U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Jayme Turla is interning at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this summer. Jayme will be interning alongside attorneys and investigators in enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of a person's race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability or genetic information.
July 2, 2013
My first month as an intern at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has flown by. As a government agency, the EEOC is busy with hundreds of cases. The heavy workload has granted me the opportunity to gain valuable experience in client interaction and legal analysis. By the end of my first week, I was given the responsibility to manage my own cases.
What I enjoy most about my internship is the heavy client interaction. I participated in an extensive training in order to learn investigative interviewing and client counseling skills. I have been able to interview charging parties and respondents to investigate charges of discrimination based on a person's race, sex, age, national origin, religion, or disability, and on retaliation if a person has protested one of these forms of discrimination.
The analysis skills I learned in law school play a strong role at my internship at the EEOC. I have had the opportunity to closely analyze federal statutes and apply them to the facts pertaining to my assigned cases. The relevant laws regulated by the EEOC include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Additionally, my internship provides ample opportunity to apply my legal writing skills. For each assigned case, I write recommendations to the EEOC management as to whether we have enough evidence for a violation or whether the case should be closed with a no cause finding.
During my first month at the EEOC, I gained a strong interest in employment law and an appreciation for the goals of the EEOC. I value the human aspect of employment law. Each story is unique and requires attention to detail. The diversity of each case makes the work challenging but profoundly stimulating. The job is rewarding when conciliation is successful.
The goals of the EEOC are vital for promoting equality. The EEOC plays an important role by providing leadership and guidance for employment law regulation and making discrimination in the workplace illegal. Moreover, the EEOC works to prevent discrimination before it occurs through outreach, education, and technical assistance programs. I am honored to be part of this process and provide my skills to a public interest.
During the remainder of my internship, I hope to continue to hone my legal skills and foster my interest in employment law.
Aug. 1, 2013
My internship has allowed me to reach my goals of gaining practical experience by fusing the theories learned in the classroom and applying them. By parsing through evidence and statues, I gained an abundance of experience analyzing a prima facie case and justifying my recommendation to EEOC supervisors. Interning at the EEOC has allowed me to continue my commitment to public service and the development of practical skills.
I have been fortunate enough to receive a heavy caseload and the opportunity to work closely with attorneys and investigators. The heavy caseload has allowed me to explore a variety of cases regarding disability discrimination, age discrimination, gender discrimination, and religious discrimination. Each case has a unique set of facts that make the work interesting. Additionally, you never know who you are going to talk to on the phone with each day. The heavy interaction with clients and respondents allows me to interact with a diverse group of people. Each time I pick up the phone to call a client, respondent, or witness, I never know what kind of personality I will get. The unpredictability makes each day exciting.
During my internship, I have had plenty of training opportunities. I appreciate the agency's commitment to education. Each week there are seminars that allow EEOC employees and interns to keep up with the current law and the application of the law. The EEOC's commitment to the agency's mission and goals is vital to public interest. I am fortunate to attend these seminars because it ensures that I am providing the best service I can to my clients. I have also been lucky enough to work alongside EEOC directors who are well-experienced in the field. I have learned so much from their foresight and knowledge of the statutes. The endless resources, which include EEOC journals, training manuals, weekly seminars, and experienced supervisors, allow me to perform my job with reassurance.
I am most fulfilled by being able to provide services to the clients and community. The EEOC has allowed me to seek justice for clients who have been violated and advocate for equality in the workplace. Providing clients an opportunity to voice their concerns is the most rewarding aspect of working at the EEOC. Although not every claim filed is a violation of the law, most clients appreciate the opportunity to seek shelter and have their opinions heard.
After interning at the EEOC, I hope to continue a career in employment law. It has been a pleasure using my legal skills to advocate for the equality of employees. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with clients in the federal sector while developing my practical skills.