Discrimination in a workplace recently became one of the most important and widespread issues.
There are numerous incidents, when employees suffer from an age, race, religion, sex, etc discrimination from their employers. Many victims are not aware of their possibilities and the ways to protect themselves from an unpleasant environment in their workplaces. However, such tools for stopping discrimination in a workplace exist and are constantly being updated and improved. In case of John, there are a number of steps he has to go through in order to start a discrimination process against his employer. The following paper will analyze and describe these steps.
From EEOC to the Court
The first thing that John has to do is to file a charge according to the laws of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC deals with the discrimination cases and protects employees from unfair treatment. Generally, there are several rules, which apply to different situations and organizations. For example, there is a required amount of employees in the organization for the discrimination complaint to be applied. The law also varies depending on the type of the discrimination. If John is not, for example, an American citizen or is not white, he can apply for the discrimination complaint, and, most probably, his claim will be accepted. Also, if he is older than 40 years old and is discriminated because of his age, he can proceed with a complaint. However, John’s complaint about the way he is paid will not be accepted, since this act is based on the sex of an employee.
As stated by EEOC, “Any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC” (2010). In case John has a ground for the discrimination complaint, he must file a charge within 180-300 (depending on the location of the employee) days after an incident in one of the EEOC offices or by mail. He can bring any document, which can assist in understanding a problem, or mention people, who are aware of the situation and could confirm his claims. Only in the case of Equal Pay Act, employee can skip filing a charge and get straight to filing a lawsuit. However, as was mentioned before, in case of John this is not applicable.
Employer is informed about a charge within ten days after it is filled. Both John and his employer then will be offered to use mediation service in order to settle an issue. Mediation aims at helping two parties to discuss a problem in a friendly atmosphere and to, possibly, come up with a solution, which will satisfy both employee and employer. EEOC offers John and his employer this option in order to greaten a chance of stopping the charge at this point.
In case John or his employer does not agree on the mediation, or it does not help, the charge goes further to the EEOC for an investigation. Commission then must decide, whether John’s claim is reasonable enough to proceed to the court. If it is approved by the commission, EEOC issues a “Notice-of-Right-to-Sue” to John, which allows him to apply to the court for a resolution.
He then has 90 days after an issue of a notice to file a lawsuit. In case of age discrimination, John does not have to wait for the “Notice-of-Right-to-Sue” to be issued. Instead, he can wait for 60 days to pass after the file of charge and then apply directly to the court by filing a lawsuit.
When the case is passed on to the court, the process of investigating and analyzing it is performed from the very beginning. Chief Judge reviews the case and decides whether a formal hearing must be held. In case he decides that a case should be brought to the court for a hearing, all the parties are informed and must appear in the courtroom on the date stated by the Chief Judge. “At the hearing, each party will have the right to representation, to present evidence on his or her behalf, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses. The Chief Judge or a designee will issue a final decision on the merits based upon his or her findings.” (Judicial Conference of the United States, March 1980)
EEOC is designed in order to protect employees and their rights and to help them with solving a problem, which they face in their workplace. However, there are still areas in discrimination, which are not covered by its laws. In addition, employee should understand that the process of applying to EEOC and Court cost a lot of money, and one can be unable to finish this process, especially when acting against an organization. In any case, a victim of discrimination must take into consideration all the possible consequences of his or her actions.
Bibliography U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2010). Retrieved January 21, 2010 from <http://www.eeoc.gov/> U.S. COURTS. The Federal Judiciary. (2010). Retrieved January 21, 2010 from <http://www.uscourts.gov/about.html> Judicial Conference of the United States. (March, 1980). Judiciary Equal Employment Opportunity Program. Model Equal Employment Opportunity Plan. Retrieved January 21, 2010 from <http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/AO342.pdf>
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