Procedure for Proceeding with Employment Law Cases
Many of the cases, which we handle, cannot be immediately filed in a court. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce Title VII. Today, the EEOC is also responsible for enforcing other antidiscrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Equal Pay Act (EPA.)
Before filing a Federal lawsuit for employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one must first file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC then investigates the charge, asking both the employee, known as the Complainant, and the employer being charged, known as the Respondent, for documents and information relevant to the charge.
The reality is that largely due to severely constrained resources, the EEOC is most often unable to timely investigate a claim. Even where an investigation is conducted, the EEOC does not often make Cause Determinations and rarely files its own case. Do not be discouraged. We can help! Regardless of the EEOC's action, it is possible to ultimately file a case in Federal Court and later favorably resolve the matter, even when the EEOC did not find in your favor.
Pennsylvania employees may also file claims of discrimination under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. To do so, you have to file with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). The PHRC serves a similar function for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the EEOC does for the Federal Government.
At Abramson Employment Law LLC we are very familiar with the procedures and processes of both the EEOC and the PHRC. Generally, if at all possible we prefer to be involved even before an employee files an initial Charge with the EEOC or PHRC. Nevertheless, sometimes our clients do not contact us until after they file a Charge and we then become immediately involved.
It is also important to note that in Pennsylvania you must file your charge with the EEOC within 300 days of the incident you believe was discrimination, however, you have only 180 days to file with the PHRC. If you have a claim of discrimination, you should consult with an employment attorney. Please contact us right away.