Contact the EEOC or Fair Employment Practices Agency in your Area
Since there are many states and localities that also have laws prohibiting discrimination, a determination must be made regarding the most appropriate office to contact in order to initiate a charge. Usually, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney who practices in the jurisdiction where you are employed to discuss this issue. There are several factors that can influence the decision regarding where the charge should be filed. The type of discrimination, the desirability of filing under state law or federal law, the time limts for filing a claim, and other issues can influence the decision regarding the most appropriate office to file the complaint.
Complete the Intake Questionnaire Fully and Completely
The EEOC and many state and local agencies require the completion of an intake questionnaire to assist the agency in preparing the charge of discrimination. It is important that the information included in the intake questionnaire fully and completely cover the situation that is the subject of the discrimination complaint. One of the principles that applies to EEOC charges and discrimination lawsuits is that you are not permitted to file a lawsuit over any issue not first raised in your EEOC complaint. Thus, although a lot of detail isn't required, the subject matter of the discrimination should be specifically addressed. For example, if the complaint is about termination and failure to promote, both actions must be included in the description of events.
Carefully Review the Charge of Discrimination for Completeness and Accuracy
The EEOC Charge of Discrimination or form 5 is drafted in many cases by EEOC personnel. It is based on the information you provided either in an interview or on the questionnaire. As an alternative, you may want to consider having the charge drafted by an attorney, or at least reviewed by an attorney after it is drafted by the EEOC to make sure no changes need to be made. Again, the idea with the EEOC Charge of Discrimination is that it must be broad enough to cover all of the acts of discrimination that you want to pursue in your complaint. The charge is often drafted so that it is broad, general and all encompassing in terms of the actions and types of discrimination alleged. If an error is noticed after the original charge is filed or if additional facts or circumstances need to be added to the complaint, an amended charge can be filed prior to the completion of the EEOC investigation.
Cooperate with the EEOC Investigator
Cooperate fully with the EEOC investigator during the course of the investigation and provide any additional information you may have that is requested. You will likely be provided an opportunity to submit a rebuttal to the employer's position statement and you should generally take advantage of it by pointing out those things stated by the employer that are false. If you have the opportunity, try to convince the investigator to obtain as much documentation from the employer as possible that you believe may support you case.
Immediately Obtain Your EEOC File After the Issuance of the Right to Sue Notice
The EEOC will generally make one of two decisions in your case; (1) a reasonable cause determination stating that the EEOC has reason to believe the law has been violated, or (2) an unable to conclude determination stating that it was unable to determine if the law has been violated. If it makes an unable to conclude determination it will dismiss the charge and Issue a Right to Sue Notice permitting the filing of a lawsuit within 90 days. If it makes a reasonable cause determination, the EEOC will try to resolve the case by engaging in conciliation discussions with the respondent. If conciliation fails, they will turn the case over to the EEOC legal unit to determine if the EEOC will file a lawsuit. If the EEOC decides not to file suit, they will at that point issue the Right to Sue Notice. You should request the EEOC file immediately upon receipt of the Right to Sue Notice since most lawyers will want to review the EEOC file in order to evaluate your potential lawsuit.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.