The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission’s (EEOC) investigatory authority serves a greater purpose than just investigating a charge on behalf of an individual for employee rights violations such as discrimination in the workplace or harassment. In other words, the EEOC is not merely a proxy for victims of discrimination, but acts also to vindicate the public interest in preventing employment discrimination. The individual victim of wrongful termination or other types of illegal employment law practices is of course guided by a desire to remedy his or her own discriminatory treatment, whereas the EEOC is guided by the overriding public interest in equal employment opportunity asserted through direct federal enforcement. By continuing to investigate a charge of systemic discrimination even after the charging party has filed suit, the EEOC is pursuing its obligation to serve the public interest.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) controls the employment discrimination charge regardless of what the charging party decides to do. Once a charge is filed, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the EEOC is in command of the process. If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determines after investigation that there is reasonable cause to believe that a charge of employment discrimination is true, it must endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.If those efforts do not work, the EEOC may then bring a civil action against the employer in which the charging party may intervene as a matter of right. If the EEOC fails to bring such an action, the individual employee may bring an action against the employer directly.
The right-to-sue notice may also be issued to the charging party upon request or when the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been violated, yet was unable to obtain voluntary compliance, but decides not to bring an action against the employer.