The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that regulates and enforces civil laws against discrimination at the workplace. Some of the federal laws enforced by the EEOC to protect the rights of individuals at their workplace include:
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA): The law protects employees of age 40 or over from being discriminated based on their age. It also protects the employee from any form of retaliation, if they choose to file a complaint against the discrimination.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963: Under this law, it is illegal for employers to pay different wages based on a person’s gender performing the same duties at the workplace. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: The act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against a woman based on childbirth, pregnancy, or any issues relating to pregnancy. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII): Under this act, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against a person based on their color, religion, sex, race, or origin. How to File a Complaint against Employment Discrimination
Filing a charge of discrimination against an employer requires signing a statement asserting that the subject organization engages in employment discrimination practices. The charge makes the EEOC aware of the practices followed by that certain organization and requests them to take a remedial action.
There are five ways of filing a complaint with the EEOC:
Using the EEOC’s Public Portal, a complaint for employment discrimination can be easily and discreetly filed online. You have to answer a few questions that can help the system determine which federal agency can best handle your complaint. Once your online inquiry is submitted, an appointment can be scheduled to discuss your complaint with a member of the EEOC.
Visit an EEOC office for a walk-in appointment or schedule an appointment online using the EEOC’s Public Portal. While the filing decision (whether to file or not to file) depends on you, a staff member of the EEOC discusses your case and interviews you to understand how your case can be handled. They also help you determine if filing a charge of discrimination is the best solution for you. Once you make a decision, the EEOC member prepares a charge using the information you have provided and submits the complaint to higher authorities.
3. Over the Phone
While the EEOC doesn’t formally accept charges over the phone, they help you understand the process and help determine if filing a charge is the right path for you. You can call 1-800-669-4000 to discuss your situation and get the process started.
4. By Mail
For individuals who have 60 days or fewer to file their charge, the EEOC allows to file the charge quickly by mailing them the required information. A complaint can be filed via mail by submitting a signed letter that contains the following information:
- Your personal information such as name, email, address and telephone number.
- The name, email, address, and telephone number of the employer, union, or employment agency that you wish to file your complaint against.
- The number of employees that are currently employed by the organization in question (if known).
- A short description of the discriminatory actions that took place.
- When the discriminatory actions took place.
- Reasons that led you to believe you were being discriminated.
The complaint request is reviewed and required actions are taken by the EEOC once the letter is received.
5. With a State or Local Fair Employment Practice Agency
The EEOC has work-sharing agreements with several Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs). If you decide to file your complaint with a state or local agency that enforces laws prohibiting workplace discrimination, you can request them to help you with the filing process as well.
Filing a complaint with the EEOC helps stop the discrimination from taking place at a workplace. However, to eliminate discrimination, it is recommended that employers enroll in Online Workforce Safety Program and take courses for safety compliance at the workplace.