Filing an EEOC Charge of Discrimination | Mann & Elias
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Filing an EEOC Charge of Discrimination


Everyone should be treated with respect and fairness in the workplace. This is not a mere matter of courtesy; it is the law. Federal law and the state law of California make it illegal for anyone to be terminated, demoted, or denied opportunity because of their race. Indeed, these laws prohibit all forms of racial harassment and discrimination in the workplace. It is the responsibility of employers to enforce these laws. If you have been the victim of such mistreatment, then you should hold your employers accountable. Hiring an employment attorney in Los Angeles is the first step toward doing so.

Standing Up for Yourself

Explicit racist encounters in the workplace are unpleasant and uncomfortable. However, they are not the main source of racism. Most people do not use racial slurs, and you are unlikely to be told by a supervisor that you were fired or denied a promotion because you are a person of color. Racism is much more subtle nowadays but it is no less real.

If your company’s hiring practices privilege one racial group over another, then it is breaking the law. The same goes for the opportunities—both formal and informal—to help people advance in the organization. If you have been told you cannot do client-facing work because your hair is too “ethnic” or you have been passed over for promotion in favor of white people whose performance, experience, and skill are not as good as yours, then you have a case.

You may still hesitate to press the matter. There is a common misunderstanding that black and brown people look for opportunities to claim racism—to “play the race card”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like everyone else, people of color want to be hired because of their talent and knowledge; they want to do their job, be treated with dignity, and receive the compensation and promotions they deserve. The last thing that any such person wants is to get embroiled in a racial issue.

You are probably sympathetic to this way of thinking. But if you know that systematic racism is going on in your company and it has affected you personally and professionally, then you must stand up for yourself. Failing to do so will make it hard for you to give your best. You will continue to suffer and others will as well.

Before You Make a Case of It

It may be possible to resolve matters without resorting to a legal route. If you have experienced intentional or impact discrimination, you may be able to point this out to a supervisor. If you think the matter can be resolved informally, then you should attempt to do so. But this action should only be undertaken if you feel comfortable with it. If you believe that making such an approach will put you at a disadvantage or compromise your position, then you should make a formal complaint instead. Most companies have processes in place for such complaints, and you should use them if there is a problem.

Once your employer has received a formal complaint, they must act on it. If they fail to do so, then you should elevate the matter. You should take your next steps with the help and advice of a Los Angeles workplace attorney.

Filing an EEOC Report

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the organization responsible for the enforcement of laws related to discrimination in the workplace. Before you take any legal action against your employer, you must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. You will need to draw up your complaint and submit it online. Your discrimination lawyer can help you fill in the details of such a complaint.

You have 180 days after you have been discriminated against or discovered systematic racism in your organization. You will then need to organize your evidence. This is where your attorney will be most helpful. However, you have a part to play in making this part of your complaint sound.

You should keep a kind of diary or account of the racism in your company. For each incident, log its date, time, location, and the names of the individuals involved. You should also note details about the nature of the discrimination. If it occurs through emails, text messages, or social media posts, then you should save all these. Be sure to forward inappropriate emails sent on the company server to your private email account.

The EEOC will review your complaint in a cold, technical, and dispassionate way. You should draw up the complaint in that same spirit.

The EEOC has 180 days to act on your complaint. The first response from the agency will be through an interviewer who will ask you probing questions about the company and the discrimination you have suffered and witnessed. If the interviewer believes you should pursue the complaint, they will fil in an EEOC Charge of Discrimination, which you will then need to review and sign. The EEOC may then interview your employer and try to mediate a settlement. However, this does not always happen. At the very least, the agency will give you a right-to-sue letter, which will allow you to proceed with a lawsuit.

Knowing What You Want

You need a lawyer for racism in the workplace because you must go through strict procedures if you are to get the resolution you want. However, Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyers do not present shoulders for their clients to cry on. They only take cases with strong evidence of wrongdoing. And Los Angeles law firms only take clients who know what they want.

Although racial profiling lawyers in LA know how to help clients figure out the outcome that will satisfy them, you should have some idea what you are looking for. If you have been deprived of material benefits, it is okay to sue for compensation. You may also want to be reinstated or perhaps something less tangible such as an apology. LA racial profiling lawyers have the experience and expertise to get these outcomes.


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