An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in cases that the EEOC typically deals with and investigates. These include wage discrimination, workplace sexual harassment, or workplace retaliation cases. However, just because the EEOC investigates these cases independently doesn’t mean you don’t need legal representation. If you have a case pending or are thinking of filing a complaint, here’s why you need an EEOC attorney to help with your case.
When the EEOC investigates your claim, this is only a small part of the legal process. Employment discrimination laws are complex and challenging for an untrained person to understand. Proceeding with legal matters without having a professional with your best interests in mind is a quick way to ensure your case doesn’t get to the lawsuit stage.
Because the EEOC doesn’t represent you, they don’t know everything about your case. This can lead to misunderstandings and issues during the interview and investigation process. If there are misunderstandings and miscommunications about the facts of your case, or if the EEOC determines that no illegal activity occurred, you can receive a “no reasonable cause” letter. If you receive this letter, you can still file a lawsuit, but you only have 90 days to do so.
At this stage, finding a lawyer to represent you is extremely difficult, as many lawyers won’t take on a case where they only have 90 days to review and investigate your case and file the lawsuit. Even if you hire a lawyer with a specific niche, such as a wage discrimination lawyer, they’ll still be wary of taking on your case. This is compounded by the fact the initial EEOC investigation usually takes around 10 months to complete. If you want to avoid wasting potentially a year of your time, you need an EEOC attorney.
As previously mentioned, an EEOC attorney can save you a lot of wasted time by telling you if the EEOC will find your case worth pursuing in the first place. However, they can also tell you if the time you’re putting into it will be worth what you get in return. For example, if you hope to receive financial compensation, but the effort and money needed to continue with litigation are too high, they may suggest you try and settle outside of court. Ultimately, an attorney will know just how much your case is worth and give you a general estimate of the compensation you can receive.
Knowing why you need an EEOC attorney for your case can help you avoid the same mistakes many other employees have made.