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Azadian Law Group
March 20, 2022

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States is a component of the US Department of Labor. The responsibilities of the EEOC include developing new measures to prevent and resolve workplace harassment and discrimination. The EEOC is also tasked with investigating claims of employers’ violations of EEOC law.

If you believe you have recently experienced unlawful discrimination or harassment in your workplace, resolving the problem is likely to require an EEOC complaint. While the process may seem straightforward, many claimants struggle with the complaint process or do not know how to properly submit their complaints. An experienced employment attorney is a valuable asset in this situation. Your legal team can provide you with the advice, support, and guidance you need to complete your EEOC complaint and proceed with further legal action if necessary.

EEOC Complaint California

How Does an EEOC Complaint Work?

When you have experienced harassment or discrimination in your workplace, filing an EEOC complaint is typically the first significant step you can take toward resolving the problem. The EEOC allows complaints to be filed by mail or electronically over the internet. Your attorney can assist you in completing your complaint forms, which will involve detailed descriptions of your experiences and any evidence you can provide to support your claim.

Once the EEOC receives your complaint, the agency will assign an investigator to verify your claim and seek additional information, if necessary. Your attorney can handle correspondence with the EEOC on your behalf and help you gather as much evidence as possible to ensure a strong claim. It may take some time to receive a response from the EEOC, depending on the complexity of your claim.

The EEOC will determine whether your claim is valid. If the agency deems that you have experienced any violation of the EEOC’s anti-discrimination or anti-harassment laws, it will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue, a formal legal document stating that you have the EEOC’s support in taking legal action against your employer. If the EEOC determines an employer’s extreme behavior, the EEOC may issue fines, other penalties or even initiate criminal proceedings against the employer.

What to Expect With Your EEOC Complaint

The EEOC employs various methods for investigating and resolving employee complaints. For example, some cases may require the EEOC investigator to directly contact the employer in question, requesting a statement, documentation, or permission to conduct an onsite investigation. The EEOC may also request contact information for employees to request statements from those employees.

Employers must comply with EEOC requests for information and documentation. Even if an employer believes a complaint to be baseless or without merit, it is always in the employer’s best interests to cooperate with EEOC investigators. It’s also vital for employers to remember that any retaliatory action against an employee who has filed an EEOC complaint will likely backfire. Retaliation is a severe offense, and the employer could face fines, various penalty assessments, and liability for affected employees’ damages and emotional distress if they engage in this type of action in response to an EEOC complaint.

Do I Need a Lawyer for an EEOC Complaint?

You are not required to have legal counsel if you intend to file an EEOC complaint. However, securing legal representation to assist you with your complaint will make the entire process much more manageable. Your legal team can not only help you complete the necessary claim forms but also gather evidence you may have otherwise overlooked. Your attorney can also handle correspondence with the EEOC on your behalf, streamlining the entire process and fielding requests for additional information from the EEOC investigator.

FAQs

Q:  How Long Do You Have to File a Discrimination Complaint in California?

A: If you believe you were the target of unlawful discrimination in California, you have one year to file an EEOC complaint following the discriminatory act. This may seem like plenty of time, but the complaint filing process is complex and detailed. Therefore, it’s best to start working on your EEOC complaint as soon as possible once you confirm that you have grounds to file your complaint.

Q: How Do I File an Employment Discrimination Complaint in California?

A: It’s possible to file a complaint with the EEOC as well as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These agencies offer complaint filing services online, over the phone, and by mail. Working with an experienced attorney will make filing your discrimination complaints easier and more likely to succeed.

Q: What Qualifies as Grounds for an EEOC Complaint?

A: You have the right to file an EEOC complaint if you experience workplace discrimination or harassment due to your status as a member of a protected class. You also have the right to file a complaint regarding retaliation if your employer takes punitive action against you for initiating a legally protected activity, such as asking for unpaid leave to address a medical issue or requesting reasonable accommodation for a medical condition or disability.

Q: How Serious Is an EEOC Complaint?

A: It is in an employer’s best interests to take EEOC complaints against their organizations very seriously. Even if an employer believes a claim from an employee to be baseless or without merit, they should not disregard an EEOC complaint and should do their best to be cooperative and proactive in assisting with the EEOC’s investigation.

If you need to hold an employer accountable for unlawful treatment you experienced in your workplace, an EEOC complaint is typically the first step in holding the employer responsible for your mistreatment. Navigating the EEOC complaint process is much easier with a reliable attorney on your side, and the Azadian Law Group, PC, can provide the representation you need in this challenging situation. We have years of experience guiding California clients through the EEOC claim process and the subsequent legal proceedings these claims often generate. If you are ready to file your EEOC complaint in California, contact the Azadian Law Group, PC, to secure the legal representation you need to approach this difficult situation confidently.

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TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT
CASES WE HANDLE

The following presents an overview of the broad range of employment law cases that our attorneys are experienced at overseeing and favorably resolving.

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