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Basic Overview of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Process – Part 1

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgQ: I would like to sue my employer for age, race and national origin discrimination. I was told by a colleague that I must first file papers with the EEOC. Can you generally walk me through the process?

Filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be stressful, daunting, and complicated. We have seen many cases fail due to errors made by litigants at the EEOC stage. These cases that resulted in a failure to prosecute could have been avoided if they retained an experienced employment lawyer. That is why it is important at the outset that you consult our experienced employment law attorneys for a confidential consultation. With over 25 years of legal experience, the or Employment Law attorneys have gained a reputation unparalleled by other firms.

Filing a Charge with the EEOC

First, your deadline to file a Charge with the EEOC is generally 300 days but it depends your jurisdiction and the deadline could be shorter. In addition, depending on your jurisdiction, you may able to file in other governmental agencies such as the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR), New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (NJ DCR) or the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Typically, the starting point of any EEOC proceeding begins with the filing a Charge of discrimination. In order to file this Charge in a timely fashion, it is beneficial to meet with our attorneys and weigh your legal options prior to commencement of an EEOC proceeding. Email us now.

Usually, the charge of discrimination will list your basic information such as your name, address, telephone number and date of birth. It will also include basic information about the Respondent/Defendant that the charge is being filed against. Similarly, you will include the Respondent’s name, address, telephone number, the number of employees working at the company and other similar background information.

You will also need to state with some specificity the basis for your Charge. Some grounds include but are not limited to age, sex, or race.

Finally, you will need to provide a narrative describing the allegations of discrimination.
Prior to putting anything in writing, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an attorney. Call us now to discuss your potential case in greater detail at 800-893-9645.

After the Charge is Filed
After your charge is filed with the EEOC, they will serve a copy of your Charge on the Respondent within 10 days.

After the Respondent receives the Charge, the EEOC will give the Respondent the option of mediating the charge. If mediation is agreed upon by you and the Respondent, the EEOC will set the case down for a mediation date. At the mediation, a mediator will attempt to bring both sides together and resolve the case without litigation. If both sides settle the case at mediation, the case is closed by the EEOC. However, if the proposed resolution is rejected then the EEOC will investigate the Charge.

The EEOC Investigation
The EEOC will assign an investigator to investigate the matter. In so doing, the EEOC will request that the Respondent submit a Position Statement. The Position Statement is Respondent’s written response to the allegations contained in the charge. Thereafter, the investigator may contact you to respond to the Position Statement and submit a rebuttal statement. The investigator can evaluate both positions and interview witnesses to help flush out the issues.

EEOC Determination
At the conclusion of its investigation, the investigator may make a determination whether or not any Federal laws have been violated. This is called a Reasonable Cause finding. The EEOC’s determination of reasonable cause means that it believes that discrimination took place based upon the available evidence obtained in the investigation.

Once or before the Reasonable Cause Finding is issued, the EEOC may try to get the parties to engage in a conciliation process. The conciliation process is a device used by the EEOC to try to resolve the Charge with the Respondent and Charging Party.
If the conciliation is agreed upon by all of the parties, the investigation and charge is closed.

If the conciliation fails or if the EEOC does not find Reasonable Cause, then the EEOC will issue you a Right to Sue Letter which gives you 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court.

As with all of our blog posts, this post is meant to provide you with general information and does not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions about your case, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer such as the attorneys at our Firm. Call us now at (800) 893-9645 or email us if you would like to discuss your specific issues of workplace discrimination.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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