What You Need to Know About the EEOC

New York EEOC Attorneys Work Closely with Federal and State Agencies

New York EEOC lawyers at Leeds Brown see many clients who want to know what they can do when they face discrimination at work. We hear a story nearly every day about an employer firing an individual because of his or her gender, refusing to promote someone because of race or refusing to hire a person because of his or her religion.

When you are the victim of discrimination it hurts emotionally and financially. You may lose a big promotion after years of hard work or rightfully earned benefits because your employer or co-workers behave unlawfully. When you come to work and face harassment because of your gender or race, it can be frightening as well as upsetting. What can you do?

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, color, and sex. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employment discrimination based on age. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes discrimination against disabled individuals unlawful. These are just some of the laws that protect employees from workplace discrimination and harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the Federal agency that oversees the enforcement of these laws.

Under the various laws, an employee has the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and to receive equal treatment. When an employer violates these rights, an employee may seek relief by filing a discrimination or retaliation charge with the EEOC.

Filing an administrative charge is the first step in most federal discrimination cases. EEOC lawyers at Leeds Brown have extensive, in-depth experience working with clients in NY to ensure that they follow the proper procedural and substantive requirements for all discrimination charges. Our employment discrimination experts can guide you through the entire administrative process, build your case, and take it all the way to trial if that is what is best. If you are entitled to monetary compensation or reinstatement, we will work tirelessly to see that you secure the outcome you deserve.

What Should You Know About the EEOC?

Although Leeds Brown attorneys are intimately familiar with how the EEOC operates, many of our clients are not sure what the agency’s role is when it comes to their cases. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the EEOC and the answers.

What is the EEOC?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, commonly called the EEOC, is a federal agency. The Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it unlawful to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee.

What kind of employment discrimination charges does the EEOC process?

The EEOC processes charges and enforces laws that involve discrimination based on:

  • Genetic information
  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (this includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy)
  • Age (if you are 40 or older)
  • Disability
Does the EEOC only handle charges after an individual gets fired?

No. The EEOC enforces anti-discrimination laws in all aspects of employment including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promoting
  • Compensating
  • Providing benefits
  • Training
  • Assigning work
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
Why was the EEOC created?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law on July 2, 1964, established the EEOC. The agency officially opened its doors on July 2, 1965. It was created to be a five-member bipartisan commission whose mission “is to eliminate unlawful employment discrimination.”

Subsequent legislation greatly expanded the size, role, and authority of the EEOC. Over the years, Congress gave the EEOC enforcement authority for other anti-discrimination laws such as Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Equal Pay Act (EPA), Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Congress also gave the Commission litigation authority.

Where is the EEOC located?

The EEOC has headquarters in Washington DC. There are also 53 field offices covering the entire United States.

How is the EEOC organized?

The EEOC remains a bipartisan federal agency. It is set up like this:

  • The President of the United States appoints 5 Commissioners
  • The Senate must confirm the President’s choices
  • The President then selects one Commissioner as Chair and one as Vice-Chair
  • The President also appoints someone to be EEOC General Counsel to “support the Commission and provide direction, coordination, and supervision of the EEOC’s litigation program.”
What does the EEOC do after it receives a charge?

The EEOC receives charges of workplace discrimination and performs an investigation which may include interviewing the employer, employee, and co-workers, and requesting documents. If the agency finds that discrimination occurred, there is an attempt to negotiate an amicable resolution between the employee and employer. The result might include reinstatement to a position, company policy changes or monetary compensation for the victim.

The EEOC may choose to file a lawsuit against the employer if attempts to mediate are unsuccessful.

If the EEOC does not file a lawsuit, it issues a notice of the right to sue to the employee. The employee may only file a lawsuit after the EEOC issues the notice. If the EEOC does not provide the notice promptly, the employee may request one.

The EEOC is also involved in education and outreach to prevent workplace discrimination from occurring.

Is there a local or state version of the EEOC?

New York State Division of Human Rights and New York City Commission on Human Rights overlap at times with the EEOC. The agencies all serve the same purpose which is to ensure that employees receive protection from unlawful discrimination, but each has unique strengths and weaknesses. An attorney at Leeds Brown who specializes in working with agencies like the EEOC can assist you to determine the best agency to work with under the circumstances of your particular case that will help achieve your goals.

Contact Us

New York EEOC lawyers at Leeds Brown know that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission plays an integral part in all Title VII and other federal employment discrimination cases. More than that, our attorneys understand how to work with the EEOC and other agencies to achieve successful outcomes for our clients. Whether you need to file your charge in NY or have already done so, having Leeds Brown representing you can help your chances of recovering monetary damages and other remedies.

Call our office for a free case evaluation. Someone is here to take your call twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Contact EEOC attorneys at 1-800-585-4658.

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