How Immigrants Can File An Employment Discrimination Charge — Part VI

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How To File An Employment Discrimination Charge

#MondayLawSeries

Employment discrimination is a severe offense in the United States. Therefore, if you notice any form of discrimination from your employer, you should fight back by filing an employment discrimination form.

As an African immigrant, it’s normal to feel nervous during the filing process — that’s okay.

However, what’s NOT okay is staying quiet without seeking help. And in this article, we will show you how to do just that.

Here are fundamental things you should know about filing an employment discrimination charge.

  1. Filing A Charge — What does it mean?

When you initiate a charge with the Office Of Special Counsel (OSC), you’re officially inviting the OSC to look into your claims, and determine if your employer is genuinely discriminating against you.

The OSC charge form can be found here.

Once you’ve filled the form and faxed it to the OSC, your charge becomes official, and the OSC would look into it.

  1. When Should You File A Discrimination Charge?

Once you notice any form of discrimination, file a charge!

For your charge to be valid, you’re required to file a charge within 180 days.

Here’s the catch…

The law permits you to file a charge even if you’re not sure of your claims.

The thing is, your responsibility is to file a charge when you notice an unfair treatment by your employer — even if you’re not sure of your claims.

Yes! It’s that simple.

However, if the 180 days elapse, your charge maybe rendered invalid.

But in situations where you’ve got a reasonable excuse (like circumstances beyond your control), your charge could go through.

Action key — File your charge within 180 days.

  1. Will Your Employer Find Out You Called The OSC?

Yes and No.

It depends on how you handle it.

When you call the OSC, the agency may call the target employer. However, you can inform the OSC NOT to use your name.

This way, an attorney will call your employer without mentioning your name during the conversation. And the employer won’t know that you’ve called the OSC.

When you call, you’d be required to answer a couple of question on why you think you’ve been maltreated.

In cases where the OSC won’t be of much help, the OSC staff will direct you to other agencies that are built to handle your unique issue.

The thing is other laws protect immigrants from unfair wages, ill labor practices, hour violations, and other unsafe workplace conditions. And there are specialized agencies created to protect immigrant workers from workplace discrimination like sex, race, disability, age, and religion.

If the OSC can help you, you’d be required to provide personal information like a name (which you may choose NOT to produce).

Whatever your decision may be, the OSC can initiate an investigation to verify your discrimination claims.

  1. Are you afraid? Here’s what to do.

It’s normal to feel nervous and scared before filing a discrimination charge. After all, your employer may fire you or retaliate in other ways.

But that won’t be the case.

When you file a charge, you’re protected by law from any form of employer retaliation like loss of job and other retaliation techniques.

Furthermore, should you choose to file a discrimination charge, your charge won’t affect your job hunt in the future.

If you’re still skeptical, you should discuss your concerns with the OSC staff.

As an immigrant, you can also identify with local agencies and legal organization in your community.

These communities usually offer assistance and help to people with employment discrimination issues.

Are you experiencing any form of unfair treatment in your workplace? Do you want to file a charge?

Use the comment section to share your challenges with us.

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