Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
While federal and state laws prohibit discrimination, this occurs more often than we think and can come in various forms. This includes discrimination by an employer, labor union or employment agency while on the job or applying for one based on race, color, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, religion, disability or genetic information.
Discrimination can also occur, however, because someone was opposed to a prohibited practice or participated in an equal opportunity matter. If you or someone you know believes they have experienced discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should be contacted right away. To ensure your rights are protected under the law, it is important to contact an employment discrimination lawyer who knows how to file with the EEOC in New York City.
First Steps to Take
If you obtained your job, or applied for a job, through the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) from a referral from a state career center, the NYS DOL should be contacted. If the aforementioned was not obtained through an NYS DOL referral, then the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYS DHR) and the EEOC should be contacted.
- Contact the EEOC counselor at the organization where you work, or where you applied for employment. Generally, this must be done within 45 days from the date the discrimination occurred in with the NYS DOL, or within 180 days if with the EEOC.
- Once this is done, an EEOC counselor will likely give the option of participating in EEOC counseling or in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation.
- If the dispute is not settled through either of these two measures, a formal discrimination complaint can be filed. This must be done within 15 days from receipt of notice from the EEOC counselor. How to file the formal complaint will be detailed within the notice.
Filing a Formal Complaint
A discrimination complaint must be in writing and filed with the EEOC. Important information should be provided with the complaint including contact information, the name and address of the discriminating organization, how, why, and when the discrimination is believed to have taken place, the types of discrimination believed to be involved, the names of the individuals involved in the discriminatory act, including eyewitnesses, and why you believe discrimination took place.
If the EEOC decides to take the case or does not dismiss the complaint for procedural reasons, an investigation will be conducted. This investigation can take up to 180 days from the date the complaint is filed. Once the investigation is completed the EEOC will allow you to choose between a hearing before an administrative judge (ALJ) or a decision to be rendered by the agency itself.
Hearing or Decision
If the EEOC renders a decision that no discrimination occurred, or if you disagree with any part of the determination, an appeal of the decision may be filed in federal district court. If a hearing is chosen, the request must be made within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice from the agency. Once the ALJ renders a decision, the EEOC will issue a final order within 40 days. This order will include information about the right to appeal to the EEOC or file a civil action in federal court. An appeal or request for consideration of the final order must be filed no later than 30 days after receipt of the final order.
How to File with the EEOC NY with a Discrimination Lawyer
Have you been discriminated against in your place of work? Do you wish to speak with someone knowledgeable on the EEOC filing process in NY? Reach out to Levine & Blit, PLLC and set up a consultation with an NYC discrimination attorney.