A Guide to the Florida EEOC/FCHR Process

Discrimination is a very serious problem that can happen when someone’s civil rights have been violated at work. Equal Employment is one of the key rights that everyone should be able to enjoy at work and if your equal rights have been violated, you will need to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). Problems with equal employment are handled through a specific process in Florida, and you will want to be sure that you are aware of what this process is before you embark on your employment rights claim.

Working with a skilled employment lawyer will make all the difference in the outcome of your EEOC claims process. Having the support of a skilled lawyer is critical to ensure that no steps are missed as you go through the EEOC/FCHR process. When your civil rights have been violated, you will want to be sure that you seek recompense for the actions that should not have been done to you.  A skilled civil rights or EEOC/FCHR lawyer can help you to follow the entire process from start to finish correctly.

What is the EEOC Process?

This process is done in a specific way and you will need to be sure that all of the necessary steps of your claim are taken so that you can get the best result possible from your efforts. The EEOC requires that all of the steps in the claims process be followed once the claim has been initiated so you will want to be sure that you are providing all the right information and taking care to do all the right steps when you decide to file a claim. You cannot decide to bring a lawsuit against your employer if you have not completed the entire EEOC process once you file a claim. Keep this in mind when you do decide to use this claims process so that you do not get ahead of yourself.

The first step is speaking to an EEO Counselor if you are federally employed. For public sector employees, you will have a specific EEO counselor for the agency where you are employed. You will file a claim online through EEOC public portal or you can also file by mail. The EEOC reviews the claim and determines if immediate dismissal is appropriate.

Once this step has been completed, your company is notified that a claim has been filed that meets the requirements for investigation. The company can choose to try to settle or mediate if they wish. Their EEOC representative will work on this process with your lawyer to try and determine if compensation demands will be paid and if there will be changes to the policies that led to the discrimination issue.

If there is no chance of settlement, the EEOC will then investigate what the company has said about its side of the case. They will do a formal investigation at this juncture to see if a rule has been broken. A ruling is then handed down which might rule against you as the claimant. You are then given the chance to appeal the ruling. This must be done within 30 days. You might also choose to file a lawsuit to satisfy your desire for the discrimination to be dealt with appropriately.

How Long Does an EEOC Investigation Take?

Most EEOC claims in Florida will take about ten months to be completed if there has been a full investigation. Mediation can change the turnaround time to about three months or so. You will find that the more complex the case, the longer the duration of the process to satisfy all the steps of the claim. Your lawyer will be able to inform you about the process so that you can predict how long you will have to wait for a resolution.

You might not want to continue to wait to go back to work at this business that has been discriminatory toward you while you wait for this process to be resolved. Your lawyer can advise you about the right steps to take with regard to your continued employment if you have been considering waiting for a resolution that will allow you to continue in your current job if that is what you wish to do.

What Are The Chances of Winning an EEOC Case?

A very low number of EEOC cases result in action. This is because most of the companies that are involved in this kind of discriminatory action choose to resolve the issue through settlements. You will find that the EEOC’s charges are serious enough that most companies do not want to face the risk of bankruptcy due to the issues that led to the case. While settlement is not an ideal situation if you feel wronged, it is likely to be the best way to seek some kind of compensation for your claims and to determine whether or not your needs will be met during your continued employment at this company.

The lawsuit that you file after the EEOC case is closed might be your best bet to be sure that some kind of recompense is offered to you for the actions that the company took against you. This is when your lawyer can be of the most use to your goals. You will be more likely to get a resolution that is satisfactory when you are working on your own independent lawsuit in some cases.

What is an FCHR Claim?

This process is done with the Florida Commission for Human Relations (FCHR). This entity has a work-sharing relationship with the EEOC but the process is not quite the same as the EEOC claims process. To file this kind of claim, you will submit a claim through the FCHR website. You can also choose to cross-file with the EEOC.

The FCHR will almost always recommend mediation as the first step. This process will be done with a representative of your company to try and find a mutual decision that suits everyone’s needs. You might be awarded damages as well. If the mediation is not successful, the FCHR will do an investigation.

The FCHR has 180 days to investigate your claim. If a law violation has been discovered, the FCHR can then proceed with the conciliation process. Some investigations end without any action being taken. You are then offered the notice that gives you the right to sue. You can also file an appeal or a civil action.

Which is the Right Process to Choose?

At the end of the day, since you can cross-claim, it is almost always wise to file both claims. This can help make the process more effective and you will find that you might get better results if you cross-file. Your lawyer can also help you to decide if you should file with both entities. These processes are not a dead end and you need to remember that you can still sue the company if your claims are not a success.

If you have been the victim of this kind of action, you need to know that your rights have not been observed and that you have a right to seek recompense for the harm done to you. You should not feel like there is no point in filing a claim and you should at least discuss with your lawyer the process of bringing a lawsuit if your EEOC or FCHR claims are not successful. You might be much more successful when bringing your own lawsuit against your employer, but you should attempt to follow the correct process and file with the right claims organizations first.

Working With a Skilled Lawyer Matters

If you have suffered discrimination in the workplace in Florida or the Tampa Bay area, you need to be sure that you seek the help of a skilled employment lawyer. You will want the support of an experienced legal professional to ensure that your case is properly handled and that all of the right information is made clear during the claims process. You will also need the help of a skilled lawyer if you determine that bringing your own lawsuit is the right way to handle the issue once the EEOC/FCHR claims process has been completed.

Civil rights are required to be offered to all employees in the US and you should not allow your employer to treat you in any way that violates your civil rights. Having the right lawyer working on your case can make all the difference in the success or failure of your case. You should not try to handle this kind of complaint on your own, especially if the claims process is not a success.

Reach out to us today if you need support for your EEOC/FCHR claims process. We are the leading legal firm in Florida for these kinds of cases and we can support you through every step of your EEOC/FCHR claims process.