Filing a Complaint
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects your right to work and be hired without discrimination. If you feel you were discriminated against, you can file a charge of discrimination at the EEOC. You can also file a complaint about discrimination even if the discrimination was not directed towards you.
What Is Discrimination?
Merriam-Webster defines discrimination as “prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment.” Legally, discrimination only applies to institutional settlings when those being treated unfairly are part of a protected class. Employment discrimination, for example, occurs when someone is harassed, fired, or turned down for a job because of their protected characteristics.
What Are Protected Characteristics?
Protected characteristics are defining traits that should not affect an individual’s access to basic human rights. These characteristics are also protected by law, which means treating someone unequally based on these traits is illegal.
In the United States, protected characteristics include:
Employees are also protected against retaliation should they file a complaint.
Filing a Charge of Discrimination
If you believe you have experienced workplace discrimination due to your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination at the EEOC.
After filing a charge, the employer may agree to mediate your case.
Mediation is a quick, low-cost way to resolve EEOC charges. The process allows for voluntary and informal resolution without having to go through the investigative process.
Mediators are neutral third parties who help find a satisfactory resolution for those involved. The settlement agreements you come to are enforceable and can help you avoid costly and unnecessary litigation. Mediation is also much more collaborative and can help preserve professional relationships and goodwill.
Any time you need help with employment law, you can call us at (901) 209-5500 to discuss your options. To make the most of our discussions, we also encourage you to fill out our employment law questionnaire.
We look forward to hearing about your situation and helping you resolve it through mediation or another avenue!