Before You File a Complaint:
Keep good written records of dates, times, and details of any incidents or practices that you feel constitute discrimination due to your IBS. Paper records will help to substantiate your claim, and will carry more weight in an investigation than your personal recall.
Don't be afraid to file a complaint if you truly believe that your rights have been violated. Employers are forbidden by law to retaliate against you due to a discrimination claim.
How Do I File a Complaint?:
You will need to contact the EEOC so as to file a claim of employment disability discrimination. This can be done at any EEOC field office. A listing of offices can be found by clicking here or by calling 1-(800)-669-4000 (TTY: 1-(800)-669-6820). In some cases, the EEOC may refer you to a local or State agency who has jurisdiction over your case.
When Must the Claim Be Filed?:
What Happens After I File a Claim?:
Within ten days of filing a claim, your employer will be notified. At that point, it is likely that mediation will be recommended. In the process of medation, you and your employer will meet with a mediator to try to resolve your complaint.
If mediation is not indicated, or is not successful, your claim will be sent for investigation. Over the course of investigation, information will be gathered through interviews and through the gathering or pertinent documentation. The EEOC has the power to subpoena information if your employer is not cooperating with the investigation.
If a violation is found, the EEOC will work on your behalf to try to reach a settlement with your employer.
Am I Entitled to Sue?:
If a voluntary settlement cannot be reached with your employer, the EEOC will refer your case to their own legal department, or in some cases, the U.S. Department of Justice, to evaluate whether or not a lawsuit should be initiated. If they believe that a lawsuit is warranted, these agencies will handle the litigation.
Should the EEOC decline to pursue litigation, you will be given a "Notice-of-Right-to-Sue", at which point you could pursue your own personal lawsuit. In order to file a lawsuit in federal court, you must have already made a claim with the EEOC and received the "right-to-sue" notice.
Note: Discrimination claims against federal agencies follow a different process. See Overview Of Federal Sector EEO Complaint Process