Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Attorney Answer: How should I pursue my wrongful termination claim against my employer? Does the EEOC file suit for anyone that files a claim of discrimination? I was fired today – what should I do? Should I hire my own lawyer instead of filing a claim with the EEOC for my wrongful termination claim? How do I file a claim with the EEOC?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is a government agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against an employee based upon that person’s race; religion; age (over 40); disability; gender (including pregnancy); or national origin or because an employee complained about that sort of discrimination. The EEOC has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination brought against employers. If it finds that discrimination has occurred, it has the authority to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Having the auhtority to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. Just because the EEOC has the authority to file a suit on your half doesn’t mean that it will decide to do so. Actually – according to their own numbers – they almost never do. As our employment law attorneys blogged about last year at this time, the EEOC’s own 2013 Fiscal and Performance Report, the EEOC only pursued 0.13 percent of the claims filed – that is about one claim is pursued for every thousand that are filed. (See Top Employment Law Attorney: Do Not File With The EEOC Without Doing This First).
So fast forward one year, in its 2014 Performance Report, the EEOC reported that it filed only 133 “merit” suits; that is, lawsuits in which the EEOC found cause and decided to sue on behalf of an individual or group of employees. There were 88,778 charges filed with the EEOC by employees. That means that the odds of the EEOC filing suit on your behalf are about one in 1000, or 1% (133/88778=.001). So the statistic continues to hold true for another year.
Employers often complaint that the EEOC is unfair to them, but the numbers don’t lie. Your employer has a way better chance to be audited by the IRS (1 in 175 or 5 percent chance). Think about that in terms of the government’s priorities. Okay, let me make this even clearer, there is a better chance that someone in your family of three will be stuck by lightening during your lifetime than the odds that EEOC will decide to just take your claim. And, if you have a spouse and two kids, I’d heavily bet on the lightening strike over the getting the EEOC to take your case. But, taking your discrimination case doesn’t mean winning it.
Let’s go back to something that we cited about last year’s report. After taking what it believes is the very best .1 percent of cases, CNN reported that the EEOC’s highest success rate is in pregnancy discrimination cases, where it scores only a “25% success rate.” That means that there is at best a 1 in 4,000 chance (.025 percent) of you prevailing on your case if you file with the EEOC and let the EEOC handle your case. Um, okay. This means that you – personally – have a better chance to be hit by lightening in your lifetime (.033 percent) than prevailing on your EEOC claim. You have better odds of being dealt four of a kind in poker (.0256 percent); and have a way way better chance of marrying a millionaire (.465 percent) then hoping that the EEOC takes and prevails on your employment discrimination case. Not to be all morbid about it, but you have a more likely chance to die due to accidental poisoning (.77 percent), being killed as a pedestrian (.154 percent), or accidental drowning (.089 percent) than was the EEOC take and prevail on your claim.
Man, we could not pay our bills with a success rate like the EEOC. Unfortunately, the Ohio Supreme Court‘s rules on advertising prevent litigation attorneys from posting our success rate. But think about it this way, because we take all our cases on a contingency basis (which means that we do not get paid unless you get paid), we would not be in business long with a low success rate.
Before, we end this, if you have a discrimination or harassment claim against your boss, manager or employer, you should also remember that the EEOC’s litigation rules, which is like the small print in their contract, provides that “the General Counsel controls the agency’s litigation, and therefore has the authority to decide whether to settle Commission lawsuits and on what terms.” This means that if the EEOC wants to drag out the case to make a bigger point, it does not have to ask you if you agree. This means if the EEOC wants to shift its resources elsewhere, it can settle your claim for less than is fair without even asking you what you think.
If you have a question about whether you should file a charge with the EEOC, the best course of action you can take is to call the right attorney. If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 291-4744. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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