The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established on July 2, 1965; its mandate is specified under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
In 2008, disability-based charges handled by the EEOC rose to a record 19,543, up 10.2 percent from the prior year and the highest level since 1995.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
The EEOC has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law.
Their role in an investigation is to fairly and accurately assess the allegations in the charge and then make a finding. If they find that discrimination has occurred, they will try to settle the charge. If they are not successful, they have the authority to file a lawsuit to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of the public.
A charge of discrimination is a signed statement asserting that an organization engaged in employment discrimination. It requests EEOC to take remedial action.
The laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a charge before you can file a lawsuit for unlawful discrimination.
There are strict time limits for filing a charge.
Although the EEOC does not take charges over the phone, you can get the process started by calling 1-800-669-4000 - or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation. An EEOC representative will ask you for some basic information to determine if your situation is covered by the laws they enforce and explain more about the process of how to file a discrimination charge or complaint.
Further information on how to file an EEOC charge regarding employment discrimination can be found at the Filing a Formal Complaint section of the U.S. EEOC website.