It is important for John or any other employee looking to file discrimination complaints against their employer to understand their rights and the processes involved in taking such measures. The federal laws that help in the restriction of unfair employment practices against employees in America are implemented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “These laws are put in place to protect employees from discrimination that involves unfair treatment at the workplace because of sex (including discrimination because of pregnancy), race, religion, nationality, disability, age or genetic information” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], 2009).
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Discriminatory practices such as harassment by supervisors or managers, denial of reasonable workplace accommodation because of factors such as those listed above and retaliation because of complaints made about discrimination or unfair treatment because of assisting in a job discrimination lawsuit or investigation add to the practices prohibited by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If any of the practices listed above describe the type of discriminatory treatment John is receiving from his employer then the first step for John to take would be to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC before moving to file a job discrimination lawsuit against his employer. Some of the information John will need to provide when filling discrimination charges with the EEOC is his personal contact details, workplace contact details and a brief description of events that lead him to file discrimination charges plus supporting documents if any. He should also include the dates the event took place, the contact details of any witnesses and a contact person that can be reached in the event that John is not reachable. The EEOC will also need information on whether John has filed similar discrimination charges with a local fair employment practice agency or state. According to the EECO Anti Discrimination Laws, all charges of discrimination must be registered with the commission within 180 days from the date the discrimination took place. “The 180 calendar day filing deadline is extended to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis” (EEOC, 2009). Regardless of timelines, providing filing charges as soon as possible is the best approach for John. After discrimination charges are filed the EEOC may request that John settle the dispute through mediation, a process that entails a confidential, informal approach in which a neutral mediator is involved. If the EEOC does not deem the involvement of an intermediary as necessary or the negotiation process proves unsuccessful, then the charges are handed over to an investigator. The time period of an investigation depends on a number of factors, including the amount of information needed. Once investigations are complete and no violations are found then a Notice of Right to Sue is provided, giving John permission to file a suit in a court of law. However, if investigation reveal violations of the law, the EEOC attempts to reach a voluntary settlement or refers the file to their legal staff who then decide weather a law suit should be filled or a Notice of Right to Sue be issued.
There are work place laws that are not enforced by the EEOC such as the Social Security Act, Workers Compensation Law, and Fair Labour Standards among others. In some instances, “if an accusation does not have any chance of success, or the EEOC is unauthorized to look into the allegations the case is dismissed without an examination or arbitration” (EEOC, 2009). It is therefore important for John to be equipped with information before making his move.
U.S. Equal Employment opportunity commission (2009). Filing a charge of discrimination.
U.S. Equal Employment opportunity commission (2009). Work place laws not enforced by the EEOC.