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Making an EEOC complaint about discrimination

Often it can feel very clear that you have been discriminated against at work. Although you know that the behavior you witnessed was completely wrong, it can be hard to know exactly what to do about it.

It's important that you take action swiftly when you are in a situation where you have been discriminated against. At the same time, you should remain calm and refrain from approaching the person that you had the negative experience with. It's always better to follow procedure than to seek conflict.

How do I take action after an instance of workplace discrimination?

If you would like to take legal action in regard to the instance of discrimination, you should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is an agency that handles legal claims from a federal law perspective.

Once you have filed a charge of employment discrimination, your case will be assessed and you may receive a hearing where your charge will be heard. After this, a decision will be made.

However, the EEOC can only offer limited protections. It can provide you as the victim of discrimination with a monetary amount that is capped. You may also be able to claim punitive damages if it can be shown that your employer was malicious or intentionally hurtful in any way.

Due to criticisms of the EEOC, the law can be very volatile and there may be changes in procedure soon. If you are a victim of workplace harassment it is always a good idea to take action in order to protect yourself and others from adverse treatment.

Source: FindLaw, "Filing an EEOC Complaint or Charge," accessed March 23, 2018

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