The importance of filing a complete EEOC charge
Written by our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach
An employee who wants to initiate a discrimination lawsuit must “exhaust” his or her administrative remedies. In many cases, this means going to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and filing a “Charge of Discrimination.”
The charge must contain facts to support the claim of discrimination. That means that you cannot just check a box on a form; you must make sure that your Charge contains sufficient facts to support your allegation. If you do not do this, you will likely be prevented from raising those claims later in court.
For more than a decade, our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach have handled discrimination lawsuits for individuals throughout Hampton Roads, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.
The mistake of making an allegation without sufficient facts is most often made when an employee wants to charge discrimination against their employer based upon a variety of theories.
For example, in Bellounis v. Middle-East Broadcasting Network, Inc., the plaintiff employee claimed in her lawsuit that she was discriminated on the basis of her religion, sex, age, and disability. Her Charge of Discrimination checked the boxes for all of those categories. However, there were no facts in the charge that supported her claim of religious discrimination. The claim of religious discrimination was dismissed because of her deficient Charge of Discrimination.
Also, you need to know what facts are required to be asserted for each charge. For instance, to establish a case of sex discrimination, the employee must show:
1) that the employee is a member of a protected class
2) suffered an adverse employment action
3) that the job performance met the employer’s legitimate expectations
4) that the position was filled by someone outside of the protected class
Failure to allege necessary elements at the beginning of your claim can lead to a charge getting dismissed.
Before you go to the EEOC, it will benefit you to meet with an employment lawyer.
If you are searching for experienced employment lawyers with proven results, please call us at (757) 432-2500 or use our online form below.
Employment lawyers in Virginia Beach serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and all of Hampton Roads.