Filing a claim against your employer is a difficult thing to do. After all, no one is looking to cause trouble or complain unless it absolutely necessary. Filing a claim against your complaint against your employer becomes even more difficult when the employee is looking to retain their job. In this situations, it is important to note that both, federal and state, law have in place protections that prevent employers from retaliating against employees who file a claim. Unfortunately, employers do not abide by these laws and he only protection employees have is to be knowledgeable about these issues.
What is the EEOC?
“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.”
The EEOC was created in 1964 as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was formed has a safeguard for members of protected groups. The legislation protected individuals of these groups and sought to have the live free of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age and disability. It was a landmark legislation that changed the scene for groups who were historically discriminated against.
The purpose of the EEOC then and now is to ensure those protections they were created upon the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Filing a Claim with the EEOC
Generally, all employment related claims must go through the EEOC or a equivalent agency at the state level. The EEOC will investigate all employment claims made by an employee, including, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability and race/national origin, discrimination and harassment claims, as well as sexual harassment and retaliation claims.
Once the investigation is completed, if the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee is being subjected to harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace, they will provide the employee with a right to sue notice. At this point, the employee is legally allowed to pursue a lawsuit against their employer and seek damages for discrimination or harassment. If requested, the EEOC can assist the employee in resolving the issues through an EEOC mediation.
Retaliation for Filing a EEOC Claim
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), The EEOC states that, “The EEO laws prohibit punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination including harassment.” As such, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a EEOC claim.
For example, an employer who terminates an employee, solely because that employee filed a EEOC claim, has violated the law. The employers actions are illegal and she not be permitted. Accordingly, an employee who files a claim against their employer with the EEOC, and subsequently wants to continue int their position, should be allowed to do so.
An employee who has been retaliated against due to a EEOC claim may be able to regain their position. Further, the employee may be able recover compensation for the losses they’ve incurred as a result of the wrongful action. If an employee feels that they are being subjected to retaliation in the workplace then they should consult with an attorney who is experienced in labor law immediately. The laws governing retaliation are complex. There are strict regulations governing the process for filing a lawsuit. Furthermore, there are strict time restrictions, known as statute of limitations, as to when a lawsuit can be filed. The experienced attorneys at Shegerian Conniff are ready to hold your employer accountable, fight for your legal rights, and seek justice. Click here to contact us today or call us at 310-322-7500 for a free consultation.