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Millie42

Can the EEOC dismiss a charge based off my employer's response?

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I get the feeling that my case will be dismissed after I send my response to my employer's statement of position.

 

This case is regarding sexual harassment from my boss and hostile environment at work. Basically everyone at my workplace witnessed what was going on, but my Ex-employer's states that they did their own investigation and asked questions to all my female coworkers - but not the males- and they denied ever witnessing anything. Of course, the ex-boss is also denying.

 

I just got this letter from EEOC saying that I should respond to their statement of position and that they will render their decision after I submit my response. I don't get the feeling that they are investigating anything, it has only being 2 months and a half. About a month ago when I called the lady in charge of the case, she told me the case had now being forwarded to their enforcement unit and was going to be assigned to an investigator. That process I was told could take up to 6 months.

 

 A week later, I received a letter from the investigator who supposedly has been following the case and has already gather enough info on the case -I guess through whatever document the employer provided, along with their statement of position- They are obviously ready to close the case already.

 

I thought they would actually interview people at my workplace.

 

It just sounds to me that they are basing their decision off my employer's response and just believing everything they said.

 

I'm thinking about contacting one of the male coworker and ask if he's willing to give me his statement. I don't think the EEOC will actually investigate this as far as going to my workplace and interviewing people. Do you guys think it's a good idea?

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If the EEOC doesn't find a violation of the law, they will issue you a right-to-sue letter and you can retain counsel to sue the employer in court yourself.  Note that even if the EEOC determines wrongdoing, they would first try to obtain a settlement.  Since they don't have the staff it is very, very rare that they pursue the case beyond that. 

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If the EEOC doesn't find a violation of the law, they will issue you a right-to-sue letter and you can retain counsel to sue the employer in court yourself.  Note that even if the EEOC determines wrongdoing, they would first try to obtain a settlement.  Since they don't have the staff it is very, very rare that they pursue the case beyond that. 

 

But before I send my reply and they decide to dismiss the case, I would like to contact my ex-coworker and ask him if he's willing to write a statement for me.

I will be so pissed off if they decide to dismiss the case without even interviewing my coworkers and just basing their decision on what the employer said.

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Do what you want.  The truth of the matter is, they are not going to pursue it for you.  They're going to investigate to a point and then issue you a right to sue letter.  They haven't had the staff they need for nearly a decade.  With the huge hit they took under the sequester and the GOP, who controls the house and thus the purse strings, constantly trying to eliminate the agency entirely, it's unlikely they'll ever have enough to pursue single employer complaints anytime in the near future.  They didn't take the case against Walmart despite having received hundreds of complaints across the country from women who were denied advancement over lesser qualified men so they're not going to take a case with a single plaintiff against a much smaller private employer. 

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The eeoc does not dismiss cases,  They end their investigation and issue a right to sue letter.  This gives you 60 days to file a lawsuit against the employer. 

Edited by doucar

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I think it may help you to understand what the EEOC review process is designed to do. The reason that the law requires employees to first file a complaint with the EEOC is to give the agency a chance to review claims of discrimination and decide which of them it wants to pursue itself. It doesn’t have the resources to pursue anywhere close to all the cases in which it may appear that illegal discrimination occurred. Indeed, it takes on only small number of cases to litigate compared to the number of complaints it gets. Just to give you an idea, in fiscal year 2012, the EEOC received 99,412 complaints. In that same year, it filed 155 litigation cases.

 

So, the agency has to be selective about the cases it takes. It looks for cases that will advance the goals of the agency in enforcing the laws against illegal discrimination. So typically that means the case either has a novel issue that will help resolve something in discrimination law that the EEOC thinks is important or that the employer's conduct has been blatent enough that the EEOC will win a significant award that will have the effect of deterring other employers from engaging in similar conduct.

 

When the EEOC declines to litigate a case, it does not “dismiss it.” Instead, it simply issues a “right to sue” letter to the complaining employee. This letter does not mean that the EEOC thinks the case is either strong or weak. It just means the EEOC did not pick it to be one of the few that it chooses to litigate itself and has instead tossed the ball back to the complaining employee to decide whether to sue the employer himself/herself. You only get 90 days to file the complaint in court after that, so you need to be reasonably prepared for that when it happens. This is why getting an attorney involved early on, before the right to sue letter is issued, can be a big help.

 

Ideally, you’d have your attorney craft whatever response you send to the EEOC to ensure that you don't say anything that might undercut your lawsuit later if (as is likely) the EEOC declines to litigate this case for you and issues you a right to sue letter. If you do it yourself, though, it’s probably best to keep it fairly short and factual.

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In January 2018, I filed a charge of retaliation and sexual harassment against my employer.  It went through the processes and finally In May 2019 my case was sent to an investigator.  How long should the process take before the investigator reviews and makes a decision?  Should I contact the investigator and offer any my assistance with any information she may need?  Should I contact the investigator at all or just wait it out?

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On 8/28/2019 at 9:25 AM, Verna Prince said:

In January 2018, I filed a charge of retaliation and sexual harassment against my employer.  It went through the processes and finally In May 2019 my case was sent to an investigator.  How long should the process take before the investigator reviews and makes a decision?  Should I contact the investigator and offer any my assistance with any information she may need?  Should I contact the investigator at all or just wait it out?

Please start your own thread. THis one is six years old.

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It may not be wise to depend on the EEOC to fully represent you or investigate. In my experience with them it seems they may give priority to employment situations where many employees have suffered the type of discrimination you describe where there is a defined pattern of behavior.  You'll be better off consulting with your own employment law attorney.

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On 8/28/2019 at 8:25 AM, Verna Prince said:

In January 2018, I filed a charge of retaliation and sexual harassment against my employer.  It went through the processes and finally In May 2019 my case was sent to an investigator.  How long should the process take before the investigator reviews and makes a decision?  Should I contact the investigator and offer any my assistance with any information she may need?  Should I contact the investigator at all or just wait it out?

 

Talk to a lawyer who litigates illegal discrimination cases for employees. If the investigator wants something more from you he or she would contact you for that. If you feel the investigation is taking too long you have the right to ask the EEOC to close the investigation and issue you the right to sue letter so that you can promptly file a lawsuit against the employer for the claimed illegal discrimination. Bear in mind that the EEOC takes only a very small number of cases to litigate itself for the employee; for all the rest they get a right to sue letter at the end of the EEOC investigation. So chances are the right to sue letter is all you'll be getting anyway. If you don't want to wait for it, you can ask for it now. But have a lawyer ready to file your case when you do that. Once you get the right to sue letter you have just 90 days to file the lawsuit, as explained by the EEOC.

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