EEOC Claims Process and Civil Litigation Procedures
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is one the result of the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, also known as Title VII. The primary purpose of the EEOC is to provide employees and prospective employees with a legal recourse to ensure fair and equal consideration with respect to employment and termination. Among other things, the law prohibits employers from basing the hiring or firing of an individual on factors such as race, age, religion, national origin, color or sex. When an individual feels that his rights under Title VII have been violated, he may file a claim against the company. The following paragraphs will outline the claims process of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and also the civil litigation process from the State level to the Supreme Court. The first step in the claims process within the EEOC begins with the employee filing a claim through a local agency which handles employment discrimination claims on behalf of the EEOC. "These agencies may contract with the EEOC to be what is called a "706" agency (named for section 706 of the act). These agencies receive and process claims on discrimination for the EEOC in addition to carrying on their own state business" (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2001, p. 83). The claimant may also file a claim directly with the EEOC, however if there is a 706 agency in the area, the EEOC must defer the claim to the 706 agency and not will not act on it for 60 days. Once the EEOC receives the claim, it serves the complaint to the employer within 10 days. Under the new mediation process established after February 11, 1999, the EEOC sends both sides letters offering voluntary mediation to which each party has 10 days to respond. If they both elect to mediate, it must be conducted within 60 days for in house mediation or 45 days for external mediation. During the mediation process each side is given the opportunity to...
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