Your employer discriminated against you in relation to your disability. With the help of a disability discrimination attorney, you have gathered all relevant documents and evidences against your offender and filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Now what?

Many people get impatient while waiting for the evaluation process of the EEOC regarding employment-related disputes. Many of them do not understand that the investigation of EEOC claims take several weeks and even a few months before hearings will be scheduled. If you are new to this kind of legal proceeding, you may ask your attorney to clarify certain things for you. The following EEOC claim stages will give you an idea how EEOC claims are assessed from the filing of the complaint to the hearing of the case:

  • Hearing request – If you have exhausted all means of resolution between you and your employer and nothing has happened, you may request an EEOC hearing. Remember that the hearing request form should be filled out and submitted within 40 days after the violation.

  • Discovery stage – During this stage, both parties will have time to gather documents, files, and evidence which they can use against the other party. Witnesses are also contacted in this stage.

  • Stipulations – Stipulations are details that are confirmed by both parties to be factual. Most administrative judges favor claims with a number of stipulations because they can be resolved easier.

  • ADR discussion – ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution has been a new option for labor disputes today. The complainant and defendant will decide if they would settle the dispute in an informal and untraditional way, and not take the dispute to court. There are three types of ADR: arbitration, mediation, and the employment tribunal.

  • Hearing scheduling – Hearings are scheduled by administrative judges. If the judge has not set a schedule 180 days after you filed the hearing request, you may file a civil action.

  • EEOC hearing – The judge's decision is usually released 30 to 60 days after the hearing has been completed. If the decision was unfavorable to you, you can still make an appeal.

Remember that these processes take weeks, or even months to complete. All you need to do is make use of the time by gathering more information and evidence against your offender. In some cases, you may ask your lawyer to assist you in doing certain things such as signing papers, attending meetings and gathering government and institution records.

Everyone has the right to stand for what they believe is just and true. This is what the EEOC offers to people. It gives them a chance to defend their rights, and hope that everything will be fine.