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Our Federal Partners

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal agency that works to enforce laws against workplace discrimination based on many statutes. The EEOC process starts when someone, often a job applicant or employee, files a complaint of discrimination known as an “EEOC charge” and says that an employer has unlawfully discriminated based on:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Religion;
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity);
  • National origin;
  • Age (40 or older);
  • Disability; or
  • Genetic information.

The EEOC also investigates when someone complains that an employer has retaliated because they raised concerns about discrimination, filed a charge, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Complaints about discrimination and retaliation must be filed with the EEOC within certain strict time limits. When the EEOC decides there is evidence that a state or local government employer discriminated against the employee or applicant and the EEOC’s efforts to settle the complaint are unsuccessful, the EEOC sends the charge to ELS. ELS can then decide to bring a lawsuit against the employer.

When ELS brings a lawsuit based on Title VII or the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, ELS lawyers do not represent the person or people who filed the EEOC charge. Instead, the person or people who filed the EEOC charge can get a lawyer of their own choosing, at their own expense, if they wish. If ELS decides not to bring a lawsuit about the charge, we will send a letter to the person who filed the charge, telling them they have the right to bring their own lawsuit within 90 days. To learn more about the EEOC, visit the EEOC website.

U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)

VETS receives complaints from servicemembers based on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 or USERRA. USERRA makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment based on military service or affiliation. Under USERRA, servicemembers also have the right to be reemployed to their civilian job after being on military service.

Once a servicemember files a complaint with VETS, VETS will investigate. If VETS believes the employer broke the law, it will try to settle the complaint. If that is not successful, VETS refers the complaint to ELS. ELS can then decide to bring a lawsuit against the employer, and in some cases, ELS can offer to represent the service member. To learn more about VETS or to file a USERRA complaint, visit the VETS website.

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

The OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, which makes it unlawful for federal government contractors and sub-contractors to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and its related conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity), or national origin. The OFCCP can send cases to ELS, and ELS can then bring a lawsuit. To learn more about the OFFCP, visit the OFCCP website.

U.S. Census Bureau

In partnership with a group of federal government agencies, ELS works closely with the Census Bureau to create the Equal Employment Opportunity Special Tabulation File or EEO File. The EEO File allows federal agencies to compare demographic data of an employer’s workforce with the relevant labor market in a specific geographic area and job category. Data from the EEO File allows ELS and other federal government agencies to monitor whether employers are following the law, and to enforce employment-related civil rights regulations and laws. You can view the EEO File here: Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation. To learn more, visit the Census Bureau website.

Updated June 15, 2023