How do I file a discrimination claim with the EEOC?

All employees are afforded certain rights. Amongst them is to be free from workplace discrimination. Though laws and regulations fervently work to curtail any discrimination in employment, the sad fact of the matter is that it continues to occur. Therefore, those who feel as if their employee rights have been infringed upon because of discrimination may want to think about taking legal action.

In most instances, the first step is to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This alone can be a frightening step, as many are afraid of employer retaliation. However, individuals can protect their identity by having another person or a labor union contact the EEOC on their behalf. The discrimination charge should be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the discriminatory action. When an individual does file charges, that person should be prepared to provide his or her contact information, the contact information for the person's employer, a description of the employer's discrimination and the date or dates of the incident.

Once this information has been received by the EEOC, which must occur in person or through the mail, it will contact both the worker and the worker's employer within 10 days. After that, an investigation may be conducted. The length of time needed to carry out the investigation depends on the alleged discrimination and the complexity of the case.

It is important to note that regardless of the investigation's outcome, a worker can still file a lawsuit against the person's employer. However, this lawsuit will not be allowed until the EEOC's investigation has been conducted. Therefore, it is often wise to consult with an experienced Louisiana attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding one's case and how the EEOC's findings may affect the person's ability to recover compensation.

Source: FindLaw, "Filing Discrimination Charges with the EEOC," accessed on Apr. 9, 2015