Well, the fiscal year is over, according to the EEOC, anyway. While unemployment may be at a (skewed) all-time low (I know how the unemployment rate is calculated. If you don’t, I’m happy to explain it to you), guess what? EEOC litigation grew more than 50% over the last fiscal year.
It Is Difficult to File an EEOC Lawsuit
I recognize the existence of litigious individuals. My biological father could be the “picture” of the word in the dictionary before his death 20 years ago. I recognize that vexatious litigation occurs. However, an EEOC lawsuit is difficult to file. One must gain approval from the EEOC to file a lawsuit against the employer, former employer, or prospective employer (if we are, indeed, calling it an “EEOC lawsuit” as such that it would fall into this statistic).
The steps to attempt to gain the right to sue are located on the EEOC’s website. Here’s a summary:
- Be within the specified time to file
- Use the online Public Portal to schedule an appointment to file your claim
- Go to an in-person EEOC office to file your claim
- Call the EEOC to file
- File by mail
When you file, you can expect to be required to provide documentation of your claim within a certain amount of time. You may also be required to participate in interviews or meditation. This is all information you can find by researching EEOC employment discrimination claims online. You may also be required to collect and/or provide certain information by state law.
Depending on the outcome of a potential EEOC investigation into your claim, you may (that’s the keyword) be issued a letter to sue. However, depending on state law, you may have certain rights at the state level. That’s something you may need or want to speak with an employment law attorney in your state who represents employees.
A 52% Increase in a Violation of Employee Rights? Yikes!
So, it’s important to understand what the EEOC does and why it’s important.
The EEOC does a lot of things. For this conversation, the important part is that it protects the rights of employees and job seekers. I’m not going to discuss everything it does. If you want a more in-depth discussion and yet it’s still not a full discussion or if you’re interested in learning about HR, go here and take this class. I don’t get anything out of it now (as in, I do not get royalties and that’s what I agreed to do!), but I did research and write it. What you will get is a deeper basic understanding of how the process of the EEOC and how it intertwines with state law and HR.
So, the EEOC protects job seekers and employees from discrimination in many ways. Some of those include (and are not limited to):
- Skin color, actual and/or perceived
- Gender, actual and/or perceived
- Sex, actual and/or perceived
- Marital status, actual and/or perceived
- Parental status, actual/and or perceived
- Religion or lack of religion, actual and/or perceived
A person cannot be overlooked for a job, promotion, certain job duties, or only given certain duties (or abused or harassed) because of what you see above. And, yes, I know that I did not give you all of the Title VII fun. Now you have a research project of your own.
One More Thing Because I Know I’ll Get Some Private Messages
Keep in mind, this is about the EEOC (agency), not the ADA (an act). The ADA is its own thing to discuss. Let’s not muddy the waters. Scroll up to refresh yourself on the topic at hand if necessary – and I know the ADA is important. I have a wheelchair. And I also know that Equal Pay Act and other tidbits should be included here as well, but do you know how long this would get?