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Mgt 434 Employment Law Legal Process Paper

981 words - 4 pages

To handle a complaint of discrimination effectively, an employer should have a basic understanding of the process and procedures used by the EEOC to enforce the federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. By knowing in advance what to expect, an employer can best prepare its defense.EEOC ProcessAny individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. Charges may be filed by mail or in person at their nearest EEOC office. Once an employee or applicant files a charge, the EEOC then serves notice on the employer, usually by mail, that a charge has been filed against them. This notice normally includes a copy of the actual charge filed by the employee or applicant.All laws enforced by EEOC, except the Equal Pay Act, require filing a charge with EEOC before a private lawsuit may be filed in court. There are strict time limits within which charges must be filed. A charge must be filed with EEOC within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, in order to protect the charging party's rights. This 180-day filing deadline is extended to 300 days if the charge also is covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).Employers must understand that the persons who evaluate and decide the outcome of employment discrimination cases (the EEOC investigator, federal or state judge, and/or jury) have keen senses of fairness and expect that employees will be treated in a fair manner. As a result, employers are exposed to substantial liability for any acts, including perceived acts, of discrimination in the workplace. Employers should take any charge of discrimination seriously and the employer must keep in mind that, at a minimum, it needs to have a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for taking the action in question. In addition, an employer's response will be evaluated by persons who have a different perspective than the employer. What may appear to an employer, as a benign, routine employment action, can be perceived by a jury as the most pernicious, discriminatory deed. With this in mind, an employer should structure its response to show that its action was not only legal, but also fair (Bureau of National Affairs, 2002).Resolving the Discrimination ChargeThe filing of the charge triggers an EEOC investigation into whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that the employer did in fact illegally discriminate against an individual. An employer may be asked to submit a written statement of position to explain its version of events. At some point in the investigation, a fact-finding conference might be held (Bureau of National Affairs, 2002). Relatively informal, a fact-finding conference is attended by the charging party, respondent and necessary witnesses. No official record is made and witnesses are not placed under oath. Most employers bring counsel to the conference.After concluding its investigation, the EEOC...

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