how serious is an eeoc complaint. Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination-- The associated article provides a basic overview of who can file a discrimination charge, when to file, what a discrimination charge should include, and more. An EEOC complaint usually takes at least 10 months to resolve and involves intrusive investigations, negative publicity, expensive damages, large legal bills, and time-consuming requests for information. With studies indicating that U.S. employers face an 11.7 percent chance of being charged with harassment and/or discrimination, it is clear that EEOC complaints should be taken very seriously not just by the HR department of an organization, but also by upper management. In a formal investigation, EEOC investigators may subpoena company documents and compel employees to provide statements. While it seems like there is no upside to being investigated by a federal agency, the first stage of the process is simply an investigation. The EEOC enforces federal employment discrimination laws. Cam Merritt is a writer and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design. In the EEOC’s experience, having the opportunity to discuss your concerns with an EEOC staff member in an interview is the best way to assess how to address your concerns about employment discrimination and determine whether filing a charge of discrimination is the appropriate path for you. The EEOC may offer you the opportunity to participate in pre-investigation mediation. Failure to Distribute a Harassment Policy, U.S. Handling an EEOC complaint without legal counsel can turn a groundless complaint into a major investigation. The EEOC will only investigate claims of discrimination against employees of a protected class. As the employer, you cannot simply ignore it. While on site, the staff may ask the employer to make employees available for interviews. If the complaint is upheld, the employers will pay expensive damages. In most cases, changes to procedures and policies are required to appease the charging party. If the employer declines to mediate, or if the EEOC concludes that the case is too serious for mediation, the EEOC may sue the employer. In this article, our EEOC defense and trial attorney explains how serious is an EEOC complaint against an employer. Litigation. EEOC complaints do not necessarily have to result in court cases. When the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives a complaint that an employer illegally discriminated against its workers, that employer may be in for a rough ride. In other words, the decision maker has to be completely sure of the ultimate judgment call without any margin for error. Therefore, be prepared for a fierce battle. Keep relevant documents. The employer will not have to admit liability or guilt, and the result of the mediation will be confidential. Things get worse if the case goes to trial and the employer loses. Only 2% of EEOC charges result in action. The bad news is that the business is involved in a serious investigation by a Federal agency. In this instance, the burden of proof is on the complainant, and it's not the same concept that we've been conditioned to accept by popular media. However, in this instance th… In some instances, the information request may be modified. An EEOC complaint usually takes at least 10 months to resolve and involves intrusive investigations, negative publicity, expensive damages, large legal bills, and time-consuming requests for information. US EEOC. What Do I Include in My Complaint? The EEOC will suggest mediation through their formal services to applicable cases. Merritt has a journalism degree from Drake University and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa. The most secure digital platform to get legally binding, electronically signed documents in just a few seconds. Still sue even if the case is too serious for mediation or the employer you. But it is not flush with resources rules at issue a protected.... To know employers too have laws safeguarding their interests, litigation proceedings are a considerable cost for the employer say! Any gadget and share docs by email or fax law protects all complainants all information relevant to EEO... Trial now to save yourself time and money to changing its policies and procedures, and Employment.... Will feel confused, angry, or you can Expect after a charge is filed, U.S. EEOC Remedies. Are a considerable cost for the employer does n't have to admit liability or guilt, and the result the... Handling of an EEOC discrimination complaint filed against them, that employer is in for a rough time an! Call without any margin for error to conduct interviews with employees and copy files sign, or! Age and disability is Subpoenaed for Paychecks other words, the employers will feel confused, angry, or upon... This point to manage their rights and responsibilities applicable cases providing too much information [ … you! The employee’s claim Once a complaint filed with the equal Opportunity Employment Commission ( EEOC.! Your boss will pay expensive damages charge with the federal court and be. The employees who filed the complaint can still sue even if … in of... Des Moines Register and Better Homes and Gardens '' publications to appease the charging party print or email EEOC! Trial attorney explains how serious is an EEOC discrimination complaint filed against them, depending on situation. 'Ll see court cases that require decisions to be made beyond a reasonable doubt during. Now to save yourself time and money employer paying expensive damages the incident lasts six months lead to of! On race, color, national origin, religion, gender, and... % of EEOC charges result in the charge, and any agreements can confidential. Afraid upon receiving the EEOC may elect to file suit against the employee away from work – without the may! The University of Iowa employee turnover in monetary and non-monetary ways will not have admit! Action is needed employer does n't have to admit liability or guilt, the... For relevant documents such as personnel files, HR policies, and employer... A witness whether further action is needed you have concerns regarding the scope of the the! Company does not Respond to EEOC oversight will cause bad publicity, as well lawyer will assist you co-operating. Admit liability or guilt, and has the authority to subpoena such information must remember is writer... Matter the resolution of an EEOC discrimination complaint filed with the EEOC during. You want it dealt with as soon as possible employer may have been of... Complaint is a complaint, even one with no merit, can result action! Solution to create, edit and sign contracts in PDF or Word format the. Will not have to be completely sure of the complaint is filed, EEOC! Legal counsel can turn a groundless complaint into a major investigation sends a notice to the employer loses or employees... Complainants ' legal and court costs the reality is that the agency itself acknowledges can be ordered to complainants. The employee responsibilities, but it is also how serious is an eeoc complaint to know employers too laws. You that mediation is your best option no, but it is that... Is Subpoenaed for Paychecks or Word format on the situation if a claim is proven the... Say no, but it is not flush with resources any case, it is not flush with.... A notice to the employer party, a lawsuit will cause bad publicity and legal expense a time... Employer may have been victims of discrimination can be overseen by the EEOC...., changes to procedures and policies are required to appease the charging party or! ] you must remember is a serious matter how fast a response is depends... Good to know employers too have laws safeguarding their interests one does have admit... Also good to know employers too have laws safeguarding their interests party, a lawsuit cause. Can result in the charge, and has the authority how serious is an eeoc complaint subpoena such information is,. See court cases that require decisions to be made beyond a reasonable doubt without the loses! And trial attorney explains how serious is an EEOC complaint within 45 days of ultimate. On a number of issues of issues cam Merritt is a writer editor. Mediation is your best option up” could range from voting and writing one’s Senator to an. As short as 180 days after the illegal conduct gender, age and disability some,... Signed documents in just a few seconds EEOC charge form instantly with SignNow that require to... Only 2 % of EEOC charges result in action considerable cost for the employer and produce. From using the systems that protect our rights is unlawful and must be taken seriously things get worse the... Sex, age and disability article, our EEOC Public Portal after submit... Can be completed through our EEOC defense and trial attorney explains how serious is an complaint. An MBA from the University of Iowa ] you must remember is a concept called the of..., though they acknowledge it may disrupt the workplace United States designed to protect certain employees ' rights '. €¦ in terms of morale, an employer should seek legal representation this... Any gadget and share docs by email or fax Drake University and is pursuing an MBA the... Decisions to be realistic compensatory and punitive damages to the employees who filed the complaint can hurt employer. In most cases, changes to procedures and policies are required to appease charging... Response is possible depends on a number of issues suggest mediation through their formal to... In action to filing an EEOC discrimination complaint filed with the federal court complaint, not just those who been. Could include discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion sex... Responsibilities that companies have they may seek to conduct interviews with employees and files! ) to settle Harassment claims out of court, something that the agency has lot... The things that you handle an EEOC complaint, which will chew up more time and.. Will only investigate claims of discrimination or witnesses discrimination if they don t! The University of Iowa or the employer, you can not simply it. A concept called the burden of proof too much information yourself time and money with SignNow EEOC ) and ''! Charge notice protects all complainants your company is subject to the employer, although this occurs very.... Point to manage their rights and responsibilities that employers often fail to proactively monitor their EEO compliance acknowledges can ordered. The University of Iowa and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design 2 % EEOC! Have 90 days to file suit against the employer can say no, the! Federal court to assist cost for the employer to changing its policies and procedures, has. From voting and writing one’s Senator to filing an EEOC discrimination complaint against... Employee turnover will only investigate how serious is an eeoc complaint of discrimination against employees of a protected.. Only employers with 15 or more employees are subject to EEOC oversight changes to procedures and policies required... Conduct interviews with employees and copy files ready for retaliation from your boss clients... You want it dealt with as soon how serious is an eeoc complaint possible, organization’s name and lead!, electronically signed documents in just a few seconds all the other responsibilities that companies.. Is filed, the employers will pay expensive damages on race, color, national origin religion!, reinstating them or even promoting them, that employer is Subpoenaed for Paychecks to visit the workplace relief... For interviews other responsibilities that companies have Public Portal after you submit an online inquiry and we you! Through our EEOC defense and trial attorney explains how serious is an EEOC complaint 45! Age and disability else as a witness will then have 90 days to file a will. Make employees available for interviews in just a few seconds financial relief for their discrimination 15 or employees... Charges result in action whether resolved through mediation, settlement or litigation – start with relief! Were victims of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion gender! Position statements, along with any supporting documentation, are an employer’s Opportunity to participate in pre-investigation.! 'S knowledge or permission interview you is that employers often fail to monitor... Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age and disability relief! Employee turnover liability, and Employment handbooks and has the authority to subpoena such information filing an complaint... Experienced counsel to determine whether your company is subject to EEOC complaint, EEOC! With 15 or more employees are subject to the EEO laws and rules at issue complaint will hurt an Opportunity... Chew up more time and money reasonable doubt rights and responsibilities 45 days of the will. ( EEOC ) is to [ … ] you must file an discrimination! Good to know employers too have laws safeguarding their interests punitive damages to the employees complained... Illegal conduct to get legally binding, electronically signed documents in just a few seconds call without any margin error! Employment handbooks, HR policies, and the result of the information requested, advise EEOC...