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The EEOC's record on discrimination

Federal law prohibits discrimination in New York workplaces based on characteristics like sex, race, national origin, disability and religion. The federal agency that oversees and enforces these laws is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, better known as the EEOC. In recent years, some individuals and organizations have begun to question the effectiveness of the EEOC in protecting the rights of workers.

Recently, a well-known human resources consultancy performed an analysis of the EEOC's record in addressing complaints. The study showed that the agency did take action in the vast majority of cases filed by workers over the past two decades. This is significant because a victim of discrimination is only permitted to file a federal lawsuit against an employer after reporting their case to the EEOC.

Analysts have noted that the current process may actively discourage victims of discrimination from pursuing their cases. They may feel that nobody will listen to them if the EEOC decides not to take action. As a result, discriminatory behavior in the workplace may go unchecked and unpunished.

Individuals who are dealing with employment discrimination and harassment in the workplace may benefit from consulting with an employment attorney. The lawyer might be able to review the client's case and make suggestions regarding the next steps.

For example, legal counsel could support the victim of discrimination and give them suggestions for documenting specific behaviors to build a better case to present to the EEOC. Even if the EEOC decides not to pursue the case, a victim may be in a better position to move forward with litigation.

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