Employment Discrimination: Your Rights and How to File a Charge
There are various forms of employment discrimination which include unfair treatment due to an individual’s characteristics such as race, gender, origin, genetic information, etc. Employment discrimination is a violation of the civil rights of an employee and is punishable by law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination in the workplace.
2. Employment Discrimination
2.1 What is Employment Discrimination?
Employment discrimination is the unfair treatment of an employee based on certain characteristics which are protected by law. These characteristics include race, gender, age, disability, national origin, religion, and pregnancy. Employment discrimination can occur in different forms such as hiring, firing, promotions, pay, job assignments, and training.
2. 2 Types of Employment Discrimination
There are two types of employment discrimination: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo is when an employer offers an employee a job benefit in exchange for sexual favors. Hostile work environment is when an employee is subject to offensive or harassing behavior that creates a difficult or uncomfortable working environment.
2. 3 “At-Will” Employment
“At-will” employment means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. However, there are exceptions to this rule which include discriminatory firing and firing in violation of public policy. Discriminatory firing is when an employee is fired because of a protected characteristic such as race or gender. Firing in violation of public policy is when an employee is fired for exercising a legal right such as voting or jury duty.
3. Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination
3.1 Who Can File a Charge?
Any person who believes that they have been the victim of employment discrimination can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.
3. 2 How to File a Charge
A charge of employment discrimination can be filed online, by mail, or in person at an EEOC office. The charge must be filed within 180 days of the date of the discriminatory action.
3. 3 Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time period in which a charge of employment discrimination must be filed. The EEOC has a 180-day statute of limitations for filing a charge. Certain states have shorter or longer statutes of limitations.
4. The Investigation Process
4.1 The EEOC’s Investigation
Once a charge is filed, the EEOC will investigate the claim to determine whether there is enough evidence to support the allegation of discrimination. The investigation will include interviews with the complainant, witnesses, and the employer. The EEOC will also review documents and other evidence.
4. 2 The Employer’s Investigation
The employer will also conduct an investigation into the claim of discrimination. The employer’s investigation will be similar to the EEOC’s investigation and will include interviews with the complainant, witnesses, and the employer. The employer will also review documents and other evidence.
5. Resolving the Charge Through “Alternative Dispute Resolution”
If the EEOC finds that there is enough evidence to support the claim of discrimination, they will attempt to resolve the issue through “alternative dispute resolution.” Alternative dispute resolution is a process in which the parties attempt to resolve their differences without going to court. This process can include mediation or conciliation.
6. Going to Court
If alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful, the EEOC will file a lawsuit on behalf of the complainant. The lawsuit will be heard by a judge or jury who will decide whether the employer discriminated against the employee.
If the judge or jury decides in favor of the employee, they may order the employer to take action such as hiring, promoting, or paying the employee back wages. The judge or jury may also order the employer to pay punitive damages to punish them for their discriminatory actions. If the judge or jury decides in favor of the employer, no action will be taken against them and the case will be closed. Either way, the complainant has the right to appeal the decision. Moreover, even if a charge is not filed with the EEOC, an employee can still file a lawsuit directly in court under state or local laws. Each state has its own laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Some states have laws that protect additional characteristics such as sexual orientation and gender identity.
Employment discrimination is a civil rights violation that is punishable by law. If you believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination, you can file a charge with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate your claim and may file a lawsuit on your behalf.
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