Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Cases in Georgia
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an independent federal agency that investigates workplace discrimination against employees. For many employment discrimination cases, an employee must first file a charge of discrimination against their employer with the EEOC, and within a certain timeframe, before they can go to court. If you are thinking about filing with the EEOC, or have already done so, you should consult with an experienced Atlanta EEOC attorney at Hall & Lampros, LLP.
The EEOC and its Role in Combating Employment Discrimination
The EEOC has jurisdiction under federal law to investigate and enforce federal laws prohibiting several different bases of discrimination, including discrimination based on:
- Genetic Information
- Race and Color
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The laws that the EEOC enforces include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. These statutes generally apply to private employers, staffing agencies, labor unions, and government employers. However, there are certain limitations on coverage depending on the particular law and the number of employees the employer has.
The EEOC also investigates many different types of discriminatory practices, including harassment and hostile work environments, and discrimination in hiring, promotion, transfers, compensation, discipline, as well as wrongful termination and constructive discharge. The EEOC also issues regulations and provides guidance and technical assistance about the laws that it enforces. Hall & Lampros employment discrimination attorneys know this law well and have used it to help hundreds of victims of workplace discrimination with their cases at the EEOC and later in court.
Procedures for EEOC Investigations and Enforcement
The EEOC procedures include investigating charges of discrimination, making findings in favor of the employee or the employer, enforcing the anti-discrimination statutes through mediation or conciliation, and issuing notice of right to sue to charging parties. During the investigation, the EEOC may require the employee and the employer to submit documents and information, and may interview the employee filing the charge, representatives for the employer, and other and other employees or witnesses. Effectively presenting information to the EEOC during the investigation is critical, and hiring experienced employment discrimination attorneys is important to make the most of the process.
Once the EEOC completes the investigation, it may issue a “cause finding” in favor of the employee and attempt to enforce the anti-discrimination statutes through mediation or a process referred to as conciliation. While the EEOC attempts to enforce the anti-discrimination laws for the benefit of employees who were discriminated against, it does not represent employees. This is why it is critical to retain an employment discrimination attorney representing your interests to maximize your recovery. If you don’t, you could be leaving money you are entitled to on the table.
EEOC Claims Have Strict Deadlines
If you have a case before the EEOC, hiring experienced employment discrimination attorneys is also critical because there are deadlines and requirements that must be met for EEOC cases. These deadlines and requirements can affect whether you will be able to bring your case in court if the EEOC does not find in your favor and issues you the Notice of Right to Sue, or if it does not pursue a remedy that will make you whole. For example, in many states, including Georgia and Tennessee, a charge of discrimination must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the discrimination. Otherwise, the employee will lose the right to challenge that discrimination in court.
Experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Hall & Lampros can ensure that you meet all the deadlines and requirements for your EEOC case, and can present your case effectively throughout the investigation, enforcement process, mediation or conciliation, and beyond.
Remedies and Damages in EEOC Cases
What you can recover in your EEOC case depends on the particular legal violation you have suffered. For most cases, you are entitled to recover:
- Back pay, or lost wages and benefits, for the wages and benefits you have lost due to your wrongful termination or adverse employment action.
- Compensatory damages for pain and suffering, including emotional distress damages;
- Punitive damages to punish and deter the employer from ever treating another employee like you were treated;
- Injunctive relief, including reinstatement or front pay for a reasonable period of time in lieu of reinstatement; and
- Attorney’s fees and costs of litigation.
Typically, the amount of compensatory and punitive damages are set by the statute and depend upon the number of employees employed by the employer. For example, under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act, compensatory and punitive damages awards are limited to:
- $50,000 for employers with between 15 and 100 employees;
- $100,000 for employers with between 101 and 200 employees;
- $200,000 for employers with between 201 and 500 employees; and
- $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.
Contact an Atlanta EEOC Lawyer Today
Everyone deserves the right to work in a job free from discrimination or harassment. The EEOC is one part of the process that Hall & Lampros can use to protect you from discrimination or help you recover what you are entitled to if you are a victim. Contact us today through or website, or call/text us at 404-876-8100 to schedule a free consultation.