Filing a Charge with the EEOC is Only the First Step of an Employment Discrimination Complaint.
As a victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace, you have the right to file an employment discrimination or sexual harassment charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, after the charge is filed, the real EEOC investigation begins.
The investigation can include inquiries, requests for mediation, and requests for more information. You need a qualified EEOC representation attorney to guide you through the process, from the initial filing to the conclusion of your trial or settlement process.
What Happens Immediately After Filing a Charge with the EEOC?
The EEOC must contact your employer regarding the charge within ten days of receipt of your charge. The EEOC will also create an account for you and your employer to access the charge of employment discrimination or sexual harassment through the EEOC public portal. Logging into this public portal allows you to follow the charge through the stages of the investigation. It also allows you to:
- Update contact information as needed.
- Upload your attorney’s letter of representation if you obtain an attorney after you file the charge.
- Upload supporting documents as requested by the EEOC.
- Request your employer’s position.
- Upload your answer to your employer’s position.
What Happens Once the EEOC Notifies Your Employer of Your Charge?
The EEOC has ten days to review your initial charge of discrimination or harassment. Within ten days, EEOC may dismiss the charge:
- It was filed past the allowed statute of limitations or time limit of 180 to 300 days.
- The EEOC does not enforce the claims in your charge.
If the charge is not dismissed, The EEOC will send your employer notice. The EEOC will ask you and your employer to participate in a mediation program.
The Mediation Program
The mediation program is a formal process. You and your employer can choose to sit with a qualified mediator to reach a voluntary settlement prior to the EEOC investigation getting underway.
You and your employer can discuss your concerns with the mediator. The mediator is like a counselor, not a judge. Therefore, you and your employer can work towards an agreement and what you decide is the final decision. The mediator will not offer a decision.
It is best to work with a qualified EEOC representation attorney to ensure you do not forfeit any of your rights or compensation in mediation.
What Occurs If an EEOC Mediation is Denied or Unsuccessful?
Mediation is not for everyone. It is not unusual for you or your employer to deny mediation. It is also not unusual for it to not work in your case. If mediation is unsuccessful or denied, you must move to the next step in the EEOC process (the investigation).
Starting the Investigation
To start the investigation, your employer is asked to provide a written statement of the facts, according to him. This statement is known as the ‘Respondent’s Position Statement,” which you can see in the public portal. You can also submit your answer through the public portal.
Your Response and Your Employer’s Answers
You are given 20 days to respond to this position statement. At the same time, your employer may be asked to provide answers to the claims in your charge.
What Happens During an EEOC Investigation?
The EEOC investigation may take up to ten months. During this time, the EEOC may:
- Interview your employer.
- Interview witnesses
- Visit the employer.
- Request documents
What Happens If Your Employer Refuses to Cooperate with the EEOC Investigation?
If for some reason, your employer refuses to cooperate with the EEOC’s requests for information, the EEOC maintains the right to issue administrative subpoenas to obtain the necessary information.
What Happens at the End of an EEOC Investigation?
At the end of the investigation, the EEOC will issue a decision. If the EEOC sees validity to your charge, it will provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue. This letter allows you to file your formal discrimination or sexual harassment complaint in federal court. If the investigation takes more than 180 days, you have the right to request a Notice of Right to Sue and bring your case to federal court, even if the investigation is incomplete.
Can You Add Details to an EEOC Charge After Filing?
You can add additional information to your EEOC charge after filing. If a new discrimination or harassment event occurs, you may add it to your charge. This added information will become part of the EEOC investigation.
Filing a New Charge
In some cases, the EEOC may advise you to file a new charge for the new claims of employment discrimination or sexual harassment. This request occurs when the new claim’s details do not match the details of the original claim. Either way, your employer will receive notifications of an amended charge or new charge, and additional investigations will begin.
Can an EEOC Representation Lawyer Help You Through the Process of Filing a Charge with the EEOC?
Filing your charge with the EEOC requires knowledge of both employment discrimination and sexual harassment laws and the EEOC process. A qualified employment lawyer specializing in EEOC representation can help ensure your employment discrimination or sexual harassment charge gets filed within the proper time limit and meet the proper criteria. Your attorney can guide you through the mediation process, answering inquiries and submitting the requested information. Your attorney will help you throughout the entire EEOC investigation and resulting lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced EEOC Representation Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
You have a right to work in an environment free from employment discrimination and sexual harassment. If your employer violates these rights, you have the right to seek justice. Filing a claim with the EEOC is a process towards justice that can be difficult and confusing to navigate. If you are the victim of employment discrimination, the experienced employment discrimination and sexual harassment at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.
Did You Experience Employment Discrimination or Sexual Harassment at Work? You May Need to File an EEOC Charge to Move Forward with Your Quest for Justice. Please Contact Us at 800.807.2209 to Learn More About Your Rights.