Discrimination complaints and lawsuits in NJ and PA are handled by federal and state agencies. The process normally begins by filing a complaint with the appropriate agency. The agency, if they think the claim has some merit, will investigate the claim.
Federal claims before the EEOC. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles numerous discrimination claims. The EEOC was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Acts. It handles discrimination based on the following laws:
- Civil RIghts Act of 1964 (Title VII) – Discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 – This act prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 – This act prohibits discrimination because of age (employees over 40 years old).
- Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 – This law requires that men and women who work for the federal government receive the same pay for the same work.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act – This act is part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It covers pregnancy discrimination.
- Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – This law prohibits any discrimination because of information disclosed in genetic tests.
Key Steps of an EEOC claim
- Filing a claim The claimant files a claim alleging discrimination against an employer. There are time limits for filing the claim. The time limits may depend on whether there are state remedies.
- Investigation The EEOC investigates the claim by taking statements from the parties and witness and examining any relevant documents.
- Decision process The EEOC can decide:
- That the investigation isn’t worth pursuing
- That there wasn’t evidence of discrimination
- That there was evidence of discrimination. (This in known as a “Cause Determination).
- If the EEOC decides there was discrimination, it will try to “conciliate” a settlement between the employee and the employer and may require the employer to take specific affirmative steps to avoid future discrimination.
- It may begin its own discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the employer. The employee can enlist the aid of a lawyer to help him/her in the lawsuit
How the discrimination lawyer can help
- EEOC brings their own lawsuit. If the EEOC decides there is cause to believe discrimination has occurred they will bring a lawsuit against the employer. The lawyer can assist the client in an approved “Cause Determination” EEOC federal lawsuit.
- EEOC doesn’t bring its own lawsuit. The lawyer can bring a direct suit in federal court. If the EEOC decides not to sue because it doesn’t see the need to investigate the case or because it can’t find enough evidence of discrimination, it will give the employee a notice of the right to sue within 90 days.
- They know the time limits.
- You must file a claim – normally, within 180 days, from the date of the discrimination.
- You must sue in 90 days from an EEOC negative finding. The 90 day deadline is a strict deadline. It is advisable to seek the advice of a skilled discrimination lawyer to protect your deadline.
- Lawsuits that don’t require going through the EEOC. There are some discrimination areas where going through the EEOC is optional. This means the employee, with the help of legal counsel, can go sue directly in Federal Court.
Our firm’s experience
The attorneys of Begelman & Orlow, P. C. have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Contact our offices at 866-627-7052. We have 115 years combined experience protecting your rights in all phases of employment law, including assisting with EEOC investigations and lawsuits and bringing discrimination lawsuits in federal court.