New York’s only EEOC local office is in Buffalo. The state’s only District Office is in New York City. In-office visits are not permissible at the moment because of the pandemic, the office can still be contacted by phone or email for advice.
An intake appointment can also still be scheduled through the online Public Portal and interviews made by telephone.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that oversees all federal anti-discrimination laws as they apply to employment.
These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC investigates and acts on legitimate claims by employees who work for employers with 15 or more employees.
Employees who wish to make a complaint or file a claim but work in smaller workplaces may be able to use a state fair employment practices agency (FEPA).
In the state of New York this would be the New York State Division of Human Rights. The main office is in New York City.
You have 300 days from the date an incident of discrimination took place to file a complaint with the EEOC in New York. If you work in a smaller workplace (fewer than 15 employees) the New York State Division of Human Rights imposes a 365 day limit to file a claim of discrimination in New York against an employer which has violated state anti-discrimination laws.
EEOC Office Information in New York
There is one Local EEOC office in New York and one district office.
Buffalo Local Office
- Olympic Towers
- 300 Pearl Street, Suite 450
- Buffalo, NY 14202
- Phone: 1-800-669-4000
- Fax: 716-551-4387
- Director: Maureen Kielt
- Regional Attorney: Jeffrey Burstein
Office Hours: Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for telephone contact only. There are no walk-ins possible because of Covid-19 restrictions.
New York City District Office
- 33 Whitehall Street, 5th Floor
- New York, NY 10004
- Phone: 1-800-669-4000
- Director: Judy Keenan
- Regional Attorney: Jeffrey Burstein
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for appointments made through the Public Portal. There are no walk-ins possible because of Covid-19 restrictions.
New York State Employment Laws
New York State has similar laws to the federal government regarding discrimination at work. Discrimination at work because of an employee’s age, gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnicity or disability is illegal.
Any type of sexual harassment at work, such as unsolicited emails, phone calls, physical contact, innuendo, etc., is regarded as a form of sex discrimination and is also illegal.
Employees, especially those who work in smaller workplaces, can file a charge of discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights if they experience being discriminated against. The procedure is similar to that used with the EEOC.
How to File a Claim with the EEOC in New York
Has a manager or a co-worker discriminated against you at work? If you answered yes, you should consider filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York. According to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers based on several factors, including, race, gender, religion, and national origin. Title VII created a provision for the formation of the EEOC to help discriminated against workers get a resolution to their complaints.
In addition to filing a claim with the NY EEOC, you can file a complaint at the state level with the New York State Division of Human Rights. If you work in New York City, you can file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Filing a Claim with the EEOC in New York
The EEOC processes complaints about violations of federal law concerning employers that have more than 15 employees. If you feel your employer has discriminated against you because of one or more of the factors listed under Title VII, you should contact the EEOC where a counselor is available to describe your rights and discuss whether you have enough evidence to file a complaint against your employer.
If you decide to file a complaint with the EEOC, you have just 180 days from the date of the first act of discrimination to submit the proper paperwork. The deadline extends to 300 days if you cross-file your complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights or the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Hiring an EEOC New York Attorney
If you have to lodge a complaint with the EEOC about discrimination in your workplace in New York an attorney can help you file a claim with the EEOC who may be able to help win your claim. It should be far easier to win a claim of discrimination with the help of an attorney.
The attorney can play several roles when helping with your claim which could include the following:
- gathering evidence such as proof the discrimination took place which can include phone calls, emails, text messages and witnesses’ reports that proof you have suffered discrimination;
- ensuring that your claim is filed in a timely manner as New York sets a 180 day statute of limitations from the date the discrimination took place;
- making sure you are prepared for a court appearance and you arrive on time.
They attorney can also help file a lawsuit if you have been awarded a ‘right to sue’ letter from the EEOC. You may be more likely to win a lawsuit if you hire an attorney to work on your behalf.
When it comes to paying the legal fees some attorneys don’t ask for upfront legal fees and will only ask you to pay if you win your lawsuit while others may request you to pay a retainer fee or may ask you to pay by the hour. You should discuss this matter with your lawyer and reach an agreement before your chosen attorney begins to work on your case.
Next Steps to Take
It can be intimidating going through the process of filing a charge of discrimination against your employer. It can help to have an employment law attorney work with you through this process.
The attorney knows the state and federal laws thoroughly and can help you prepare your case against your employer. The EEOC, or state FEPA, will normally attempt to investigate the complaint.
If the EEOC then decides you have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer in a civil court, the attorney can help prepare a convincing case on your behalf.
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