Top 5 Reasons to Have an Attorney File Your EEOC Complaint
You have suffered from workplace discrimination and retaliation and now you want to fight back. Your next step is likely to file a complaint against your employer with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Below are the top 5 reasons you should hire a knowledgeable Nashville EEOC lawyer to file your complaint.
Curt Masker is a Nashville employment attorney who has successfully represented numerous workers during the EEOC charge process. If you believe you need to file an EEOC complaint, contact Curt online or at the number above right away. EEOC claims have short deadlines that can lead to you being barred from court.#1. The EEOC Is a Legal Process
Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC is just one step in a legal process that often requires filing a lawsuit in court. For this reason, employers retain defense attorneys early on to protect their legal interests. They want to deny you your day in court. Do not help them! The EEOC does not represent you, and they cannot give you legal advice in most cases.
Employment discrimination laws are notoriously complex and nuanced, and proceeding with an EEOC matter without the assistance of legal counsel may result in you being denied your day in court. Do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of during this critical, early process.#2. The Most Likely Outcome Is a Right to Sue Letter
Many employers refuse to informally resolve employee claims at the EEOC (or offer pennies on the dollar), which means the charge will be transferred to the EEOC’s Investigation division. At the end of the investigation, you will receive a Notice of Rights letter (a “Right to Sue” letter) that allows you to file a lawsuit in court.
If you wait until you receive a Right to Sue letter on your own, it can be challenging to find an attorney to file your lawsuit for you. Most experienced employment lawyers refuse to accept representation starting at the lawsuit stage for many reasons. Here’s how this scenario usually plays out. You file a charge and, about one year later, the EEOC issues a “no reasonable cause” determination along with a Right to Sue letter. Now, you have 90 days to find an attorney, let that attorney review and investigate your case, and file a lawsuit in court—a very short time for a complicated legal process. Moreover, without legal help, you or the EEOC investigator may have misunderstood your claims, checked the wrong boxes on the Charge form, or made incorrect statements during your interview. All of these mistakes could have been avoided with legal representation but may now be used against you in court and hinder an employment lawyer’s ability to help you prove your claims.
The reality is that the information and evidence you provide to the EEOC, including your emails to the investigator, may end up as evidence in court. In this way and many others, the EEOC process can impact the parties’ respective legal rights.
Every experienced employment lawyer has spoken with countless workers who regret filing a charge without the assistance of an attorney. If you believe there is any chance your claims could end up in court, you need to hire an experienced Nashville employment lawyer.#3. An Employment Attorney Knows How to Properly Value Your Case
Even if the employer agrees to EEOC mediation, it may try to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge about how an employment lawsuit is valued. Employment laws are filled with pitfalls such as the after-acquired evidence rule and duty to mitigate, which can severely decrease the value of your case even with strong evidence that the employer is liable—in other words, strong legal claims do not always translate into high case value. The employer’s lawyers are likely skilled negotiators who can use tricks and legal jargon against you to undermine your case.
Likewise, going alone through this process may result in you overvaluing your case, which can also hinder settlement negotiations. Million-dollar employment lawsuits are extremely rare, and in most cases, damages are capped by federal law.
For information about how damages work in employment cases, see How Much Is a Tennessee Employment Case Worth? Be sure to read Parts I and II.#4. Avoid Waiting for an Interview
You call the EEOC and are told that you need to schedule an interview with the agency before they can help draft your charge. The next available opening? 3 months from now. An attorney can simply file your charge and avoid the delay.#5. No Out-of-Pocket Fees
The Masker Firm accepts many EEOC cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless you win. We do not charge any separate fees to represent workers during the EEOC process.Contact a Nashville EEOC Lawyer Today
Your employer has a small army of defense attorneys working day in and day out to deny you your day in court. Do not risk helping them. Hire an experienced Nashville employment lawyer to fight back so you can rest easy knowing that your legal rights are being enforced to the full extent of the law. Contact Curt today for an online case review.