How Are EEOC Employment Laws Used in Lawsuits?


Quick Answer

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces laws that prohibit employment discrimination. When an employee files charges of discrimination, the EEOC conducts an investigation. If the EEOC determines that a violation has occurred and conciliation attempts then fail, the agency decides whether to proceed with litigation, according to its website.

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Full Answer

The federal laws enforced by the EEOC make it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or in retaliation for opposing employment discrimination. These laws apply to all private employers; all state and local government agencies; some educational institutions; and all private and public employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship and training, according to a fact sheet on the EEOC's website.

In investigating a charge, the EEOC communicates with both sides, trying to keep the case out of court if it decides that a law has been violated. If out-of-court negotiations don't work out, the agency then determines whether it sues a private employer or recommends litigation to the Department of Justice for state and local government agencies, explains its website.

The EEOC enforces the following laws: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. Its website allows individuals to join ongoing lawsuits and settlements of lawsuits. It also provides help to small businesses and lets people quickly check on the status of a charge, reports the EEOC.

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