What can I do if I’ve Experienced Employment Discrimination?
It is an unfortunate fact that even today there are still cases of employment discrimination that occur regularly. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed with them in 2017.
Employees in the United States still experience employment discrimination with unacceptable regularity and often are put in positions where their options to react to this discrimination are limited. This may due to fear of retaliation, misinformation or lack of information as to their rights, or even just because they may not believe its not worth the trouble.
Employment Discrimination Law
No employee should have to face discrimination in their workplace and thanks to federal and Florida state legislation, that doesn’t have to be the case. The primary federal law that protects employees from employment discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This legislation protects the employees from facing employment discrimination based on their:
- National Origin
- Genetic Information
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
In order to enforce employment discrimination laws like Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created. In order to enforce employment discrimination laws they hold hearings, administer equal employment opportunity laws for employees of the federal government, issue regulations interpreting the law, and litigate discrimination cases. The EEOC also enforces other instances of employment discrimination such as:
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
Most importantly, they allow employees who have been discriminated against to file employment discrimination charges with them so that they can investigate.
Filing Employment Discrimination Charges with the EEOC
A charge of discrimination is a signed statement asserting that an employer, union, or labor organization engaged in employment discrimination. It requests that the EEOC take remedial action to investigate and enforce any infractions of employment discrimination law.
In order to file a charge of employment discrimination against your employer you can use the EEOC public portal to file via the internet. It must be noted that you can also submit an inquiry which is a questionnaire for the EEOC to see how best they can assist with your issue. It does not count as filing a discrimination charge. It just helps the EEOC determine if that’s the best course of action.
You can also file an employment discrimination charge in person at an EEOC office. You can schedule an appointment to do this via the EEOC portal as well. You can also file your discrimination charge through a walk-in appointment as well.
Filing Employment Discrimination Charges with the Florida Commission on Human Relations
In addition to the EEOC working on the federal level to enforce federal employment discrimination law, there is also state employment discrimination law that is enforced by the Florida Commission on Human Relations or FCHR.
The FHCR and EEOC work together in what is called a “work-sharing agreement”. This means that you don’t have to file an employment discrimination charge with each agency as long as you indicate that you want to cross-file your charge with the other agency.
Sometimes there may be a need to file with each agency individually since there may be discrepancies between the applicable federal and state laws that pertain to your claim. If this is the case, then it is usually the EEOC that is recommended as the first to be filed a charge with in order to preserve a federal claim.
Conditions for Filing an Employment Discrimination Charge
The time you have to file an employment discrimination charge is at least 180 days according to the EEOC on the federal level but that time is extended depending on the state the discrimination occurred. Florida extends the time to 300 days from the date that the discrimination occurred. The rule of thumb is to file your charge as early as possible for best results. If more than one discriminatory event occurred then the deadlines will be for the dates each instance of discrimination occurred.
After You File an Employment Discrimination Charge
Once you have filed an employment discrimination claim then the EEOC will notify your employer that a charge of discrimination has been made upon them. Many people hesitate to file employment discrimination because they are afraid of retaliation. What they don’t know is that retaliation against an employee for filing an employment discrimination charge is illegal and employees are protected by EEO laws.
Once the EEOC or FCHR gets ahold of you employment discrimination claim, they will either reject it because it is not in their jurisdiction or past the deadline, attempt mediation between you and your employer to reach a settlement, or request the employer to give them a written answer to the charge called a “Respondent’s Position Statement” before they begin an investigation.
Employment Discrimination Investigation and Lawsuit
An investigation can also begin if mediations fail to produce any results. When the EEOC or FCHR begin their investigation, they will start to interview witnesses and analyze documents in order to determine if discrimination did in fact take place. If they determine that an act of employment discrimination did take place then the EEOC will attempt to reach a settlement with the employer.
If a settlement is not reached then the EEOC of FCHR will see if they will take legal action. If they elect not to file a lawsuit they will supply a “notice of right to sue”. This gives you the ability to take a discrimination lawsuit against an employer into your own hands. If the EEOC determines that discrimination did not occur through their investigation, they will also supply a “notice of right to sue” then as well.
Seek an Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney
If you or a loved one have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin, then do not hesitate to Contact Dolman Law Group about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise that you will need to secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact us at Dolman Law Group’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765