The power imbalance between you and an employer can be the worst feeling when you’ve suffered workplace discrimination.
Please know that you have the right to seek justice if your boss mistreats you.
If you’re a victim of workplace discrimination, you can file a complaint against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Filing an EEOC complaint can be daunting, so we imagine you want to know some strategies for how to win an EEOC complaint before you start the process.
There are no guarantees when you begin any fight in the legal arena, but if you follow the seven tips below, you can significantly increase your chances at a legal victory against a discriminatory employer.
Step 1: Quickly Gather and Organize All Related Documents
If you want to win an EEOC complaint, you have to be able to prove that your boss retaliated against you for discriminatory reasons.
You also have to prove you suffered a loss if you want to recover as much as possible in the complaint process.
To prove that your employer engaged in discrimination and you suffered a loss, you’ll need to gather the following documents:
- Work contracts,
- Performance reports,
- Pay stubs,
- Job search records,
- Unemployment records,
- Employee handbooks, and
- Employer correspondence.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a good idea of what you should look for when building your case.
When collecting these documents, make sure you’re not violating any employer policies against taking company property.
You don’t want your employer to have any complaints against your tactics when you seek to hold it accountable for its actions.
If you no longer work for your employer, remember that you have the right to receive your personnel file after you make a written request.
Step 2: Hire an Attorney That Specializes in Employment Law in California
Filing a discrimination complaint is rarely easy.
Proving your case can be difficult, and your employer will likely have its own legal team.
Even if you know that your issues at work are the result of unlawful conduct, it can be hard to identify when the wrongful conduct occurred. You can fix this issue by hiring your own representation.
An experienced employment law attorney can quickly identify the laws your employer has violated and make the most compelling arguments on your behalf.
You might have only 180 days to file a complaint, so you should contact an attorney immediately after an incident.
Step 3: Give Your Attorney All the Details
It’s important to tell your attorney every detail you can about your workplace dispute. With more information, your attorney can build a stronger case.
With more background, your attorney might be able to identify more than one act of discrimination committed by your employer.
With more details, your attorney might also be able to recognize discrimination in employer actions that appear legal on the surface.
Just because your employer didn’t say something blatantly discriminatory doesn’t mean you can’t win a discrimination complaint.
Many employers use pretexts to justify their unlawful actions.
This means that many employers give lawful—but fake—reasons for their actions to hide their true, discriminatory intentions.
But with enough details about your workplace situation in hand, an attorney can easily see through and expose bogus justifications for unlawful actions.
Step 4: Understand Your Employer’s Policies
A fake reason (or pretext) that your employer might give for disciplining you is your alleged violation of a policy.
Don’t let your employer get away with this. It’s essential to understand your employer’s policies so they can’t use them as an excuse for illegal behavior.
If you violated a policy, discipline against you might be discriminatory if your employer didn’t discipline others who violated the same policy.
Step 5: Identify Witnesses
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have emails or other written documents to prove that your employer discriminated against you.
Your testimony and the testimony of other witnesses can win your case. If the witnesses you know are current employees of your discriminatory employer, they might hesitate to testify.
This means that you should identify as many witnesses as possible to increase your chances of finding someone willing to testify.
Step 6: Practice with Your Attorney
The testimony you give about your employer’s unlawful behavior might be the most robust evidence in your case.
When you testify, you want to make sure you include all the important facts about your experience.
An excellent way to make sure you include everything in your testimony is to practice testifying with your attorney.
Your attorney can also prepare you for potentially harsh cross-examination from your employer.
This preparation can help you avoid traps your opponent might set at a hearing.
Step 7: Figure Out What You Want as Quickly as Possible
You have a better chance of getting justice in a workplace discrimination case if you can tell your employer and the judge precisely what remedies you’re seeking.
Having clear demands might convince your employer or a judge to give you what you want.
If your evidence is relatively strong and your demands are reasonable, you might be able to avoid an expensive and stressful hearing by resolving your case during a preliminary mediation.
Our Attorneys Have the Inside Knowledge to Win Justice on Your Behalf
If you want to know how to win an EEOC discrimination complaint in California, contact our attorneys at Workplace Rights Law Group.
Our attorneys have represented employers in the past, so we know how to successfully beat their tactics in discrimination cases.
Our attorneys in Riverside and Glendale have more than seven decades of combined experience.
You can use our knowledge and background to take hold of the relief you deserve in a workplace dispute.