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How to file an employment discrimination complaint

Kansas City workers who believe they have been discriminated against on the job or by an employment agency or labor union due to "race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information," or for other suspected reasons can take legal action.

The process begins by filing a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In Kansas City, the office is located in the Gateway Tower II at 400 State Ave., Suite 905.

The office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those wishing to discuss the possibility of filing charges can come by between 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Questions can be answered by calling the EEOC's National Contact Center at 800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TTY). Correspondence should be directed to EEOC, Gateway Tower II, 400 State Avenue, Suite 905, Kansas City, KS 66101.

No appointment is necessary, but it's helpful to call ahead to verify jurisdiction and make sure you will have enough time to discuss your case. A typical meeting lasts one or two hours and in some circumstances, arrangements can be made to do an initial interview by phone. Interpreters can also be provided if advance notice is given.

Workers need to know that, with the exception of discrimination matters related to the Equal Pay Act, no litigation can ensue until a charge has been filed with the EEOC. Because there are time limits for filing charges, the agency should be immediately made aware of all cases of suspected discrimination.

The eligibility screening will be done on the first visit, but the public may also take an online assessment or fill out a questionnaire that's mailed in and evaluated. An EEOC representative will interview applicants and ask about the allegations, determine jurisdiction and ascertain whether there is evidence to support the charges.

In cases where the alleged discrimination is not covered by the EEOC, the agency is a good source of other resources that may be available to workers.

Some information that you must provide is below.

-- Your personal information

-- Name, address and number of the entity or individual being charged in the complaint and the estimated number of employees

-- Information regarding the charge, including dates and witnesses

Make sure your rights are protected by filing your complaint within the time limits allowed by law.

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Filing a Charge with this Office" Aug. 25, 2014

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