The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has advised that it is continuing to enforce the nation’s employment non-discrimination laws while ensuring that all of its activities are consistent with public health guidelines.
The EEOC has closed its physical offices to the public and implemented agency-wide expanded telework. The work of the agency continues remotely, across the private and federal sectors, and in efforts to educate the public about their workplace rights and responsibilities. The EEOC’s private sector litigation continues, in accordance with the rules of the courts where the cases are filed.
The EEOC notes that preserving access to file a charge of discrimination is important because the laws the EEOC enforces have deadlines within which individuals must file discrimination charges.
To begin the process of filing a charge of discrimination, employees and applicants are encouraged to visit the EEOC Public Portal to schedule an intake appointment by telephone.
The system can also be accessed by going directly to the website at www.eeoc.gov.
Anyone who cannot use the portal can call the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 to begin the process of filing a charge.
At the end of an investigation the EEOC will issue a Notice of Right to Sue (Notice) to charging parties. Once you receive a Notice, you must file your lawsuit within 90 days. This deadline is set by law and cannot be changed by the EEOC.
If you do not file in time you may be prevented from going forward with your lawsuit.
Employers are encouraged to utilize the EEOC Public Portal to interact with the agency.
Information about reaching an EEOC field office is available at https://www.eeoc.gov/field/index.cfm.
The EEOC continues to provide leadership and guidance to federal agencies on all aspects of the federal government’s equal employment opportunity program.
It also works with parties where requests for hearings on EEO complaints have been filed. Adjudicating appeals from administrative decisions made by federal agencies on EEO complaints is also a part of the agency’s services.
To communicate more efficiently with federal employees and agencies regarding the appeal process, employees in the federal sector EEO process are encouraged to file requests for hearings and appeals electronically through the EEOC Public Portal. Use the FedSep portal to send documents and other materials to the EEOC.
To access an appeal online and allow the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations to adjudicate your appeal, you first need to register with the EEOC Public Portal.
The EEOC recently made COVID-19-specific publications available on its website, including the “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19” and “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act”.
The EEOC last updated the COVID-19 “What You Should Know” on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and the Pandemic Preparedness document on COVID-19 on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
The EEOC also posted a pre-recorded, online webinar addressing questions involving the intersection of the Federal equal employment opportunity laws and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach the EEOC by videophone at 1-844-234-5122. If you have a disability which prevents you from accessing the Public Portal or you otherwise have difficulty with accessing the portal, call 1-800-669-4000.
The agency said it will continue assessing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its activities and will provide updates to the public as soon as possible.