The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or "EEOC" is an administrative agency whose primary responsibilities include enforcing federal laws with regard to protecting employees and job applicants from discrimination in the workplace. Types of discrimination include discrimination based on race, age (for workers or applicants 40 years of age and older), national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, or genetic information. The EEOC also protects those who are either involved in the investigative process i.e., the aggrieved or those who are acting as a witness during the investigation process from retaliation.
The EEOC acts as neutral body that investigates Charges of Discrimination over most employers who have fifteen (15) or more employees. Typically, when a Charge is filed, it is assigned to an investigator who assesses the allegations in the Charge and conducts an investigation into those allegations. If the investigator believes that discrimination took place, they may attempt early resolution of the matter by providing the parties an opportunity to mediate. If mediation is unsuccessful, then the EEOC may have the right to file suit on behalf of the aggrieved. If no cause is found, or the findings are inconclusive, then the EEOC may issue a Notice of Right to Sue providing the aggrieved a ninety (90) day window to file suit or be forever barred from pursuing his/her claim.
It's critical to note that if you are an employer who has an aggrieved employee, termination of that employee as a means of trying to separate the complainant from the business or to separate the aggrieved and the individual alleged to have participated in the discrimination can result in further adverse action against the business (i.e., retaliation claim).
If you are an employer who has recently been served with an EEOC Charge, timing is critical as there are strict deadlines that the EEOC adheres to. At Danz & Kronengold, P.L. , we have assisted many business owners vigorously defend Charges of Discrimination. If you have been placed on notice of a Charge of Discrimination, please contact our office today for an initial consultation directly at 954-406-7535 or toll free at 866-640-1080.