Skip to Content

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work
4 young adults at work

Why do you need to know about the EEOC?

EEOC can help you answer many job-related questions.

EEOC can answer questions about job discrimination even if you do not want to file a formal complaint. For example, we can explain whether your manager is allowed to do certain things under the law. We also can talk to you about whether certain types of behavior are appropriate in the workplace.


EEOC can help you solve workplace problems.

Sometimes, your employer may not adequately address a discrimination issue that you raise with them. In other cases, you may be too scared to bring certain discrimination issues to your employer's attention. If you come to us, we can discuss the situation and you can decide whether or not to file a formal complaint. If we believe that the conduct you're complaining about is not illegal under our laws, we can put you in touch with other government agencies or organizations that may be able to help you.


EEOC can help you file a job discrimination lawsuit.

If we believe your employer is violating the law, we can sue in court to fix the problem. Even if we decide not to sue, we can give you the right to take your claim to court. In general, you cannot file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer without first coming to us. There is one exception: if you believe that you have been paid differently than someone of the opposite sex who does the same work because of your sex (a violation of the Equal Pay Act), you may go directly to court without first filing a charge of discrimination with EEOC. However, these types of cases may also involve a violation of a different law that prohibits sex discrimination (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), and you are not allowed to file a Title VII lawsuit without first coming to EEOC. As a result, you may want to file a charge with EEOC before going to court


EEOC can help you make the workplace better for everyone.

If you report illegal job discrimination to us and file a formal complaint, we will review the information you shared with us and information provided by your company to determine whether illegal discrimination may have occurred or whether additional information is needed. If we determine that illegal discrimination may have occurred, we can work to make sure that your employer does not do the same thing to you or to someone else in the future. We can require employers to develop fairer job policies, train managers and other employees about discrimination, and obtain compensation for anyone who was treated unfairly. This makes the workplace a better place for you, your sisters and brothers, your friends, and your community.


EEOC can help you succeed as an employee and as a manager.

As a young worker, you may be working in an entry-level job. But that won’t always be the case. If you work hard and do a good job, you may be promoted to a higher level position. Someday, you may be a manager or a business owner. In that position, it is very important that you understand your rights and responsibilities at work, so you can prevent discrimination from occurring and respond appropriately if necessary.

Even now, as an entry level worker, you can help prevent discrimination by acting professionally at work and reporting discrimination to your manager, your parents, your teacher, or another trusted adult. You can also contact EEOC. Finally, you can also make sure that your friends and family understand their rights and responsibilities at work, and encourage them to talk to a manager or to EEOC if they have questions or concerns