|Who:||EEOC = the Equal Employment Opportunity Commmission|
|What:||Administrative Agency that investigates discrimination|
|Where:||US. Federal. Executive Branch.|
|How:||Statutes: Title VII, Title VIII, etc.|
Regulations: 29 CFR 1600 - 29 CFR 1695
|Why:||Combat discrimination to help form a more perfect union, and improve the general welfare|
|Who Else:||State agencies which replicate the EEOC's efforts (eg, the FCHR, etc.)|
Basically, the EEOC is a federal agency that investigates complaints of discrimination (employment, public accommodations).
People submit their complaints to the agency before filing their lawsuits.
Pertinently, the [federal] EEOC typically lets state agencies (eg, the FCHR) perform the investigations. In most instances, those state authorities make findings/determinations. For which the EEOC reviews/approves. Upon EEOC approval, litigants can access the federal court system.
Please note: many things happen between these two timepoints (ie, between filing a FEPA-intercepted EEOC charge and getting access to the federal courts).
John Doe works for Company XYZ. It dawns on him that his direct manager is sexually harassing him (by withholding promotions, raises, etc.). So, he files a complaint with the EEOC.
Immediately, though, the EEOC lets the Florida Commission on Human Relations investigate his complaint. This state agency, of course, is a FEPA; as stipulated by its Workshare Agreement with the EEOC.
After almost two years, the FCHR closes John Doe's file. At which point, he requests a substantial weight review (with the EEOC). The Federal Agency (ie, the EEOC) issues him a Right-to-Sue letter, and he takes his case to federal court. Where a jury of his peers ends up awarding him damages.
Jane Doe sues Company ABC (in state court) for denying her access to its restaurant. The Court, however, dismisses her cause of action, because she neither:
(a) filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC beforehand; nor
(b) filed a discrimination complaint with a FEPA (eg, the FCHR) beforehand.
Such a filing is a condition precedent for litigating a discrimination lawsuit.