When an employee feels his or her employer has violated one of the many employment discrimination laws, the employee’s first step is to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The internet is rife with too much information to help employees through this process; but what about employers? The employment attorneys Dallas TX at Simon | Paschal PLLC represent business owners and other employers in all manner of employment law issues, including EEOC charges. Here are a few things every employer should know.
Employment Attorney Dallas TX: How EEOC Charges Work
An employee who seeks recompense against an employer for violating certain federal employment laws is required to file an EEOC charge before initiating an actual lawsuit. These types of cases include age discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge cases.
Once an employee files an EEOC charge, the EEOC typically will notify you within some period that a charge has been filed. The EEOC will then commence an investigation, and in so doing, may ask you for the employee’s personnel file as well as documentation of your policies and procedures. The EEOC may also send an investigator to your place of business to review large volumes of documents or to interview other employees who may be witnesses.
You may also be required to submit a position statement (or statement of position) in which you tell the story from your side. The position statement is one of the first opportunities an employer has to defend itself from an EEOC charge, and it can play a very important part in influencing the EEOC’s decision. The position statement should present the company’s version of events, applicable policies and procedures, and the reasons for the company’s actions. The position statement should show that your company properly took action against the employee and did not violate any employment laws.
Example: John works for Company. Company realizes that John, an hourly employee, is spending most of his time at work playing games on the internet. Company’s written employment policy dictates that Company computers are not to be used for personal purposes. John has been reprimanded before. Company demotes John. John files an EEOC charge, claiming Company demoted him because he is over the age of 40 in violation of the Age Discrimination Act. Company’s position statement should describe Company’s policy regarding use of Company computers, describe John’s activity, and explain the steps it took in accordance with its policy to establish that John was demoted for cause, and not because John is over the age of 40.
If an employee files an EEOC charge against your company, an experienced employment attorney Dallas TX can assist the business with preparing the position statement, producing documents responsive to EEOC requests, and preparing witnesses for interview by the EEOC investigator. The EEOC’s decision could have a hard impact on your business, and the EEOC investigation is not a matter to be taken lightly. Call Simon | Paschal PLLC at (972) 893-9340 now for knowledgeable legal counsel.
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