The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mediates and settles thousands of discrimination complaints each year. The federal agency is responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in workplace.
The EEOC has implemented specific laws and regulations on unlawful discrimination that protects individuals from workplace harassment. These regulations can be confusing so it’s crucial that you understand them before filing a complaint with the commission.
What Is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?
The EEOC is a federal government agency responsible for protecting workers from workplace discrimination or harassment against a job applicant or an employee in the United States.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates allegations of discrimination against employers and employees.
- The federal law applies to companies with 15 or more employees (20 or more employees for age discrimination cases).
- The law applies to all aspects of work, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
Who Is Protected From Employment Discrimination?
Job applicants, employees, and former employees are protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information.
The EEOC also protects applicants, current employees, and former employees against retaliation (punishment) for filing or opposing discrimination charges, investigations, or lawsuits (for example, threatening to file a charge or complaint for disability discrimination).
What Laws Does EEOC Enforce?
At present, the EEOC is charged with enforcing the following federal employment discrimination laws:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
Time Limits For Filing A Charge
A charge of discrimination must be filed within a specific timeframe in accordance with anti-discrimination laws. Generally, you must bring a charge within 180 calendar days of the date on which the discrimination occurred. A state or local agency that enforces a law prohibiting employment discrimination on the same basis can extend the 180 calendar day filing deadline to 300 calendar days.
Regardless of how much time you have to file, if you wait until after the deadline has passed, you may not be able to sue. You will lose this right even if you later discover new evidence of discrimination.
What to Do If You Feel You’ve been Discriminated Against at Work
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, religion, or national origin, then contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can advise you on what steps to take next and whether it is worth pursuing your case further.
Contact Levine & Blit
At-will employment laws in New York don’t give employers the leave to step on your rights or to discriminate against you. You need to know that you are protected even if you are in an at-will state. Contact Levine & Blit today if you think you have been unfairly terminated or discriminated against at work.
A thorough and combative discrimination lawyer in New York can help you determine if you have a claim under Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, GINA, or other state and federal laws. Call us today at (212) 967-3000 for a free consultation.