What Does the EEOC Do In a Wrongful Termination Case?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal body that enforces laws regarding all kinds of discrimination at work, including sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, and age discrimination.

If you have been wrongfully terminated because you have been discriminated against at work, you may want to take the matter to the EEOC – which is beneficial to your complaint – who will then initiate an investigation into the allegation of sexual harassment on your behalf.

You should maintain supporting evidence and documentation. This will prove that you suffered sexual harassment in the workplace.

Any digital images, audio recordings, photos, memos, messages, and witness statements can help you prove that you suffered sexual harassment in the workplace.

The more evidence and supporting documentation that you have, the more likely you are to succeed with your claim.

While there are many reasons that an employer can terminate an employee, wrongful termination is not permitted. Wrongful termination is often because of harassment or discrimination that took place.

Employers sometimes terminate employees as a way they can retaliate against them for being a whistleblower.

Whistleblowers are protected, and they cannot be fired for reporting unethical or illegal behaviors or actions.

Wrongful termination can occur because the employer is discriminating against an employee because of their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or for other reasons.

What Does the EEOC Do?

Created by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  reviews cases and enforces federal laws pertaining to unlawful acts of discrimination. To meet the mandate presented by Title VII, the EEOC conducts hearings, creates regulations, and litigates discrimination complaints such as EEOC wrongful termination cases.

In addition to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC handles complaints filed under other types of federal laws.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Broad language written into Title VII did not properly address discrimination against Americans diagnosed with living with a qualifying disability. The ADA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers that can prove they suffer from a disability.

Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act requires private sector employers to pay all employees the same for performing the same type of work. For example, a female employee responsible for monitoring the performance of an IT system must receive the same pay as a male employee who does the same work.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Based on a 1976 case that concluded discriminating against pregnant women does not violate Title VII, the United States Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The new law bridged the legal void created by Title VII because it prohibits discrimination in the workplace against pregnant employees.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

Title VII also did not address age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA forbids employers from discriminating against employees that are at least 40 years old. Many EEOC wrongful termination cases focus on the forced retirement of older workers, which allows employers to hire younger employees at lower wages.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Advanced genetic technology has opened the door for employers to inquire about the genetic composition of workers. Learning the genetic makeup of employees provides employers with information to issue health care decisions. The enactment of GINA and the enforcement of its provisions by the EEOC prohibits employers from collecting genetic information from workers.

When the United States Congress passes or amends a discrimination law, the EEOC is responsible for developing the regulations that follow the legal principles written into the federal law. The EEOC also provides legal guidance to ensure private sector employers understand how to implement anti-discrimination policies that prevent wrongful termination.

If you want to file a discrimination in the workplace complaint, you should call the EEOC at 800-669-4000 or visit the nearest EEOC field office.

EEOC Wrongful Termination Cases

One of the most common types of wrongful termination cases involves discrimination in the workplace. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on several demographic factors, such as race, age, religion, and national origin. Before you file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, meet with an employment attorney to discover if you have enough evidence to submit a convincing complaint. Your lawyer helps you gather and organize the compelling evidence you need to fight back against wrongful termination.

An attorney also interviews witnesses, as well as prepares the filing of a civil lawsuit if litigation is a viable legal option. Even if the EEOC rules in your favor concerning a wrongful termination case, you can still seek justice by filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

What To Do When You Report To The EEOC

Before you report your claim of wrongful termination because of discrimination to the EEOC, you should make sure you have already gathered all the evidence and supporting documentation that you could.

Some of the evidence that you will need to support your claim include:  

  • Digital images
  • Audio recordings
  • Witness statements
  • Photos
  • Memos
  • Messages
  • Employee handbook
  • Employment contract

The more supporting evidence and documentation that you can provide, the stronger your complaint will be and the more likely you are to succeed with your claim against your employer.

Besides helping yourself, you are also helping protect others from suffering the same harassment and discrimination from that employer in the future.

Often, employers have a pattern of harassment and discrimination. If that is true, then you can most likely find that other employees have been the victims of wrongful termination.

By proving that, and by having witnesses who have experienced the same thing, you will have a stronger foundation for your claim against your employer.

There is a statute of limitations, which is a limited time, for pursing a claim against an employer following wrongful termination.

You don’t want to wait too long, or you cannot recover compensation for your damages suffered. It is important to start gathering information and to speak with an attorney as soon as you possibly can after you have suffered wrongful termination.

You need to prove that you were terminated because of your sexual orientation, your gender, your age – if you are older than 40, your race, your religion, or your ethnicity.

If you are terminated for any of those reasons, that is discrimination and firing you from your position is strictly prohibited.

When an employer fires an employee because of any of those things, or if they discriminate or harass an employee because of who they are, they are breaking federal laws.

You do have rights and protections, and you should use them to help you gain control of the situation and to ensure that you are treated fairly.

How An Employment Law Attorney Can Help

If you have been the victim of wrongful termination following harassment, you should retain the services of an employment law attorney who handles wrongful termination cases in your area.

When you have a consultation with an employment law attorney, you should discuss their payment programs.

There are employment law attorneys who take cases on a contingency basis, which means that they do not get paid until you win your claim and recover compensation. Some employment lawyers do ask for a retainer to be paid upfront.

Employment lawyers are familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your wrongful termination claim and harassment and discrimination matters.

You have a limited time, usually 180 days, to pursue a wrongful termination case after you have been fired from your job.

If you wait until that time has passed, you cannot recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of your employer’s actions. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your case with a lawyer who handles such claims in your area.

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