What does Title VII mean?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by the United States Congress to eliminate the discrimination of an employee based on their sex, race, color, national origin, and religion with respect to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
The law applies to employers who employ fifteen or more individuals. It also applies to local, state and federal employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and private and public colleges.
Filing a Complaint under Title VII
Employees who have been discriminated against based on the criteria established under Title VII may file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency charged with enforcing many anti-discrimination laws. Complaints may be filed without legal assistance, but must be filed within 180 days from the date of the violation. Contact the EEOC for more information about the complaint procedures.
What does the EEOC after a complaint?
After the EEOC receives the discriminatory complaint they will notify the employer and began an investigation. Complaints may be resolved through mediation or another type of dispute resolution strategy. The EEOC has a right to file a case on their own or dismiss the case, allowing the employee to file their own discrimination case in federal court.
Protection against retaliation from the employer
Employees who decide to contact the EEOC and file a charge of discrimination are protected from retaliation by the provisions of Title VII. Protection also extends to any assistance the employee provides to other co-workers. For example, if you help the EEOC with an investigation, proceeding, or discrimination hearing your employer is barred from retaliating against you.
Steps to protect employees against discrimination
Not all unfair employment practices are considered discriminatory. But if you believe you are suffering discrimination you may need to take certain steps to protect yourself. For instance, start tracking potential discriminatory practices. Review your company’s handbook and employment policies. Talk to a compliance officer and discuss possible dispute resolutions, and seek support from friends and family.
Finally, if you believe you have evidence of discrimination, which cannot be resolved internally, contact the EEOC to speak with a counselor. The EEOC may investigate and/or offer mediation services to help resolve the complaint.
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Category: Employment Law