Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Research Paper on EEOC

Research Paper on EEOC

Many years ago there was a large amount of discrimination in the workplace and no laws to protect employees. Title VII was passed which prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, training, promotion, discipline etc. on the basis of an employee or applicant’s color, gender, race, national origin or religion. If an employee feels they have been a victim of employment discrimination they may a file a charge or claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will handle all claims by following a common procedure and following all rules.

First step the EEOC will take is to make sure all nonfederal government employee claims are filed within 180 days of the event where the discrimination occurred and federal employee claims are filed within 30 days of the event. Many states have their own fair employment laws and have state and local enforcement agencies for employment discrimination claims called “706” agencies. If there is a “706” agency in the jurisdiction, the EEOC must defer the complaint to the “706” agency for 60 days before investigating.


Once these issues are determined then the EEOC will proceed with the complaint. Within 10 days of the filing date of the complaint the EEOC will give notice to the respondent, the employer. The EEOC will then review all new charges to indicate whether it will go through the mediation process. If mediation is chosen then both parties will be notified offering mediation. Both parties have 10 days to accept or decline mediation. If both parties elect mediation then there is a 60-day period of in-house mediation or 45 days for external mediation. During this time both parties will tell their side of the story, express opinions, provide information and express what they want out of the charge. If an agreement occurs then it is settled.

If the parties do not agree to mediation or the mediation is not successful, the charge is referred back to the EEOC for investigation. The EEOC will then interview the employer and the employee and any other witnesses. If there is a reasonable cause for the charge then the EEOC will bring both parties together with an “EEOC specialist.” The specialist will provide the findings of the investigation and discuss with both parties ways of conciliation. During this process both parties will have an opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the charge, clear up misunderstandings, determined an underlying interests or concern, find areas of agreement and finally to incorporate agreements into resolutions. The majority of claims filed are settled at this point.

Mediation is an efficient process which saves time and money avoiding lengthy investigations and unnecessary litigation. The mediators are a neutral third party who’s role is to help the parties resolve the matter, therefore having no interest in the outcome. Mediation is a confidential process, it is not tape recorded or transcribed and notes during the mediation are discarded. Settlement agreements do not constitute an admission of any violation of laws by the employer. Mediation avoids lengthy and unnecessary litigation.

If the EEOC finds there no cause for the employees complaint, then the employee is notified by a right-to-sue letter. This means that if the employee wants to continue their case, they are free to do so, having followed all of the EEOC process. The employee can sue the employer in federal court within 90 days of receiving the letter.

If there is no conciliation, then the EEOC may eventually have to file a civil action in federal district court. The employee with the right-to-sue letter can take the case to court seeking judicial review. In Title VII, it states that the courts give the EEOC decisions de novo review meaning a court can only take a discrimination case for judicial review after the EEOC has been through it’s regular process, finding no grounds, has disposed of the case. If a party takes it to judicial review and is not satisfied with the court’s decision and has a basis upon which to appeal, the case can be appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, if it agrees to hear the case.

In a situation where the employee wins the case, the employer is then reviewed regarding its liability. The employer could be liable for back pay, front pay, retroactive seniority, make-whole relief, compensatory damages and punitive damages. Back pay can back up to two years before the actual filing of the case with the EEOC. Front pay would involve any future earnings that the employee would have received due to absence of discrimination or reinstatement to his or her position. Retroactive seniority is another which involves seniority that dates back to the time the claimant was mistreated. Make-whole relief would include attempts to put claimant in position he would have been in had there been no act of discrimination. Another liability would be compensatory damages which is money awarded to compensate the injured party for direct loses and punitive damages are awarded when malicious action have been shown from the employer.

The EEOC mediation process is an important part of reconciling differences without costly and lengthy lawsuits. Mediation is fair because there is a third neutral party that has nothing to lose or gain from the outcome. Mediation is confidental and doesn’t constitute an admission of guilt by the employer. 70 to 80 percent of cases go to mediation and the majority of these are settled and disposed of at this stage. The EEOC plays a very important role in discrimination cases.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on EEOC topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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