Learn About the Process to File Your EEOC Charge for Discrimination in the Workplace.
As a victim of employment discrimination, you should file a charge with the EEOC. As opposed to a claim, a charge is a signed written statement that details your discrimination claim. This charge can start you on the road to obtain compensation for your workplace discrimination claim.
It is always a good idea to work with a trusted attorney to file your charge with the EEOC. Your EEOC representation attorney can help ensure you file your claim under the proper laws and within the right time limit. Your attorney will advocate for your rights from the moment you begin the process until you reach a settlement or receive a court judgment.
What Is an EEOC Charge?
Who Can File a Charge with the EEOC?
Employment discrimination charges must be filed with the EEOC before a complaint about employment discrimination can be filed in federal court. Most laws require you to fit the following criteria to file your charge with the EEOC under federal law:
- You must work for a company with 15 or more employees (20 or more employees for age discrimination claims).
- You must be a member of a protected class.
- The discrimination you experienced must be based on that protected class in the workplace.
- You may also file an EEOC charge if you were fired from work or experienced other forms of retaliation because you are a member of a protected class. Wrongful termination, demotions, negative employee reviews, and other forms of retaliation are prohibited under federal laws.
What Is a Protected Class?
A protected class is a group of people with similar characteristics protected from discrimination under the law. Protected classes include the following:
- Race Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- Age Discrimination (over 40)
- National Origin Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Sex Discrimination
- Gender Identity Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Military Status Discrimination
- Immigration Status Discrimination
What is the Time Limit to File a Charge with the EEOC?
Charges of discrimination must be filed with the EEOC typically within 180 days of the incident of discrimination. However, many states have laws similar to the laws governed by the EEOC. If your state offers such laws, your statute of limitations is extended to 300 days from the incident’s date.
The EEOC is very strict with its guidelines. Any charge filed after the time limit will be dismissed without an investigation. Therefore, it is essential to meet the deadlines and possibly submit your charge before the deadline approaches. Consult an EEOC representation attorney as soon as you experience discrimination so you can submit your EEOC charge before you run out of time.
How Do You File a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC?
There are three ways to file your charge with the EEOC if you are not a federal applicant or employee. These three options include online, in person, and by mail.
Filing online may be among the easiest ways to file. The EEOC offers an easy-to-use portal. Through the portal, you have the option to submit your online inquiry and schedule your intake interview. The intake interview is essential to getting your claim started.
Once you file the signed inquiry, the interviewer reviews your claim’s details and ensures you are filing your charge in the proper location. He also ensures your story makes sense and includes all necessary information to start the investigation process.
You may choose to file your charge in person. You have the option to make an appointment or walk in when you have a moment. Of course, you will have less of a wait time to speak with an intake specialist with an appointment.
The EEOC has over 50 field offices. You can find the one closest to you to file your charge. The office in which you file the charge may not be the office to handle the investigation. The investigation may occur in the office closest to your job. However, you may file in the office closest to your home.
When filing in person, you do not have to do it alone. You are permitted to bring anyone you need to the meeting. You can bring a lawyer, interpreter, or even a friend. This option is usually the least intimidating option for employees.
Filing Via USPS
Finally, you can file via US postal mail. Your letter must include your name, address, email, and telephone number. You also need to include the following:
- The name, address, email and telephone number of the employer or employment agency
- The number of employees at the company
- A description of the discrimination incident(s)
- When the incident(s) took place
- Why do you believe you have a charge of employment discrimination?
- Your signature
Filing Over the Phone
The EEOC does not accept charges over the phone. However, you are welcome to call them at (800) 669-4000 to ask any questions or discuss your claim.
How Can an EEOC Representation Lawyer Help You File Your EEOC Charge?
An EEOC representation attorney knows all the laws relating to EEOC charges. They can help you determine if your charge needs to be filed with the EEOC or go directly to federal court. They can also help you file your charge within the proper time frame provided by the EEOC guidelines.
Your EEOC lawyer can help you determine the best way to file your charge. If you file it online or via USPS, they can ensure you file the proper information and request the proper actions to ensure your claim’s best results. They can even go with you if you choose to file your charge in person. Your EEOC attorney is your lifeline to ensure your charge meets all the EEOC requirements to receive a Right to Sue Letter and move forward with your lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
Filing a charge with the EEOC can be a daunting task if you have never done it before. The experienced employment discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group are here to help make it easier.
Did You Face Discrimination at Work? Do You Need to File an EEOC Charge to Receive Compensation for Your Claim? Please Call Us at 800.807.2209 to Learn More About Your Rights When Filing an EEOC Charge for Employment Discrimination.