Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides protection to employees against all types of discrimination. Under it, employers who have 15 or more workers including local and state governments as well as labor organizations and employment agencies cannot discriminate an applicant or employee on the basis of his age, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and race.
Aside from Title VII, other federal laws which prohibit employment discrimination include Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
If your employer violated one of these anti-discrimination laws, you are entitled to file a complaint against him with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This agency is responsible in investigating all discrimination complaints that were filed by employees.
Under the agency's rules, the person who was discriminated in the workplace is not the only one who can take legal action against his employer. It allows any organization, agency, or individual to file a discrimination charge on his behalf in the aim of protecting his identity.
If you are interested in filing a complaint, you will need to submit an "intake questionnaire" through mail or by going to an EEOC office. In addition, you will likely need to provide the following information to the agency:
- Your name, contact number, and address
- The name, contact number, and address of your employer or the union or employment agency that allegedly performed discriminatory practices against you
- Number of employees in the company or number of union members
- The date when the alleged discrimination occurred
- A brief summary of the alleged discrimination, meaning a description of the event which made you believe that your employer violated an anti-discrimination law
Most anti-discrimination laws that are covered by EEOC require employees to file a complaint with the agency, not with the court. If the agency determined that you were discriminated in the workplace, it may file a court case on your behalf.
You should act immediately once the violation occurred because you might lose your right to take legal action if you failed to do so. Remember, there are certain time limits when filing discrimination complaints.
EEOC requires you to file a complaint within 180 days after the discrimination occurred. You are entitled to ask for an extension, which can last up to 300 days, if a local or state anti-discrimination law also covers the alleged violation.
For more information about employment discrimination claims, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance from a Los Angeles labor attorney.