The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal equal employment opportunity laws. If you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the workplace, you need an experienced EEOC representation lawyer at your side.
At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, we regularly assist workers throughout New Jersey with EEOC claims. When you become our client, we will explain the process and help you submit a compelling claim. We have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes in mediation and court proceedings. Contact our office today for a consultation.
Representing New Jersey Workers in EEOC Claims
The EEOC is a federal agency established under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The EEOC is tasked with interpreting and enforcing Title VII and other federal anti-discrimination laws, including:
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
These laws prohibit employers from making employment decisions (hiring, compensating, promoting, terminating) based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy, age (40 and older), sexual orientation, and gender identity. In addition, sexual harassment is considered an unlawful form of sex-based discrimination under Title VII.
Before filing an employment discrimination lawsuit, it is necessary to file a complaint with the EEOC. The Commission will investigate the claim, determine whether it has merit, and work to resolve the claim through the mediation process.
Filing a New Jersey EEOC Discrimination Claim
There are several requirements for filing a claim with the EEOC claim. First, the employer must have at least 15 employees for most claims. For age discrimination cases, however, the threshold is 20 employees. In addition, the claimant must be an employee, job applicant, or former employee, and the claim must be filed within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
Notably, independent contractors cannot file claims with the EEOC because they are not considered employees. Also, employees under 40 years of age are not covered under the ADEA. However, these workers may have legal remedies under New Jersey Law.
If you believe your employment rights have been violated, our skilled EEOC representation lawyer will help you navigate the claims process. After receiving the complaint, the EEOC will investigate the allegations. The Commission will request a statement from your employer as well as additional information, such as personnel files and employment policies. Your employer may also be asked to permit an on-site visit and to participate in witness interviews.
If the Commission finds reason to believe that discriminatory conduct has occurred, it will first seek to resolve the claim through an informal mediation process. If mediation is not successful, the EEOC may decide to bring a civil action against your employer in federal court.
Alternatively, if the Commission finds no reason to believe the allegations, or decides not to bring a civil action itself, the EEOC will provide you with a “right-to-sue” notice. This notice gives you the right to file a lawsuit against your employer in federal court.
The EEOC Mediation Process
An EEOC mediation is a voluntary process. An EEOC representative will schedule sessions with a trained mediator – typically a licensed employment lawyer or human resources professional. The mediator will act as a neutral third party and guide both parties to an agreement. The mediator does not offer legal advice, however. So it is essential to have an experienced EEOC representation lawyer in your corner.
A mediation session may take 3 to 4 hours, and most sessions are not adversarial. One of our attorneys will represent you throughout the mediation process and protect your employment rights. If mediation is successful, both you and your employer will enter into a legally enforceable agreement.
Available Remedies for Successful Claimants
The EEOC’s objective is to return you to the position you would have been in had it not been for the unlawful discrimination. Depending on the circumstances, you may be awarded past and future lost wages. The EEOC may also award non-compensatory remedies for any emotional distress you may have suffered. If your employer acted egregiously (e.g. not taking corrective action to address sexual harassment), the Commission may award punitive damages to punish your employer for misconduct.
Contact An Experienced New Jersey EEOC Representation Lawyer
At Castronovo & McKinney, we understand how stressful being subjected to discrimination or harassment can be. We are here to help you right this wrong by pursuing an EEOC claim. If your employer refuses to participate or the mediation process is not successful, we are fully prepared to litigate in federal court. Regardless of the forum, we will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to discuss your case in confidence with a capable EEOC representation lawyer.