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In episode 118 of “The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with EEOC trial attorney Gina Carrillo.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal agency that was established via the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to administer and enforce civil rights laws against workplace discrimination, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
EEOC trial attorney Gina Carillo joins the show to share her experience with litigating EEOC charges. Surprisingly, over half of all charges the EEOC sees allege retaliation by the employer, which is prohibited under all the statutes under the EEOC’s jurisdiction. Some novel issues that the EEOC is currently facing include LGBT issues, discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and mental illness, which is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When there’s a complaint of discrimination, the EEOC is looking for employers to have a well-documented, thorough investigation of the complaint and for employers to take any necessary actions to discipline the person responsible for the discrimination. It’s important to provide everything you can that shows you did the right thing or that it’s a baseless charge.
Gina describes the process that happens after an EEOC charge is filed; it may be dropped based on the position statement provided by the employer, go through an investigation process, and/or end up in a conciliation process. If all that fails, then it goes to litigation in federal court. Individuals who file charges will also receive a notice of right to sue, meaning that they can retain their own counsel and file a complaint in federal court without the EEOC.
To avoid receiving charges, Gina recommends being proactive. Do some self-evaluation on your recruiting practices and the diversity of your leadership team, and consider how you can change any potential issues. It’s also important to spend time and resources educating their staff on what discrimination is, how to recognize it, and how to safely report it.
In this episode’s listener news, a listener asks whether it’s legal for a recruiter to request information on your gender and race in onboarding paperwork and why an employer might push on this. In the news, JoDee and Susan discuss McLean & Company’s 2021 HR Trends Report.
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