EEOC Attorney in New York City
You are a New Yorker facing discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. You have filed a complaint with the Human Resources department and ask the aggressor to stop but things just are not getting better. What is your next step? Before pursuing a lawsuit, file a claim with The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You must bring a charge to the EEOC prior to filing a lawsuit in federal court. A discrimination lawyer in New York City can assist you in filing a claim.
What is the EEOC?
A government agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. As a note, sexual harassment is considered a form of gender discrimination, and harassment claims can be brought to the EEOC. Under these laws, you are protected from workplace discrimination or harassment based on your:
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- National original
- Genetic information
You may also bring an EEOC charge if you were a victim of retaliation when you complained of discrimination, or were involved in a lawsuit or investigation. Discrimination laws apply to various work-related activities, including hiring, firing, promotion, wages, training, benefits and harassment.
EEOC claim requirements
Knowledge is power — you should know what you’re walking into before you approach the EEOC. Only an attorney with experience handling discrimination cases can review your specific case and let you know if you are eligible. However, here are some of the basic criteria:
- Your job must employ at least 15 people, or at least 20 people in age discrimination cases. (If less than 15 people, you can still bring a lawsuit under state or city law)
- You need to file a claim within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- Independent contractors are not covered by anti-discrimination laws except they may be covered under New York City law as well as Federal 42 USC 1981 anti race discrimination law.
- You are protected by law if you are an employee, a job applicant, a former employee or participant in a training or apprenticeship program
- American workers employed by U.S. companies overseas are protected by U.S. anti-discrimination laws
- Age discrimination charges are reserved for employees aged 40 or older except under the New York City law, you can be under 40 years old.
Even if you feel your situation does not meet the requirements, consult with legal counsel to learn how else you can proceed with your case. Different EEOC coverage may apply to private employees, government employees, employment agencies or labor unions.
A successful EEOC claim
Once you file a claim with the EEOC, the Commission invites both parties to mediation and investigates the charge if necessary. If they conclude discriminatory practices had occurred, you may be entitled to compensation. According to the EEOC itself, “Whenever discrimination is found, the goal of the law is to put the victim of discrimination in the same position (or nearly the same) that he or she would have been if the discrimination had never occurred.”
In other words, the EEOC sets out to make right the wrongs committed by your employer or co-worker. For example, if you were fired due to discriminatory practices, you may be able to receive remedies for past and future lost wages. You may also receive non-compensatory remedies for emotional distress and punitive damages.
If the EEOC finds no violation of the law, you will be given a Notice of Right to Sue and you can file suit in a court of law.
Have you suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace?
The Derek Smith Law Group has handled countless EEOC claims and employment-related lawsuits in and around New York City. We fight aggressively on your behalf to get you compensation you deserve. To learn more or get started on your claim, contact our firm today.