October 18, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- New Rules for Discrimination Claims Against Federal Employers
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new rules recently that modify the complaint process for people who believe they have been subjected to employment discrimination by a federal agency. The revisions are the first major changes to the EEOC complaint process for the federal sector since 1999.
The changes apply both to employees of federal agencies as well as those who believe they have been illegally denied employment with a federal agency as a result of illegal discrimination.
Improving the EEOC Complaint Process
The new rules contain a number of provisions that the EEOC hopes will streamline the process of filing and processing claims and allow claims to be resolved more quickly. Under the revised rules, for instance, a federal agency that is unable to complete an investigation within the 180-day time limit must provide written notice to the claimant, informing him or her that the investigation is not complete and indicating an estimated date of completion. The notice must also inform the claimant of his or her right to request a hearing or file a lawsuit immediately.
Another provision of the new rules requires agencies to submit their complaint files and appeals to the EEOC electronically unless they show that they have a valid reason not to do so. Claimants are encouraged, but not required, to submit documents in digital form. In addition, the new rules permit the EEOC to issue notices to agencies at which non-compliance has been found and has gone uncorrected.
Other changes to the rules affect different aspects of the complaint process. For instance, under the new rules, an administrative judge's ruling on the merits of a class complaint is a final decision, whereas in the past it had been merely a recommended decision. Once an administrative judge issues a final decision, an agency must now either accept or appeal the decision. In the past, an agency was permitted to accept, appeal or modify the judge's recommendation.
Pilot Program Generates Some Skepticism
One of the more controversial aspects of the new rules is a provision permitting agencies to conduct pilot projects that modify the complaint processing procedures from those laid out in the rules. An agency wishing to conduct a pilot project must first obtain approval from the EEOC. Some critics believe that the temporary nature of a pilot program, combined with the complexity of existing laws, may create confusion about the complaint process for both employers and employees.
Employees of federal agencies who believe they have experienced illegal discrimination in the workplace are encouraged to discuss the situation with an experienced employment lawyer to learn about their rights and the legal options that may be available.
Article provided by Elkus & Sisson, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.denveremploymentlawattorney.com/---
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
# # #Read more Press Releases from FL Web Advantage: