I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Orlando, Florida. We handle employment litigation across the state for businesses and individuals.
I’m going to talk about a few issues and scenarios surrounding the question: what can employers can expect after a discrimination complaint?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already in crisis mode looking for answers because there’s been a discrimination complaint involving your business. So let’s look at some typical issues that arise.
Call an Attorney
First, you’re going to call an attorney like me about the potential disaster, which is the discrimination complaint.
Where Was Complaint Filed?
Next, where was the discrimination complaint filed by the employee?
Was it filed with the EEOC — which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?
Was it filed internally with HR at your company?
Or was it filed through a state or county organization like the Florida Commission on Human Rights?
In any case, the process is generally going to be the same.
The process is also very similar for employers whether it’s a discrimination complaint or if it’s a harassment complaint filed.
What is the Process for Handling a Complaint?
We’ll use the EEOC as the example.
The EEOC — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — enforces federal laws that make discrimination illegal against job applicants or employees due to:
- National origin
- Genetic information
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
It May Take a Few Months to Several Years
The entire process involved in a discrimination complaint can last for a couple of months or as long as several years depending on:
—How enthusiastic is the agency about pursuing it?
—How big of a case is it?
—How complicated is it?
—How strong is the case?
—The individual personalities and initiative of the investigator assigned
What Happens Next?
Let’s take a look at the next steps:
- The employee files a complaint and you’ll hire an attorney to answer the complaint.
- The EEOC will get your statement and interview witnesses.
- The EEOC may request additional documents from you.
- The EEOC will send your statement to your employee.
- The EEOC may move forward with the case against your company.
- Or, if the EEOC doesn’t move forward, the employee may instead bring a separate civil lawsuit.
The Worst Case Scenario
The worst case scenario is when you call us and tell us that you don’t have discrimination or a harassment policy or that you don’t know what it is.
Be prepared. Talk with an attorney to get your employee policies updated.
Again, I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Florida. Let’s talk about how Bloodworth Law can help you or your business.