I receive countless calls from Indiana employees stating that they have been wrongfully terminated, suspended, weren't hired or are being subjected to a hostile work environment. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to weed through a call until the employee gets to the crust of what happened. However, by listening and asking pertinent questions, I find that some employees have a winnable case.
I take the time to listen to every caller, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC) receives hundreds of calls, schedules several appointments a day and do not have the time to sift through information. When you file a charge you need to get straight to the point. The information you need in charge of discrimination is:
Protected Class: i.e. your race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, disability, pregnancy, religion, etc. For example, “I am a Black woman.”
Adverse Action: What did the job do to you? Typically adverse action would be, termination, suspension, demotion, retaliation, harassment or change in job and state the reason they terminated you. For example, “I was terminated for allegedly coming to work late three times”
Casual Connection: You have to prove that you experienced adverse action due to your protected class, i.e. you were fired because you are Black. There are several ways to prove adverse action but the most popular way is by comparing how you were treated to how someone outside of your protected class was treated.
You were terminated for coming to work late three times. But, your White co-worker comes to work late on a consistent basis and has never been terminated. For example, “Similarly situated Caucasian employees came to work late more than three times and they were not terminated.”
Basis for your adverse action: This is the real discriminatory basis that you must state and is usually a legal statute. For example, “I was terminated due to my race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”
This is a simple example of a charge. Of course, your situation may call for you to include more information, but it's best to keep it simple and straight to the point. If you have any questions, please contact an attorney.
If you have any questions regarding this post or any employment matter, please don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or 317-210-3416.
*The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.