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Ocala, FL EEOC Representation Lawyers
EEOC Claims for Florida Employees

EEOC Claims Handling Process Q & A

Q: What is the role of the EEOC in employment discrimination law?

A: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal administrative agency and is responsible for interpreting, administering, and enforcing federal employment discrimination law. The EEOC is based in Washington D.C. and has offices throughout the United States, including Miami and Tampa. Under federal employment discrimination law, employees and job applicants are authorized to file a complaint with the EEOC alleging that an employer engaged in unlawful employment practices. The complaint filed by an employee or job applicant with the EEOC is referred to as a “charge of discrimination.” Under federal employment discrimination law, the EEOC is responsible for processing and investigating complaints filed by claimants with the EEOC. The EEOC is also authorized by federal employment discrimination law to file lawsuits in federal court on behalf of employment discrimination victims.

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Q: What federal employment discrimination laws are enforced by the EEOC?

A: The EEOC is responsible for interpreting and enforcing a broad array of federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC interprets and enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. The EEOC is also charged with interpreting and enforcing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The PDA protects employees from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The ADEA forbids employees from discrimination because of age. The ADA protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability. Collectively, Title VII, the PDA, the ADEA, and the ADA constitute federal employment discrimination law.

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Q: What is the role of the FCHR in employment discrimination law?

A: The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) is an agency of the State of Florida and is responsible for administering and enforcing Florida employment discrimination law. The FCHR’s office is in Tallahassee, Florida. The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) constitutes Florida’s employment discrimination law. The FCRA protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, and marital status. The FCRA authorizes employees and job applicants to file a complaint with the FCHR alleging that an employer engaged in unlawful employment practices. When an employee or job applicant files a complaint with the FCHR, the complaint is referred to as a “charge of discrimination.” Under the FCRA, the FCHR is responsible for processing and investigating complaints filed by employees or job applicants with the FCHR. Unlike the EEOC, the FCHR does not file lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims.

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Q: Must I file an EEOC complaint before filing a lawsuit under employment discrimination law?

A: Yes. In cases alleging discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law, employees and job applicants must first file a complaint with the EEOC. Filing a complaint with the EEOC is a necessary first step to ultimately filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law. In other words, employees and job applicants must first file a complaint with the EEOC before they are allowed to file a lawsuit claiming discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law. If an employee or job applicant does not file a timely complaint with the EEOC, the employee or job applicant is prohibited from bringing a lawsuit alleging discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law. If an employee files an employment discrimination lawsuit without first filing a timely complaint with the EEOC, the employment discrimination lawsuit will be summarily dismissed by the court.

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Q: Will the EEOC prepare a complaint for me for filing with the EEOC?

A: Yes. The EEOC prepares complaints on behalf of individuals claiming unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law. Generally, the EEOC’s complaint preparation process involves scheduling an interview with the claimant, interviewing the claimant regarding his or her allegations, and then preparing a complaint based on the claimant’s allegations. After the complaint is prepared by the EEOC, the EEOC submits the complaint to the claimant for his or her signature. Once a signed complaint is filed by the claimant with the EEOC, the EEOC’s claims handling process has been commenced.

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Q: Should I have an attorney prepare my complaint for filing with the EEOC?

A: Yes. Ideally, employees should have an experienced employment discrimination lawyer prepare a complaint on their behalf for filing with the EEOC. An employment discrimination attorney with experience in the EEOC clams handling process will take care to elicit all relevant information pertaining to your case and ensure that all relevant factual allegations and applicable legal claims are included in your EEOC complaint. When an EEOC claimant ultimately files an employment discrimination lawsuit, the factual allegations and legal claims asserted in the EEOC complaint take on heighted significance because the scope of the employment discrimination lawsuit is generally limited to the factual allegations and legal claims set forth in the EEOC complaint.

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Q: Must all relevant facts and applicable claims be included in my EEOC complaint?

A: Yes. All relevant factual allegations and all applicable legal claims must be included in your EEOC complaint for two reasons. First, when all relevant facts or applicable legal claims are not included in an EEOC complaint, the EEOC’s investigation and determination of whether an employer violated federal employment discrimination law may be fatally compromised. Second, when an individual files an employment discrimination lawsuit, the scope of the employment discrimination lawsuit is generally limited to the factual allegations and legal claims set forth in the individual’s EEOC complaint. For example, if an individual does not claim race discrimination, retaliation, or a discriminatory failure to promote in the EEOC complaint, the individual is prohibited from asserting claims for race discrimination, retaliation, or a discriminatory failure to promote in an employment discrimination lawsuit. Likewise, if an individual does not claim racial or sexual harassment in the EEOC complaint, the individual is prohibited from bringing racial or sexual harassment claims in an employment discrimination lawsuit. In other words, if a legal claim is not asserted in the EEOC complaint, the legal claim cannot be asserted in an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Tragically, many EEOC claimants lose meritorious discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claims in the employment discrimination litigation context because relevant facts or applicable legal claims were not included in their EEOC complaint. Indeed, many employers shamelessly exploit this legal issue and attempt to convince courts that the legal claims asserted by an individual in an employment discrimination lawsuit are barred because they were not included the individual’s EEOC complaint. By preparing an EEOC complaint on your behalf, an experienced employment discrimination lawyer will help prevent you from losing meritorious claims that can be critical in vindicating your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.

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Q: Should I have an attorney while my complaint is pending before the EEOC?

A: Yes. If you have filed an EEOC complaint on your own, you can still retain an attorney to assist you in the EEOC claims handling process. Employees are permitted to retain an attorney to assist them at any point in the EEOC claims handling process. Because an experienced employment discrimination lawyer will have a thorough understanding of the EEOC claims handling process, it is extremely important for EEOC claimants to have an experienced employment discrimination attorney assist them in navigating all stages of the EEOC claims handling process, including complaint preparation, investigation, interview preparation, fact-finding conference, mediation, and settlement negotiations. If you desire, an experienced employment law attorney will also be able to take the steps to get your case out of the EEOC claims handling process and into the court system.

Individuals who file an EEOC on their own should also be aware that employers customarily retain experienced employment attorneys to prepare a defense against EEOC complaints. Having access to documents and witnesses that are not available to most EEOC claimants, these experienced employment lawyers customarily mount an aggressive defense against EEOC complaints. When employers learn that an EEOC claimant is not represented by an experienced employment law attorney during the EEOC claims handling process, they are confident that they can present the EEOC with a carefully structured factual narrative supported by employees who parrot the company line that will convince the EEOC that reasonable cause does not exist to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred.

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Q: Must I file with the EEOC if claiming race, national origin, sex, or religious discrimination?

A: Yes. An employee alleging discrimination or harassment because of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion must first file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit claiming unlawful discrimination or harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Title VII protects employees from discrimination and harassment because of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. An employee claiming retaliation for complaining of discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion must also first file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit alleging retaliation in violation of Title VII. Employees who fail to file a timely complaint with the EEOC asserting their rights under Title VII are prohibited from bringing a lawsuit asserting claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under Title VII.

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Q: Are employees alleging pregnancy discrimination required to file with the EEOC?

A: Yes. An employee claiming discrimination or harassment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is required to first file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit claiming unlawful discrimination or harassment in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA forbids employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. An employee alleging retaliation for complaining about discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is also required to file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit claiming retaliation in violation of the PDA. Employees who do not file a timely complaint with the EEOC asserting their rights under the PDA cannot bring a lawsuit asserting claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under the PDA.

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Q: Do employees claiming age discrimination have to file with the EEOC?

A: Yes. An employee alleging discrimination or harassment because of age must initially file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of age. An employee alleging retaliation for complaining of age discrimination must also first file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit claiming retaliation in violation of the ADEA. Employees who fail to file a timely complaint with the EEOC asserting their rights under the ADEA are prohibited from bringing a lawsuit asserting claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under the ADEA.

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Q: Must an employee claiming disability discrimination file with the EEOC?

A: Yes. An employee claiming discrimination or harassment because of disability must first file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA protects employees from discrimination or harassment because of disability. An employee alleging retaliation for complaining about perceived disability discrimination must also initially file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit claiming retaliation in violation of the ADA. An employee who does not file a timely complaint with the EEOC or FCHR asserting his or her rights under the ADA cannot bring a lawsuit asserting claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under the ADA.

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Q: What discrimination or retaliation claims do not require filing with the EEOC?

A: The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits employers from paying an employee at a rate less that paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work. Claims falling under the EPA do not require the filing of a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. Employees claiming a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act are not required to file a complaint with the EEOC. Employees alleging a violation of a whistleblower law, such as the Florida Whistleblower Act, do not have to file a complaint with the EEOC. Employees claiming retaliation for making or attempted to make a workers’ compensation claim do not have to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

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Q: Must job applicants alleging discrimination or retaliation file with the EEOC?

A: Yes. Job applicants claiming that an employer failed or refused to hire them for an unlawful discriminatory or retaliatory reason must file a complaint against the employer with the EEOC. More specifically, job applicants alleging that they were not hired because of their race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, or disability must file a complaint with the EEOC against the employer who allegedly discriminated against them. Likewise, job applicants alleging that they were not hired because of unlawful retaliation must file a complaint with the EEOC against the employer who allegedly retaliated against them. A job applicant who fails to file a timely complaint against the employer with the EEOC cannot bring a discriminatory or retaliatory failure to hire lawsuit.

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Q: Should I file a complaint with the EEOC or the FCHR?

A: The EEOC and FCHR are governmental agencies responsible for processing and investigating charges of discrimination. The EEOC is the federal agency that enforces federal employment discrimination law. The FCHR is the state agency that enforces Florida employment discrimination law. Before filing a complaint with either the EEOC or FCHR, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine which agency will best serve your interests. There are significant differences between the EEOC and FCHR and there may be advantages to filing with one agency over the other depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.

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Q: What is the deadline for filing with the EEOC?

A: In Florida, the deadline for filing with the EEOC is 300 days from the date of the last act of discrimination against an employee or job applicant. In the context of a discriminatory or retaliatory failure to hire, a job applicant must file a complaint with the EEOC within 300 days from the date that he or she was notified by the employer of the employment decision. In the context of a discriminatory or retaliatory demotion, failure to promote, layoff, or termination, an employee must file a complaint with the EEOC within 300 days from the date the employee was notified by the employer of the employment decision. In the context of hostile work environment harassment, such as harassment because of race, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, or religion, an employee must file a complaint with the EEOC within 300 days from the date of the last act of harassment.

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Q: What is the deadline for filing the FCHR?

A: The deadline for filing with the FCHR is 365 days from the date of the last act of discrimination against a job applicant or employee. When a job applicant claims a discriminatory or retaliatory failure to hire, the job applicant is required to file a complaint with the FCHR within 300 days from the date that he or she was notified by the employer of the employment decision. When an employee claims a discriminatory or retaliatory demotion, failure to promote, layoff, or termination, an employee must file a complaint with the FCHR within 365 days from the date the employee was notified by the employer of the employment decision. When an employee claims hostile work environment harassment because of race, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, or religion, an employee must file a complaint with the FCHR within 365 days from the date of the last act of harassment.

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Q: Does the EEOC notify my employer of my EEOC complaint?

A: Yes. Once the EEOC receives an employee’s signed complaint, the EEOC is required by federal employment discrimination law to serve the employer with a copy of the complaint. In connection with providing the employer with a copy of the complaint, the EEOC requires the employer to provide a written response to the employee’s allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of federal employment discrimination law. The employer’s response to the employee’s complaint is customarily prepared by an attorney. In most cases, an employer’s response includes documents from the employee’s personnel file, documents from the personnel file of other employees, documents from the employer’s handbook, and witness statements.

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Q: Does the EEOC investigate my complaint?

A: Yes. The EEOC is required by federal employment discrimination law to investigate an employee’s complaint. While conducting its investigation, the EEOC is authorized to interview witnesses, obtain information from the employer, and compel the production of documents from the employer. As part of its investigation, the EEOC also has the authority to conduct a fact-finding conference with the parties. The fact-finding conference is used by the EEOC as investigation forum intended to define the issues and ascertain whether there is a basis for a negotiated settlement. The EEOC also has the statutory authority to issue a subpoena compelling testimony of witnesses, the production of evidence, and access to evidence. At the conclusion of its investigation, the EEOC generally makes a determination as to whether reasonable cause exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred.

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Q: Does an EEOC investigator interview me regarding my allegations?

A: Whether an EEOC investigator will interview the individual who filed the EEOC complaint depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. However, EEOC claimants can always request an interview with the EEOC investigator who is handling their case. When such a request is made, the EEOC investigator generally will interview the EEOC claimant. Through an opportunity to tell his or her story directly to the EEOC investigator, an interview enables the EEOC investigator to gain a more comprehensive understanding the claimant’s allegations and elicit information that undermines the credibility of the employer’s response to the claimant’s allegations. Thus, providing information to the EEOC investigator in the context of an interview can be critical in the EEOC’s assessment as to whether reasonable cause exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred. When an EEOC claimant is represented by an attorney during the EEOC claims handling process, the EEOC claimant has the right to have his or her attorney present during any interview with the EEOC investigator.

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Q: How long does the EEOC have to investigate my complaint?

A: Under federal employment discrimination law, the EEOC has 180 days to conduct its investigation. If the EEOC has not completed its investigation within 180 days, the individual who filed the EEOC complaint is authorized by federal employment discrimination law to request that the EEOC cease its claims handling process and issue a right-to-sue letter. A right-to-sue letter is the document issued by the EEOC that authorizes the individual who filed a complaint with the EEOC to file an employment discrimination lawsuit.

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Q: Can my case settle while pending before the EEOC?

A: Yes. An employment discrimination case can settle at any time, including while pending before the EEOC. Prior to completing its investigation and issuing a right-to-sue letter, the EEOC has the authority to encourage the parties to engage in settlement negotiations and to facilitate a settlement of the case on terms that are mutually agreeable to the parties. Generally, the EEOC investigator handling the case is the individual who ascertains whether there is a basis for settlement and attempts to facilitate a settlement. The EEOC also has a mediation program which the agency uses to facilitate the settlement of pending cases. Mediation is conducted by an EEOC Mediator and involves an in-person meeting with the parties where the EEOC Mediator endeavors to facilitate a settlement of the case on terms that are mutually agreeable to the parties.

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Q: How does the EEOC authorize me to file an employment discrimination lawsuit?

A: The EEOC authorizes the filing of employment discrimination lawsuit by issuing a right-to-sue letter. A right-to-sue letter is issued by the EEOC under either of two circumstances: (1) the EEOC has completed its investigation and made a determination as to whether reasonable causes exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred; or (2) the EEOC has not completed its investigation or made a determination as to whether reasonable causes exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred, but the individual who filed the complaint has requested right-to-sue letter. When right-to-sue letter is issued after the EEOC has completed its investigation and made a determination as to whether reasonable causes exists to believe that an unlawful employment practice has occurred, the right-to-sue letter will set forth the EEOC’s determination. Once issued by the EEOC the right-to-sue letter establishes that the individual bringing an employment discrimination lawsuit has filed a complaint with the EEOC and is authorized to bring an employment discrimination lawsuit. Once a right-to-sue letter is issued by the EEOC, the individual who filed the EEOC complaint must file an employment discrimination lawsuit within 90 days from the date of receipt of the right-to-sue letter

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Q: Am I protected from retaliation for filing a complaint with the EEOC?

A: Yes. Under federal employment discrimination law, employees are protected from retaliation when they file a complaint against an employer with the EEOC. Federal employment discrimination law also protects employees from retaliation when they provide information to the EEOC relating to their complaint, including any information provided to the EEOC during its investigation into the complaint. For example, an employee is protected from retaliation for any allegations or statements made to the EEOC investigator during the course of an interview. Moreover, employees are protected from retaliation when they inform their employer that they intend to file a complaint with the EEOC—even if they change their mind and ultimately do not file a complaint with the EEOC.

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Q: Does retaliation protection include participating in an internal investigation into my EEOC complaint?

A: Yes. Once an employee files a complaint with the EEOC, employers will often conduct an internal investigation into the employee’s allegations set forth in the EEOC complaint. As part of its internal investigation, an employer generally will interview or otherwise seek to elicit information from the employee regarding the allegations in the EEOC complaint. Under federal employment discrimination law, employees are protected from retaliation regarding any allegations or statements, whether oral or written, made during an employer’s internal investigation into their pending EEOC complaint.

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Q: What should I do if I experience retaliation after filing an EEOC complaint?

A: If you have an attorney, you should promptly notify your attorney of any retaliation you have experienced since filing a complaint with the EEOC. If you do not have an attorney, you should promptly notify the EEOC investigator handling your case of any retaliation against you for filing an EEOC complaint. Your attorney or the EEOC investigator will be able to take the necessary steps to preserve and protect your rights. Generally, claims that arise after the filing of the original complaint with the EEOC require the filing of another EEOC complaint setting forth the new claim. Thus, if an employer has retaliated against you for filing the original EEOC complaint, it is generally necessary to file another EEOC complaint regarding the alleged acts of retaliation. For example, if you believe that you were denied promotion or fired in retaliation because of the original EEOC complaint, you are generally required to file a second EEOC complaint alleging the retaliatory failure to promote or the retaliatory termination. Thus, if you do not have an attorney, you should inform the EEOC investigator handling your case that you would like to file another EEOC complaint regarding the retaliation you have experienced.

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Q: Does the EEOC file lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims?

A: Yes. As part of its statutory mission to eliminate unlawful discriminatory employment practices from the American workplace, the EEOC endeavors to protect and vindicate the rights of employment discrimination victims by filing lawsuits on their behalf. In filing lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims, the EEOC also seeks to deter employers from engaging in unlawful discriminatory employment practices and punish those employers who subject their employees to unlawful discriminatory employment practices.

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Q: Can I reasonably expect the EEOC to file a discrimination lawsuit on my behalf?

A: Although the EEOC is authorized by federal employment discrimination law to file a lawsuit on your behalf, individuals who file complaints with the EEOC should not expect the EEOC to ultimately file an employment discrimination lawsuit on their behalf. Because the EEOC is grossly underfunded by the U.S. Congress, the EEOC has limited resources to pursue employment discrimination lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims. Based on statistics generated by the EEOC, the EEOC only takes about one percent of the cases filed with the EEOC to court. Because of the scarcity of the EEOC’s resources, therefore, EEOC claimants have about a one percent chance that the EEOC will file an employment discrimination lawsuit on their behalf.

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Q: Does the EEOC seek to broaden the scope of federal employment discrimination law?

A: Yes. In filing lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims, the EEOC endeavors to broaden the scope of employment discrimination law and thereby expand the scope of protection afforded to employees by employment discrimination law. For example, the EEOC filed a lawsuit, U.S. E.E.O.C. v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, 884 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2018), on behalf of an employee claiming that she was unlawfully fired in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) because of her transgender status. In that case, Aimee Stephens (Stephens) worked at Harris Funeral Homes in Garden City, Michigan. When she got the job, Stephens presented as a male. In her sixth year with the company, Stephens wrote a letter to her employer explaining that she planned to “live and work full-time as a woman” after she returned from an upcoming vacation. The funeral home fired her before she left for vacation, telling her “this is not going to work out.”

When the EEOC filed the lawsuit, every federal appellate court to squarely address the issue had ruled that discrimination against employees because of transgender status did not constitute unlawful discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. Thus, when the EEOC filed the lawsuit, federal employment discrimination law did not protect Stephens from discrimination because of her transgender status. Consequently, the trial court rejected the EEOC’s argument that Title VII protected Stephens from discrimination on the basis of transgender status and dismissed the case. On appeal, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the EEOC and ruled that discrimination because of transgender status is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Thus, the EEOC successfully persuaded the Sixth Circuit to expand the scope of protection afforded to employees under Title VII. By persuading the Sixth Circuit to change long standing law, the EEOC gave life to Stephens’ discriminatory discharge claim.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020), the Supreme Court consolidated three cases for purposes of its appellate review. One of the cases before the Supreme Court was the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Harris Funeral Homes. The Bostock Court ruled that discrimination against employees because of sexual orientation or transgender status constituted sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. In overturning decades of federal court decisions authorizing discrimination against employees because of sexual orientation or transgender status, the Supreme Court affirmed the Sixth’s Circuit’s ruling that Title VII protected Stephens from discrimination because of her transgender status.

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Q: Does the FCHR file lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims?

A: No. The FCHR makes no attempt to protect or vindicate the rights of employment discrimination victims by filing lawsuits on their behalf. Nor does the FCHR make any attempt to broaden the scope of employment discrimination law, and thereby expand the scope of protection afforded to employees by employment discrimination law, by filing lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims.

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Q: Do your employment lawyers have experience handling case before the EEOC?

A: Yes. Our employment attorneys have been handling cases before the EEOC for more than two decades. During this time, our employment discrimination lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of cases before the EEOC. Through their extensive experience representing EEOC claimants, our employment lawyers possess comprehensive knowledge regarding the EEOC claims handling process. Our dedicated EEOC claims attorneys will assist you at every stage of the EEOC claims handling process, including complaint preparation, investigation, interview preparation, mediation, and settlement negotiation. If your case does not settle while pending before the EEOC, our employment discrimination lawyers will commence litigation on your behalf by filing your employment discrimination lawsuit in Florida state or federal court.

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Do You Have More Questions?

Contact Our Ocala, FL EEOC Representation Lawyers

If you have more questions regarding the EEOC claims handling process, please contact our office to speak with our Marion County, Florida EEOC representation attorneys. You will never have to pay to speak with an employment law attorney here. We can help you take action to protect and vindicate your employee rights. We take employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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