Filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an important step for people who have been discriminated against at work. Victims trust the EEOC to thoroughly investigate claims of workplace discrimination, but this is not always the case. Some Wisconsin workers might have already had to deal with their cases being closed without any type of investigation.

The EEOC categorizes claims as either low or high priority. Starting in 2008, the EEOC doubled the number of complaints that it categorized as low priority. Many of these claims would have once been categorized as a higher priority and as such would have been investigated as needed, but the low priority designation is a much different story. The EEOC rarely performs probes or attempts at mediation for claims fall into the lowest-priority track.

According to the EEOC, its limited resources have made it difficult to fully investigate many of the claims that it receives. This is why it is categorizing fewer of those complaints as high priority. While categorizing fewer complaints as high priority might be good for the EEOC’s processing time, it is not good for workers. In 2018, only 13% of EEOC complaints concluded with either a settlement or another form of relief.

Victims should be able to trust that the EEOC will take their complaints of workplace discrimination seriously, but this is rarely the case. Some workers in Wisconsin may worry that this means they have no hope for any type of recourse or options for holding their employers accountable. For these victims, pursuing a civil claim may be the most appropriate course of action in this situation.