The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a crucial federal agency in the United States that plays a pivotal role in safeguarding workplace rights and promoting equal opportunity for all employees. Established in 1965 as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC has been instrumental in combating discrimination, ensuring fair treatment, and advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Key Functions of the EEOC
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on various protected characteristics. Its main functions include:
- Investigation and Enforcement: The EEOC investigates charges of workplace discrimination filed by employees against employers. It has the authority to file lawsuits against employers if there is evidence of discrimination or retaliation. The agency also strives to settle disputes through mediation and conciliation.
- Education and Outreach: The EEOC conducts educational programs and outreach initiatives to raise awareness about workplace discrimination and inform both employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities. This includes providing training sessions, workshops, and informational resources.
- Guidance and Regulation: The EEOC issues guidelines, policy statements, and regulations to clarify the interpretation of federal anti-discrimination laws. These documents provide employers with information on how to maintain compliant and inclusive workplaces.
- Data Collection and Reporting: The agency collects and analyzes workforce data to identify trends and patterns of discrimination in employment practices. This information helps the EEOC develop targeted strategies to address emerging issues.
California Protected Characteristics
The EEOC enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on the following protected characteristics:
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information
When employees file a complaint related to harassment or discrimination based on any of these characteristics, it is against the law for employers to retaliate against them.
How to File a Complaint with the EEOC if You Are a Victim of Workplace Discrimination
The process of filing a complaint with the EEOC involves the following:
If you believe you’ve experienced workplace discrimination, the first step is to file a complaint. You can do this in several ways:
- In-person: https://www.eeoc.gov/field-office
- By Phone: 1-800-669-4000
- By Mail: Roybal Federal Building, 255 East Temple St., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This involves providing detailed information about the discrimination you experienced, including:
- Your contact information.
- The name and contact information of the employer or organization involved.
- A description of the discriminatory actions, incidents, or practices.
- The dates of the discriminatory actions.
- The basis for the discrimination (race, sex, religion, etc.).
- Any supporting documentation or evidence you may have.
Once your charge is filed, the EEOC will review the information provided and assess whether your claim meets the criteria for further investigation.
The EEOC will launch an investigation to collect information from both you and the employer, which may include interviews, requests for documents, and other relevant evidence.
If the EEOC finds reasonable cause, they may offer mediation as an alternative way to resolve the dispute. A trained mediator will facilitate discussions between you and the employer to reach a voluntary settlement. Mediation is confidential and can help resolve the issue more quickly.
Right to Sue
If the EEOC is unable to reach a settlement and issues a “Notice of Right to Sue,” you have the right to file a lawsuit against the employer within a specified timeframe (usually 90 days).
Speak To Our Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyers
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you, arrange a free consultation with a trusted Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer today. They can assess your case and help you determine the best course of action.