Discrimination is rampant. In the workplace, employment discrimination can take various forms. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2004.), “it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment”. Employment discrimination can be based on sex, race, color, religion, disability or sexual orientation. “federal and state employment discrimination laws prohibit employers from engaging in unfair employment practices” (Justia.com, n.d.).
Most of the employment discrimination cases are handled first by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before a case may be filed in court. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (n.d.), the Equal Employment Opportunity or EEO complaint process “is a legal process designed to resolve allegations of employment discrimination and retaliation”. The legal process sis composed of three parts. First is the “pre complaint counseling process. Second, the “formal complaint process. Lastly, “the appeal process” (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, n.d.).
At the counseling process, John will be referred to an officer so that he may be apprised of his rights and the remedies made available for him under the various equal employment opportunity laws. This is where John can be advised of the best course of action to take and the corresponding costs and benefits of the relief. The formal complaint process shall commence after John filed a charge and the investigation proper. At this stage, the complainant, John, and the respondent, and his employer, are already entitled to the right to appeal. Should they feel that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission erred in its resolution or investigation, they may file an appeal according to the provisions of law.
If a person feels that his employment rights as regards equal employment opportunity have been violated, he can start the legal battle by filing a discrimination complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, it should be noted that another person may also file a complaint in behalf of another person who has been discriminated against (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2007.
In John’s case, he can start his complaint by filling out an “intake questionnaire” which shall be submitted to the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office either personally or by mail. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2007), “an intake questionnaire or other correspondence can constitute a charge under the statutes if it contains all the information required by EEOC regulations governing the contents of a charge and constitutes a clear request for the agency to act”.
In order to complete the charge, relevant information should be provided including the names, addresses and contact numbers of the complainant and the respondent employer. A short description of the acts complained of or of the acts constituting the violation. After which, John should see the Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2007).
After the complaint has been filed, the Commission will inform the respondent of the nature of the complaint. Then, the Commission will act on the complaint either by referring it to a priority investigation if it appears that there is a convincing proof that a violation indeed happened; or request for a follow up investigation should the complaint need additional evidence. However, settlement efforts can be resorted to at any stage of the investigation.
In this case, should John’s employer be willing to negotiation or submit into alternative disputer resolution like mediation. However, should these efforts prove unsuccessful, the investigation shall continue. After investigation, the EEOC will issue recommendation and judgment as to the charges. After which, should the EEOC decide in favor of John, a “right to sue” can be issued in his favor so that eh can file a formal complaint in the courts of law.
The suit should be filed within 90 days following the issuance of the “right to sue” (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2003). Pursuant to Title 28, U.S. Code, Section 1914, John is required to pay a filing fee, which can be given back to him should judgment be rendered in his favor together with all other costs of litigation. John should know that under the law, he is entitled to a number of remedies.
He shall be entitled to back wages, reinstatement, hiring, promotion or reasonable accommodation; including the payment of attorney’s fees and other costs of the suit. Compensatory damages can also be awarded should intentional discrimination be found (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2003).
Once a complaint is filed in court, it shall undergo the usual proceedings in court until a judgment is rendered and the judge in order for the decision to be adhered to, either in favor of John or his employer issues a Writ of Execution.
The Federal Judiciary. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved January 12, 2008
Justia.com. (n.d.). Employment Discrimination. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.justia.com/employment/employment-discrimination/
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2003). EEOC’s Charge Processing Procedures. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.eeoc.gov/charge/overview_charge_processing.html
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2004). Discriminatory Practices. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeo/overview_practices.html
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2007). Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination. Retrieved January 12, 2008
U.S. Office of Personnel Management. (n.d.). Laws and Executive Orders. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.opm.gov/disability/appempl_5-01.asp
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