When an employee files a complaint against an organization or there is reasonable belief that an organization has engaged in discrimination, the charge process begins. The charge itself doesn’t not constitute a finding that the organization has engaged in discrimination, but it gives the EEOC authority to start an investigation.
1. The EEOC Sends a Notification
The EEOC will notify the organization that a charge has been filed against them within 10 days. The notification will provide a URL that contains the charge details and a means to continue receiving messages about the investigation.
2. The EEOC Starts an Investigation
If the organization decides not to resolve a charge through mediation or a settlement, an investigation will take place. An EEOC investigator will evaluate the information submitted by the charging party and will determine whether or not there is a reasonable cause to believe that unlawful discrimination has occurred.
- Statement of Position: If there is reasonable cause to believe unlawful discrimination took place, the organization must submit a statement of position. This is the organization’s opportunity to defend their actions.
- Further request for information (RFI), on site visits, and witness interviews may also take place as part of the investigation.
3. The Conclusion
- If the EEOC is unable to conclude there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, the charging party and the organization will be issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights. The charging party can proceed to file a lawsuit in federal court within 90 days or cease action against the organization.
- If reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred is present, both parties will receive a Letter of Determination. From there, resolution will be sought either through conciliation (an informal process) or by filing a lawsuit.
If you believe you have been unlawfully discriminated against in the workplace, contact one of our employment discrimination attorneys today at 1-800-THE-FIRM.