The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency set up to protect American workers from discrimination in the workplace. People who feel they have been unfairly treated because of their race, sex, religion, color, age, disability, national origin or genetic information can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. A person cannot file a discrimination lawsuit against an employer without first filing a complaint to be investigated by the EEOC. There are time limits for filing complaints, and the EEOC does not accept complaints online. However, the EEOC does encourage the use of its online service to determine if a complaint should be filed.
Visit the EEOC’s website and use its online assessment tool. Answer the prompted questions honestly. If the EEOC is the best agency to help you with your situation, you will notified of the nearest office to go to report your charge.
Download and complete an intake questionnaire from the EEOC website. Print and either bring or mail the form to a local EEOC field office to begin the process of filing a charge. Write a brief description of the events causing your complaint, when it happened and why you believe you were discriminated against. Gather and include any papers, such as a termination notice or performance evaluation, that can help the investigator better understand your case. Make a list of people or witnesses the investigator can contact regarding your complaint. Include their contact information. If you require special assistance for the meeting, such as a foreign language interpreter, inform the EEOC office ahead of time.
Call or visit the EEOC office where the form was delivered to follow up on your charge, or to make sure it has been received. Make certain the designated investigator has your correct contact information.
Angela Campbell began writing professionally in 1997 for Easley Publications in Easley, SC, and later for Gannett newspaper properties. A graduate of the University of South Carolina's mass communications and journalism program, she has won numerous South Carolina State Press Association awards for spot news reporting, business reporting, feature writing, photography and page design.