Filing a charge of discrimination is crucial when discrimination leads to an employee losing his or her job. Finding out how to file a charge of employment discrimination can be especially important for seniors who have lost their job due to discrimination before they were able to retire. When an employee is let go, it is important that he or she understands what constitutes a wrongful termination before filing a charge. Keep in mind that most workplaces follow the rules of at-will employment, meaning that a senior can usually be terminated at any time with or without cause as long as the employer does not violate any laws or discriminate in its decision. When an employer does fire a senior based on his or her age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin or disability, then the worker may open a discrimination case. To file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, a senior will usually utilize the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but it is also possible to file charges with state and local organizations. Learn how to file an EEOC employment discrimination case in the sections below.
Who can file a charge of discrimination?
Before discussing how to file a charge of employment discrimination, it is important to understand that not every employer is covered by the EEOC laws. Unfortunately, filing an EEOC discrimination charge is not possible for seniors who work at companies that do not employ enough workers, but in these situations, it may still be possible to file charges with a state or local agency. The minimum number of employees varies depending on the type of workplace. For example, most private businesses will be covered by EEOC laws when they have 15 or more employees, while employment agencies are covered no matter how many workers they have. At workplaces covered by EEOC regulation, any employee, job applicant, former employee or training program participant can file a charge if they face discrimination. Before seniors file a charge of discrimination, it is important to discover the exact situations in which coverage will apply to them. Learn more about the specific EEOC coverage requirements for different types of employers by reading our guide to senior services.
Where to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge for Seniors
When asking how to file a charge of employment discrimination, seniors should note that it is possible to open a case with the EEOC or a local agency that handles discrimination issues. It is not necessary to file a charge of discrimination for seniors with the EEOC and a local group. In many cases, state and local agencies even have a partnership with the EEOC. Seniors should note that while local organizations have similar laws to those of the EEOC, it is common for these smaller groups to offer additional protection for workers facing a discriminatory termination.
How soon do I need to file a charge of discrimination?
When filing a charge of discrimination, it is important that you meet a deadline. You cannot file a wrongful termination discrimination charge if you have waited too long. It is important keep in mind that holidays and weekends are included in the time period, but your deadline will be pushed to the next business day if it happens to fall on a holiday or weekend. Furthermore, if you are filing a charge of age-based discrimination, your deadline may be longer if certain conditions apply in your state. Always be sure to check state laws as well as EEOC laws after a discriminatory termination so that you do not miss your deadline.
How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination
Remember that filing a charge of discrimination can either be completed with the EEOC or a local agency. When you file a wrongful senior termination discrimination charge with local agencies, the policies and procedures may differ from those of the EEOC. An EEOC charge can be filed online, in person or by mail. First, to file a charge online, you will simply need to enter your information on the EEOC website. Second, in-person filings can be completed at any local EEOC office. When filing a discrimination charge, you may choose to schedule an appointment, but offices also accept walk-ins. Third, filing your charge by mail is a popular option if you have a short timeframe in which to open a case. In other words, if you did not file a wrongful termination discrimination charge right away, you may want to use the mail-in method when there is a shorter amount of time remaining before your deadline. Learn what information you will need to include with your charge by reading our guide to senior services.
What Are the Steps After Filing a Charge of Discrimination?
After a filing a charge of senior discrimination, as few additional steps will occur. To start, when a senior files a wrongful termination discrimination charge, he or she may agree to mediation with his or her employer. If mediation does not solve the issue, or if a senior chose not to use this option, the case will be investigated by the EEOC. Senior may also request a right to sue their employers after opening an EEOC case. Note that there are waiting periods before an employee can sue an employer, but these are typically shorter if a senior has an age discrimination case.