Allegations of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation can have an impact that ranges far beyond the costs of dealing with the claim of one individual employee. Even when an equal employment opportunity (EEO) claim is non-compensable, it can negatively impact a company’s reputation, and the allegations may still be indicative of systemic issues that need to be addressed promptly in order to avoid exposure to litigation and even class action litigation. As a result, all EEO (e.g., discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, etc.) claims need to be taken seriously and should be used as opportunities to educate your workforce about proper workplace practices.
At Levy, Sibley, Foreman & Speir, LLC, we represent and advise employers of all sizes to ensure equal opportunity compliance and risk reduction. We also represent employers and insurance companies in defending against EEOC charges, complaints, and lawsuits. If you are facing allegations of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or fostering/allowing a hostile work environment, then we can help you protect your company’s assets and implement policies and procedures to mitigate/reduce the risk of future claims.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal law enforcement agency tasked with enforcing a large number federal laws that are intended to prevent and provide accountability for wrongful employment-related discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
These laws include, but are not limited to:
These and other laws operate in tandem to prohibit employers from making employment decisions or providing disparate treatment to employees on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, and/or other protected classifications. Employers can also be held financially responsible for the discriminatory, harassing, and/or hostile acts of their employees.
In almost all cases, employees alleging workplace discrimination are required to initially file their claim with the EEOC. Generally this claim must be filed within 180 days of the alleged offense, though the filing period may be extended to 300 days under certain circumstances.
Once an employee files a claim/charge with the EEOC, the employer generally has two options:
Before responding, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation and make sure you have a complete understanding of the facts at hand. The response will weigh heavily upon the EEOC investigator’s deliberations and decision-making, which can set the course for the remainder of the proceedings relating to the employee’s claim.
Our team of experienced attorneys has over 75 years of combined experience representing employers and insurance companies in employment-related disputes. We can advise you on the proper steps to take after receiving notice that an employee has filed a claim with the EEOC. Discrimination cases are complex and often require a delicate touch. We are familiar with the repercussions of EEO claims and can help you ensure that you respond to them appropriately.
Levy, Sibley, Foreman & Speir, LLC is a law firm comprised of AV-rated attorneys who represent high-profile companies in legal matters throughout Georgia and Alabama. If your company is facing allegations of workplace discrimination, let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Contact us today to get started.