EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION: SAVIOR OR DISTRACTION? 

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Firm News

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (also known as the EEOC) is the Federal government agency mandated to enforce federal laws against discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination can be in the form of harassment, denial of reasonable accommodations, retaliation, and/or unfair treatment, among other situations. For employees experiencing discrimination, the EEOC allows those individuals to file a claim against their employer. Once this claim is filed, the EEOC will eventually investigate to determine if there has been any discrimination. 

There are some situations in which the EEOC cannot intervene, depending upon how many employees the employer has in their employ at the time, the type of employer, and the sort of discrimination the employee alleges has taken place. It is important to note that an employee needs to file a claim with the EEOC within certain deadlines before any lawsuit over Federal claims can commence. It may also be useful leverage to have such an investigation in motion (and especially a positive result) when working on a resolution through a private lawsuit. 

This process is challenging-it is highly recommended that you have a lawyer who can advocate for you through each step. The EEOC is a very protracted process. The EEOC lacks sufficient resources to address all cases effectively. Ask us or whomever you consult for legal advice how State law protections can help move your case along more effectively without the delays, uncertainties and other downsides of proceeding through the EEOC and relying on Federal law.

THE KEY: Together with the great challenges by employees faced in Federal matters, delays caused by this process and other factors may be important reasons to bypass Federal laws and instead seek relief by a lawsuit or settlement utilizing near comparable and often greater remedies under State law. (A complaint to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights may also prove to be effective leverage in this process.)