After filing an EEOC charge, beware of your surroundings because they change drastically. I warn you of this because enduring a fact-finding investigation will alter your life and alter your relationships drastically. If I’d known that filing a workplace violation charge would negatively affect my relationship with my daughter, I would not have filed one because the relationship between my daughter and me is my most important relationship. Therefore, the effect my workplace violation charge had on my daughter is most regrettable. Here are 3 ways the EEOC and my employer, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), interfered with me raising my daughter:
- In retaliation for filing a charge against my employer, the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency routinely withheld child support checks for months. As a single mother, I needed those checks, but the Ohio agency would withhold the checks for as much as 6 months at a time as penalty for me filing a workplace violation charge against the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, my former employer. This increased my anxiety and plunged me further into major depression.
- Prior to receiving disability retirement from Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), I filed for workers’ compensation. Since I worked there, I knew exactly what was required to receive payments. Yet, my employer delayed payments in spite of medical documentation. This increased my anxiety and plunged me further into depression. I was so overwhelmed, I found it difficult to get out of bed most mornings, and I found it difficult to explain my moods to my school age daughter. I can’t tell you how many times I tried cleaning my house but lacked the energy to do so. This was embarrassing to my daughter because I wouldn’t permit her friends to visit.
- As part of their harassment of me, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation approached my neighbors and friends in a bid to obtain dirt on me. One neighbor asked me if I really was a prostitute. This not only angered me, but it horrified me because he said he obtained the information from BWC investigators. Since I was no longer working for BWC, I had no understanding that this was continuous retaliation.
I blame the EEOC for dereliction of duty. Had the agency performed their due diligence, the state of Ohio would have failed in its efforts to destroy me. Even though I’ve now risen from the ashes, I still feel the burn. The EEOC should have known that my employer, the state of Ohio, was continuously retaliating against me.
In the years after filing that first charge, I learned that every employee should familiarize his or herself with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the employee familiarizes his or herself with the laws, they would never endure what I’ve endured. Until the next time . . .