Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Each option gives you quite a few rights but I believe having your case heard by an EEOC admin law judge always gives the best chance at success. Specifically, if you ask the agency to issue a decision (without a hearing) and no discrimination is found, or if you disagree with some part of the decision, you can appeal the decision to EEOC or challenge it in federal district court
.But importantly, they only review the record the agency has in place, not your testimony
before a judge. So if there are things you do not believe were adequately covered in the investigation then you'll want a hearing.
On the other hand, if you request a hearing, an EEOC Administrative Judge will conduct the hearing, make a decision, and order relief if discrimination is found. You'll have the opportunity to present matters in your own light and more complete than your investigation file. Once the agency receives the Administrative Judges decision, the agency will issue what is called a final order which will tell you whether the agency agrees with the Administrative Judge and if it will grant any relief the judge ordered. The agency will have 40 days to issue the final order. It will also contain information about your right to appeal to EEOC, your right to file a civil action in federal district court, and the deadline for filing both an appeal and a civil action.
Also, it is important to note that any appeal of the EEOC finding will include only the record created. So if you do not have a hearing, anything that is not included in the file is not reviewed. Thus, in my view it is almost always better to have a hearing…even if you do not have an attorney.
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