Employment discrimination is still a rampant problem these days. Many applicants and employers are still discriminated against in all aspects of employment, including hiring and termination. Good thing there is one federal agency that is ready to lend a helping hand on discrimination victims by enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws against erring employers. This agency is called the EEOC, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A person who believes that his or her rights as an applicant or an employee had been violated may file a discrimination charge with the EEOC. Not only can one person do it; even an organization or an agency can do so. Collective effort in filing a charge may be done on behalf of the victim. This is to help protect his or her identity.
In filing a charge with the EEOC, the person or the group may first fill out an intake questionnaire. Complainants who need accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter, must immediately inform the EEOC so that arrangements can be made accordingly.
In the actual filing of the discrimination charge, the complainant or the complaining party must provide the following information:
- The complaining party’s name, address, and telephone number
- The employment agency, respondent employer or employment agency’s name, address, and telephone number
- The number of employees or union members involved, if there is any
- The date, location, and a short description of the alleged violation of employment rights
The complainant/s must first file a discrimination charge with the EEOC first before taking on a private lawsuit. This will only apply if the EEOC does not find any violation on the part of the employer.
Strict limits are implemented on the filing of charges. The complainant/s whose employer violated a federal employment law must file a charge within 180 days from the day of the alleged violation. The deadline is extended if the charge is also covered by a state and/or local employment law. For charges related to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), only state laws extend the filing deadline to 300 days.