated alternative to a courtroom trial. The next steps depend on whether the EEOC officer finds a violation:
- If a violation is found, the EEOC’s investigator works with the employee to seek an adequate remedy. EEOC attorneys, who represent the interests of injured plaintiffs, often sue employers who refuse to cooperate.
- If the EEOC does not uncover a violation, you are issued a Right to Sue letter and you can retain your own discrimination attorney, who can represent your interests in a court of law, either in Florida or in the state where the discrimination took place.
The worst mistake you can make is ignoring the EEOC’s filing deadline. If you were passed over for employment, wrongfully fired from an employment position or harassed at work, it is vital to contact the EEOC immediately and to file your complaint as soon as possible. Failure to file can result in the loss of your legal right to retribution.
Consult with a Florida discrimination attorney for skilled legal help with your case.