Phillips & Associates

Brittany Stevens Discusses the Steps to Take in Filing an EEOC Charge

Brittany Stevens Super Lawyers

If your employer has discriminated against you, and you wish to pursue a claim under federal law, you will need to file a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You must take this step prior to filing a lawsuit. One of our New York City employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates, Brittany Stevens, recently published an article in Lawyer Monthly on employment discrimination and the process of filing an EEOC charge.

Filing Your EEOC Charge

If you face an adverse employment action due to your membership in a protected class, if you experience a hostile work environment due to your membership in a protected class, or if you suffer from retaliation because you complained of discrimination, you may file a charge with the EEOC. The EEOC is the federal agency that handles discrimination cases based on certain protected classes: race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, religion, and disability. Different federal laws outline these protected classes. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sex, religion, national origin, color, and race. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Other laws enforced by the EEOC include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

When you file a charge with the EEOC, the charge form needs to be completely accurate. You will need to specify all the correct defendants and check off the relevant causes of action. There is a space in which you should describe the allegations for the discrimination matter. There is a limited time after discrimination happens in which you can file a charge, so you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to determine the time frame for pursuing your case.

Your case may be assigned to mediation at the EEOC. This mediation usually occurs for free at the EEOC office. Mediation is a process in which a neutral mediator assists the parties with resolving the claim in a confidential and private setting. However, both parties need to voluntarily agree to mediation. If mediation is successful, you can avoid litigating in court, but you will need to sign a term sheet that spells out your agreement. However, if mediation is not successful, or if either side decides not to go through mediation, the next step is an investigation.

The Investigation Process

Once the case is assigned to an investigator, he or she starts investigating. The investigation may entail gathering documents, interviewing witnesses, and possibly visiting the employer. Once the investigation is concluded, the EEOC will decide whether it believes that a violation happened. If the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to think that a violation happened, the parties will be issued a Letter of Determination. At that point, the employer and you might be asked to take the dispute through the conciliation process. However, if you want to take your claim to court, you can ask for a Notice of Right to Sue, which allows you to file in court. The Notice of Right to Sue will indicate the time frame to sue. You should consult an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible after obtaining this Notice.

Hire a New York City Attorney to Assist You with Navigating the EEOC Process

Employment discrimination and harassment based on your membership in a protected class can be painful. You may have redress under federal law, and it is important to talk to an experienced attorney who can look at the viability of your claim. If you believe that you may have a basis to file a charge with the EEOC, you should contact Phillips & Associates. We can be reached at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form. Our firm represents employees in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, in addition to Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto, Kevin Guaranda and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
★★★★★
I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
★★★★★
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
★★★★★
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana