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After filing an EEOC charge, the next steps can take months

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | Employment Law (Employee)

When we think about discrimination lawsuits, some may think about victims finally getting the justice they deserve. However, what many Lancaster County and York County residents do not realize is that the wheels of justice are often slow, even at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Step 1

If you are about to file a Lebanon County charge or already filed a charge, you need to register an account on the EEOC’s Public Portal website. This is the website that the EEOC has been using since January 1, 2016, to allow victims and employers to participate in preinvestigation efforts, the investigation itself, submit evidence, make statements and responses and when, appropriate, it is even used for EEOC litigation before an EEOC administrative law judge.

Ongoing efforts

After you make the initial filing and sign up for the portal, do not forget to check it weekly. Make sure that your contact information is right. Make sure the investigator has not made any negative determinations, and make sure you respond to them, if they request additional information. Within the first couple of days, you should upload your documentation and your Cumberland County representation letter for your attorney, if they have not done so already.

First notices

Within about 10 days, the Dauphin County employer will get a notice from the EEOC investigator that you filed a discrimination charge against them. That notice will ask for their response, and then you can respond to that statement as well. In addition, within that notification, or one soon, thereafter, you will also be offered the option of EEOC Mediation.

EEOC Mediation

The EEOC Mediation process is a confidential and independent process that usually only takes a few hours, yet, it has about a 70% success rate. For many cases, it is worthwhile trying out the process, but consult with your attorney before agreeing to anything.

The investigation

Prior to initiating the investigation, the EEOC investigator will verify that the charges were appropriately filed by you and in a timely manner. This means that you filed it within the statutorily required timeframe and that the charges that you filed are ones that the EEOC has the power to enforce. If not, before they dismiss the Hershey, Pennsylvania, case, they will let you and your employer know. After the pre-investigatory review, the EEOC will begin their investigation. This will, generally, take about 10 months. And, it could happen in the office, remotely or both.