Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination
Before you can sue your employer for Harassment or Discrimination, you must first file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. This process is also know as exhausting your administrative remedies. The EEOC is a Federal Administrative Agency that enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and a myriad of other Federal Laws that protect employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or retaliation
It is necessary to first file a charge with EEOC, and allow them to investigate that charge before you can proceed to court. Upon the conclusion of the EEOC’s investigation, they will issue a Notice of Suit Rights, often called a “Right to Sue Letter.” Upon receipt of your right to sue, you will have 90 days to file a lawsuit against your employer. Failure to do so, will mean that your case will be forever barred. Therefore, it is very important to seek the advice of counsel before filing a Charge of Discrimination. If you have questions about the process, please call us for a free consultation. If we accept your case, we will assist you with filing your charge of discrimination, and represent you throughout the investigative process.
Time Limits for Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination
In general, you have 180 days after the last discrimination occurred in which to file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. The 180-calendar-day filing deadline is extended to 300- calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a state or local law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis. The rules are slightly different for age discrimination charges. For age discrimination, the filing deadline is only extended to 300 days if there is a state law prohibiting age discrimination in employment and a state agency or authority enforcing that law. The deadline is not extended if only a local law prohibits age discrimination.
What Should I Bring to My Initial Attorney Consultation?
It is always helpful if you bring information or papers that help us understand your case. For example, if you were fired because of your performance, you might bring with you the letter or notice telling you that you were fired and your performance evaluations. You might also bring with you the names of people who know about what happened and information about how to contact them.
If you have already filed a Charge of Discrimination on your own, it will be helpful for you to bring any documents that you have filed with the EEOC as well as any correspondence that you may have had with EEOC representatives. In order to prepare your Charge of Discrimination, we will need the following information:
- Your name, address, email, and telephone number
- The name, address, email, and telephone number of the employer (or employment agency or union) you want to file your charge against
- The number of employees employed there (if known)
- A short description of the actions you believe were discriminatory (for example, you were fired, demoted, harassed)
- When the discriminatory actions took place
- Why you believe you were discriminated against (for example, because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or retaliation
- Your signature
If you have any questions about whether or not you have a case, or need to file a Charge of Discrimination, contact GOODIN ABERNATHY’S attorneys for a free case evaluation.
GOODIN l ABERNATHY LLP