What are my rights and obligations when filing a charge with the EEOC?
If your employer is covered under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are certain rights and obligations of which you should be aware.
First, learn about the process of filing a charge with the EEOC and what you can expect.
First of all, there are certain things that are required of your employer. For instance, they are required to publicly post notices of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC. They are also required to keep certain records, regardless of whether or not a charge has been brought against them. If they have failed to comply with these or any requirements or obligations, this may be evidence you can use to bolster your case should you file a lawsuit. This is one of the reasons it is crucial that you get a lawyer involved as soon as possible so you can begin building the evidence against your employer.
In addition to knowing your employer’s obligations, it is critical that you know your own obligations and rights. There is one crucial right of which you may not be aware: your right to information. Once you file a charge against your employer with the EEOC (read our “Should I Contact the EEOC?” FAQ before you file a charge so you don’t put yourself at an unnecessary disadvantage), your employer will have the opportunity to submit a statement of position. Simply put, this is their side of the story. They will decide which facts they wish to present that will give the EEOC enough information to perform a conclusive investigation. On top of this, the EEOC can request any information they feel is necessary that was not provided by the employer, and the employer is generally expected to comply.
Once the EEOC has gathered its information, it is now public information. What does this mean for you? If you decide to file a lawsuit in federal court, you will be able to submit a Freedom of Information Act letter to the commission requesting any and all information provided by the employer. Do not be afraid to use this right. Information is one of the most powerful weapons there is to prove your case; and you have it at your fingertips if you only know to tap into it.
To know the full extent of your rights, reach out to our employment discrimination attorneys today for counsel. We are here to answer your questions.