Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session: Listing Reason for Discrimination in EEO Claim

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Q:

Does a discrimination claim need to list a reason for alleged discrimination?

A:

Yes, an EEO discrimination claim must list a basis for the alleged discrimination in a complaint of discrimination. The laws enforced by the EEOC (such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973) make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Thus, in order to win a claim of discrimination, a complainant must prove the reason for the alleged act of discrimination was because of a protected basis or because of retaliation for a protected activity and not because the alleged discriminating person just does not like the complainant.

This response is written by Maria N. Coleman, associate attorney of Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm.

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