If you’re a business owner, you may have received an EEOC complaint through the mail. This means that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was sent a notice by one of your employees that they were the victims of discrimination. When receiving such notices in the mail you should respond to them promptly and correctly as they are serious.
What Steps Should Employers Take?
The first step in handling a complaint from the EEOC is to understand the charge. Discrimination can come in many forms, and includes gender, disability, race and religion. The EEOC will respond to such complaints depending on how many workers a business employs. For example, the Civil Rights Act, which provides protection against discrimination which is racially based, is only applicable to companies that have a minimum of fifteen employees.
However, the 1963 Equal Pay Act, which involves discriminating against employees via pay, covers companies of all sizes. As you can see, as an employer it is important for you or your advisors to understand these regulations and maintain accurate records regarding payroll. Having the right payroll management system in place can allow you to handle most accusations regarding discriminatory pay within a few days. Conducting a self-audit to identify disparities in wages is far easier when done in advance and it is often required by the EEOC.
Good record-keeping is essential in protecting oneself from complaints through the EEOC. The hiring practices of your firm should be known publicly, to both those who apply for a job as well as those who have been recently hired. Data regarding it should be stored on computer and educating employees in advance puts you in a position to deal with an EEOC notice if it appears.
What Does The EEOC Require Of Employers?
As an employer you will be required to submit information which supports your claim. The EEOC will likely ask you for your state of position. This is a document you must draft where you will explain the charge and situation from your perspective. It is critical that you first understand the violation and accusation which is being made against you so you can respond to it accordingly. It is highly recommended to seek the services of a legal team at this point to ensure the language you use is appropriate for showcasing your position.
You will also be expected to submit a variety of documents, such as policies or personnel files that can assist the investigation. In some cases the EEOC might perform an inspection at your company premises, and you should be prepared for the questions that investigators may send your way. The EEOC will decide whether or not to file suit and the process could take as long as 180 days. The government has been working to make communication faster through email and other digital methods, but in all likelihood when communicating with them you will have to send documents via snail mail. You may also have the option of using fax.