Discrimination at Work? The EEOC Protects You
The Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of this act prohibits employers from harassing employees or making decisions based on a persons race, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, or other protected class.
The federal governments Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates and prosecutes violations of the Civil Rights Act in the workplace. If you have been discriminated against at work, you may be able to file a claim with the EEOC. If your claim is not resolved by the EEOC, an experienced employment discrimination attorney can help you resolve your claim.
Types of Discrimination Investigated by the EEOC
Most employers are subject to the rules of the EEOC, though this varies based on the type of company and the type of alleged discrimination. For private employers, the EEOC enforces prohibitions against discrimination if the company has at least 15 employees, or 20 employees if the complaint is based on age discrimination.
If a company is covered by the EEOCs rules, then discriminatory or retaliatory behavior based on the following types of protected characteristics is illegal:
- Sexual Harassment
- National Origin
- Genetic Information
Nearly every aspect of daily work situations are covered by the EEOCs protections. Most commonly, people find discriminatory behavior in situations such as unfair wages, illegal harassment, and discriminatory hiring, firing, and promotion procedures.
What to Do If You Experience Discrimination
If you suspect that you are being discriminated against, you should first take your concerns to your human resources department, or use your companys internal complaint procedures. Check your companys handbook or employment manual and follow your companys procedures before you take your concerns to the EEOC. Both the EEOC and most state courts will require you to utilize your companys internal procedures prior to filing a lawsuit or EEOC complaint.
If your company refuses to address your concerns, you may file an administrative charge with the EEOC. Your local EEOC office will begin its investigation, and will notify your employer of its investigation. Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for filing an EEOC claim.
Your EEOC office will then either dismiss your claim, request that you and your employer go to mediation to try and settle your claim, or file a lawsuit on your behalf. Usually, your EEOC office will process your claim and issue you a right-to-sue letter. Once you have received this letter, you will be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination.
Protecting Employee Rights
Filing a lawsuit in state court is often the last step in getting justice after you have been treated unfairly at work. If you have been harassed, taken advantage of, or discriminated against based on your race, gender, age, or other protected characteristic, an experienced employment attorney can help you protect your rights.
Phillips Dayes Law Firm PC believes that every member of the workforce in Arizona, Utah, and California is entitled to the protection of their rights. If you or a loved one believes that any kind of discrimination is taking place, you must contact an employee rights lawyer to assess your legal options.
Phillips Law Group recommends Phillips Dayes Law Firm PC for Overtime, Wage Hour & Employment Cases.