This document contains information relating to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Law and Commission (EEOC).
Equal Employment Opportunity
If you think that an employer, employment agency, or union has discriminated against you when applying for a job or on the job because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, you may file a charge of discrimination with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC enforces the following federal laws against job discrimination:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) forbids employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older against employment discrimination based on age
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) forbids employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 provides monetary damages in case of intentional discrimination
Under Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA, it is illegal to discriminate in any area of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, assignment, transfer, promotion, layoff, recall, fringe benefits, retirement plans, leave, or any other terms or conditions of employment.
These laws forbid sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age, and pregnancy-based discrimination. It also is illegal to retaliate against and individual for filing a charge of discrimination, taking part in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices.
Title VII and the ADA cover all private employers, state, and local governments, and educational institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. The ADEA covers all private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions with 20 or more employees. These laws also cover private and public employment agencies, unions, and labor-management committees that control apprenticeship or training.
The EPA protects all employees who are covered by the Federal Wage and Hour Law. Almost all employers are covered by this act.
Title VII, the ADEA, and the EPA also apply to the federal government. In addition, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which is enforced by EEOC and incorporates the employment nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA, covers the federal government.
Filing a Charge of Job Discrimination
Any person who believes that his or her job rights have been violated has the right to file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. Also, another person, group, or agency may file a charge on behalf of someone else.
A charge may be filed by mail or in person at the nearest EEOC office. The local telephone book may have a telephone number for the closest EEOC office, listed under “US Government”. Calling 1-800-669-4000 or 1-800-669-6820 (TTY) will connect you to the nearest EEOC office. In addition, telephone numbers and information on filing a charge can be found at EEOC’s Internet Web site at www.eeoc.gov.
A charging party is responsible for keeping EEOC informed of any changes in his or her address or telephone number while the charge is being processed.
Kansas City Area EEOC Office
Gateway Tower II
4th & State Ave., 9th Floor
Kansas City, KS 66101
Director: Mr. George Dixon
Regional Attorney: Mr. Robert Johnson
The Kansas City Area EEOC Office is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.
Time Limits for Filing
A charge must be filed with EEOC within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation in order to protect the charging party’s rights. This 180-day deadline may be increased up to 300 days if the charge also is covered by certain state or local anti-discrimination laws. Under all laws enforced by EEOC, except the EPA, a charge must be filed with EEOC before going to court.
These time limits do not apply to complaints under the EPA. However, since many EPA complaints also raise Title VII sex discrimination issues, it may be better to file charges under both laws within the time limits given.
Processing a Charge
When a charge is filed, EEOC informs the employer within 10 days. Charges are given the most prompt attention when the facts seem to show that it is likely discrimination has occurred. Other charges will receive follow-up investigation, as resources allow, if more information is needed. Charges may also be closed at any time if EEOC believes that more investigation will not show that employment discrimination laws have been broken.
Charges may be chosen for EEOC’s mediation program if both the charging party and the employer are interested in this option. Mediation is an alternative to an investigation and may quickly resolve a charge. Participation in the mediation program is confidential and voluntary. Charge processing will resume if mediation is not successful.
EEOC may settle a charge at any time during the investigation, if both the charging party and the employer agree. If there is no early settlement, processing will continue.
After an appropriate investigation, EEOC may decide that discrimination occurred or may close the charge because the evidence does not show discrimination.
If the charge is closed, EEOC will give the charging party a “Notice of Right to Sue”.
If discrimination is found, EEOC will seek a remedy for the charging party through conciliation.
If conciliation is not successful, EEOC may file a lawsuit against the employer.
If the charging party is not satisfied with EEOC’s efforts, the charging party has the right to file his or her own lawsuit against the employer within 90 days of receiving the “Notice of Right to Sue.”
The remedies available for job discrimination may include hiring, reinstatement, reasonable accommodation, promotion, back pay, front pay, or other actions that will make an individual “whole” (the condition the person would have been in if discrimination had not occurred). Remedies also may include payment of attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
Under most EEOC-enforced laws, damages for intentional discrimination may be available for actual monetary losses, for future monetary losses, and for mental suffering and inconvenience. Punitive damages also may be sought if an employer knowingly and purposely broke the law.