If you have been involved in employment discrimination of any kind, it may be in your best interest to file an EEOC claim and defend your rights.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination against a job applicant or an employee. The EEOC investigates a variety of different claims, all related to employment discrimination which can include race, sex, age, or religion.
If you are an employee or applicant that wishes to file a claim, keep in mind that you have a limited time to do so before the statute of limitations tolls. The statute of limitations is a law that was created to set a maximum amount of time that parties involved in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of the alleged offense, whether they be civil or criminal.
To file a complaint, it will be important to know all about the EEOC, what to know before you file, how long you have to file, what to know after you file, and what will happen if you miss the time limit in your state. By educating yourself about the EEOC, what they do, and how they can help you, you can be better prepared to file an EEOC claim successfully and get the justice that you deserve.
What Should You Know About Filing an EEOC Claim in Florida?
Filling an EEOC claim is the first step that you should take if you are dealing with workplace harassment or discrimination of any kind. If the employer fails to take proper measures to sanction the employee, you can file a charge of discrimination or harassment with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim.
The EEOC does not investigate or perform random audits of the workplace, instead, they rely on workers to file complaints on their own. Since the EEOC requires employees to bring charges forward, there are federal anti-discrimination laws that prohibit employers from taking retaliatory measures against an employee if they choose to file.
But, once the EEOC receives your complaint, they will get into contact with you and your employer within 10 days after you file. Then, they will follow up with an investigation, which can take up to a couple of months or more depending on the details or severity of the charges that you filed.
What Should You Know Before You File an EEOC Claim?
Before you start the process of filing an EEOC claim, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure you are prepared and ready for what’s to come after you take the first step towards justice.
How to Organize Your Evidence
To make the process of filing an EEOC claim a lot easier, it is crucial to organize all of your evidence and any important information you may need to locate before you file.
To start, it can be beneficial to keep a log of events or details that provide evidence for your claim including the date, time, location, who was involved in the incident, and a description of the nature of the events that occurred.
You may also want to keep a file of any documentation provided by your employers, such as a written performance review that doesn’t match what you experienced on the job or an unwarranted disciplinary notice that you may have received.
Remember, it is extremely important to resist the temptation to bring in personal bias or emotion when recalling the events that you are logging. By getting this step done properly, you will be able to ensure your claim is taken seriously, increasing the chances of your complaint getting full attention and consideration during the investigation.
What to Include in a Formal Complaint?
- Your name, address, and phone number.
- A brief description of the events that you felt were discriminatory.
- Explain why you believe you were being discriminated against.
- A description of any injuries that may have occurred
- Your signature or your lawyer’s signature
Helpful Tips for Filing a Florida EEOC Claim:
- You have to file your claim in person or by mail, you cannot file online.
- Be prepared to supply your personal and contact information along with your employer’s information too.
- You will also need to provide a brief account of the alleged discriminatory act, the date or dates these actions occurred, and note if you are a federal employee or applicant.
- If you are having trouble deciding if you should file a claim or not, the EEOC offers an online assessment tool that can help you decide what your best option will be moving forward, considering your situation.
How Long Do You Have to File an EEOC Claim?
If you think that filing an EEOC claim is the right move for you to make, you will have 180 days from the date of the alleged violation to make your claim, to protect the charging parties’ rights. In some cases, this 180-day filing deadline may be extended to 300 days if the charge is covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law.
Also, the rules for age discrimination are slightly different from other types and the time limit to file a claim may be extended to 300 days if there is a state law in place that prohibits age discrimination in employment where you live.
Time limits for filing a charge with the EEOC will typically not be extended if you attempt to resolve your issues through another forum such as an internal grievance procedure, a union grievance, arbitration, or mediation before filing a charge with the EEOC.
While figuring out how much time you have to file your claim can be complicated, it will be important to act now and find out if you still have time before it’s too late. Even if you are unsure how much time you have left, you can contact a local EEOC office and let them assess your situation, using their guidance to help you decide if you have enough time left to file or not.
In the case that you were involved in more than one discriminatory event that took place where you were employed, the 180-day deadline will apply to each event separately, altering the entire filing process for your case.
Filing Time Limit Differences According to Different States
Depending on what state you live in, there are different time limit requirements in place for filing an EEOC claim. To make sure you are fully aware of the time limit in your location, visit the EEOC website and find an Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions office near you.
If you are a resident of Florida, an individual has 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a charge with their office against an employer with 15 or more employees.
If you are in Florida and filling an EEOC for age discrimination, you will have 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file against an employer with 20 or more employees.
If you are located in Alabama, an individual has 180 days from the date of alleged discrimination to file a claim with their office against an employer with 15 or more employees.
If you are filing for age discrimination, you have 180 days from the date of alleged discrimination to file a claim against an employer with 20 or more employees.
If you are in New York, an employee can file an employment discrimination claim under state laws, so long as the employer has at least 4 employees.
If you are a resident of the state of Mississippi, an individual has 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim against an employer with at least 15 employees.
If you are filing for an incident related to age discrimination, you will have 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim against an employer with 20 or more employees.
In the state of Virginia, an individual has 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim under state law. But, under federal law, you will have 300 days after the alleged discrimination to file a claim against your employer.
If you are a resident of Arizona, an individual will have 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim with the EEOC. there may be an exception in some cases where there is a local law in place which prohibits workplace discrimination, which could extend this time limit to 300 days.
What Happens After You File an EEOC Claim?
Once you have filed a charge with the EEOC, your employer will receive a notice of the charge within 10 days.
After the charge is filed, the EEOC will conduct an investigation into your workplace and employer(s.) keep in mind, this Investigation may take a couple of months to begin due to the severity of the details included in your claim.
During the investigation, the EEOC may visit your employer, conduct interviews with employees, or request documentation of the discrimination.
In some cases, it may be in your best interest to go for a mediation, which is an easier course of action to take. But, if the investigation determines that the law has been violated, the EEOC will try to reach a voluntary settlement with your employer.
If you are unable to reach a settlement your case will be referred to a legal staff who will work towards determining if it is a good idea to file a lawsuit against your previous employer.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline to File Your Claim?
Depending on the type of claim you have filed and the severity of your case, there may be some exceptions if you miss the EEOC deadline.
If you had filed a claim with a private employer and it involves a discrete act which would include a failure to promote or hire and you miss the EEOC deadline, it is likely that you will not be able to file your claim.
If your claim involves incidents of harassment or a hostile work environment, you may be able to pursue your actions in a federal court even if you missed the 180 or 300-day deadline in your state. This will allow you to pursue your claim, getting the justice you deserve even if you missed the original deadline.
Since there are strict time limits in place when filing an EEOC claim, it is important to make sure that you can meet these deadlines to see your case get taken on by an investigator who will take your case seriously. If you are worried about time constraints or getting your claim filed in time, take the proper steps beforehand to make sure the entire process goes smoothly – starting with filing your claim as soon as you can. This will not only ensure you get your case taken on, but it will give you peace of mind knowing you took the right steps to take legal action.
Filling a Florida EEOC Claim With Ease
Whether you are filing a claim with the EEOC due to discrimination related to race or age, there are many things to take into consideration and plan for before filing your claim.
If you want to better prepare yourself for what’s ahead, it can be helpful to learn more about the EEOC, what to do before you file, what the EEOC deadlines are in your area, what to expect after you file, and what to do if you happened to miss the deadline – this will make it a lot easier to file your claim and get the justice you deserve for your case.
No matter what you have been through, rest assured knowing that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions’ agency is on your side and will do what they can to settle your case with ease.
If you believe that filing a claim with the EEOC is a step in the right direction for your situation, don’t hold yourself back. Take a leap of faith and file your claim, making sure that you have enough time for your case to be investigated and taken seriously. By making this move it will be easier to get through the entire legal process, saving yourself from any headaches you may encounter along the way.