The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, better known as the EEOC, was created as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce Title VII. Today, the EEOC is also responsible for enforcing other anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Before filing a federal lawsuit for discrimination or harassment based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, you must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. But, in Georgia, you only have 180 days to file your charge. So don’t delay. The EEOC investigates charges by asking both the employee (or job applicant), known as the “Charging Party,” and the employer being charged, known as the “Respondent,” for documents and information relevant to the charge. At the end of its investigation, the EEOC may do one of three things: (1) close its file without completing the investigation; (2) conclude that it was unable to establish a violation of the law; or (3) conclude that there is substantial evidence of a violation.
Only in rare instances will the EEOC file a lawsuit to enforce an individual’s rights. Click here for a link to the EEOC with information on filing a charge: The EEOC’s determination has little effect on one’s ability to bring a claim against an employer. Given the number of complaints filed with the EEOC, it does not have the opportunity to fully investigation all of the claims that are filed. That is one reason why it is important to get an independent assessment of potential claims from an attorney. Regardless of the EEOC’s conclusion, it will normally issue a “Notice of Right to Sue.” The charging party then has 90 days to file a case in federal Court; once that 90 days has passed, the right to file an action under the federal laws the EEOC is involved with is lost.
Still have questions? Call us about helping you file your EEOC charge on time.