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What happens after you file an EEOC charge?

You finally did it. You filed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  charge against your Santa Monica, California, employer, possibly on the advice of counsel or even with the help of one. Now what?

EEOC Public Portal

First, you can track your discrimination charge online through the EEOC’s Public Portal. After you create an account, you will automatically be taken to your case.

Update your information and load your documents

Be sure that your information, including your contact information, is up-to-date. You will also need to upload your representation letter for your attorney, along with all of your supporting documentation. Your lawyer can help you with gathering your information.

Within 10 days after the charge

Within 10 days of filing, the EEOC sends a charge notice to the Southern California employer. Typically, both you and the employer will be offered mediation. It is a voluntary process, where an independent, third-party mediator attempts to find a resolution before the case progresses. In many cases, mediation is recommended but it is a good idea to consult your attorney.

You didn’t choose mediation or it was not successful

If you didn’t choose mediation or it was unsuccessful, the next step is the investigation and file review. The EEOC investigator will examine your claim to see if the EEOC enforces the laws the employer potentially broke, and whether you filed your case on time and then, the EEOC will decide whether a law was violated. If they find a negative on any of these matters, they will close the charge and notify you of your options.

Preliminary steps

The EEOC will first ask the Los Angeles area employer for a response to your allegations, called the “Respondent’s Position Statement.” Once it is submitted, you will receive an email to check the Public Portal for a copy. You then have 20 days to respond. The investigator may ask additional questions of the employer.

The investigation

Every investigation is different as the investigation process will depend on the facts and what is alleged. Sometimes, they will need to visit the employer to conduct interviews, gather evidence and collect documents. Typically, the investigation process takes about 10 months.