California EEOC Charges Lawyer
Filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is an important way to protect employee rights nationwide and within the state of California. Unfortunately, the process of filing can be time-consuming and complex, so if you have been the victim of harassment or discrimination at work, call a California EEOC charges lawyer at the law office of Scott • Wagner and Associates today for advice on what your best options ahead may be.
What Does the EEOC Cover?
In addition to California state labor laws, such at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the EEOC prohibits the discrimination and harassment of job applicants and employees based on their age (if 40 or older), color, disability, genetic information, pregnancy status, nationality, race, religion, and sex. The EEOC also protects employees against an employer denying reasonable workplace accommodations and an employer retaliating against an employee during an investigation. Employees are not the only people protected by the EEOC. Job applicants, former employees, apprentices, and trainees also receive protection under the EEOC.
A Charge of Discrimination, the Investigation Process, and What it Means For You
To begin the process of holding an employer accountable for discriminatory acts, an employee must file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. After the filing, the EEOC will begin an official investigation into the matter, at which point the claimant’s employer is given the opportunity to file its own statement in response to the employee’s charge.
At this point the claimant can respond to the employer’s statement before the EEOC begins its investigation. However, claimants must usually submit the response within 20 days, or the EEOC will proceed with the investigation. During the investigative stage, the EEOC may visit the place of employment, hold interviews with witnesses, and gather documents. In the event that an employer refuses to cooperate with the investigation, the EEOC can issue a subpoena to obtain documents or testimony, or to gain access to the building. Once all necessary information has been obtained, the EEOC issues a decision.
Once the EEOC investigation has concluded there will either be A) an issue of Dismissal and Notice of Rights if there is no reasonable cause of discrimination, in which case the applicant or employee will still have a period of 90 days to file a lawsuit, or B) if there is reasonable cause of discrimination, the EEOC will encourage a conciliation. If such conciliation fails, the EEOC, applicant, or employee can file a lawsuit within 90 days in federal court. When deciding whether to file a lawsuit, the EEOC considers a number of factors, including the seriousness of the violation, the type of legal issues involved, and the impact the lawsuit could have on wider efforts to combat discrimination in the workplace.
Am I Eligible to File an EEOC Claim?
The EEOC covers all large businesses, and many small business as well, so if your boss employs 15 or more people, you can file a claim under the EEOC. In addition to all private employers, state and local government employers, and educational institutions, the EEOC also covers labor organizations, employment agencies, and joint labor management committees, according to the EEOC. However, if the reported discrimination is age-based, an employee must work for a company that employs at least 20 individuals for it to fall under the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
Call the law offices of Scott • Wagner and Associates today for more information on EEOC charges. Our California EEOC charges lawyers can assist you throughout each step of your case.