Find the right lawyer now

EEOC Right to Sue Letter

Find a Local Employment Lawyer near You

What is the EEOC?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the agency of the United States that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC will investigate into allegations of discrimination. Depending on the severity of the case, the EEOC has the right to file a lawsuit against employers who discriminate.

What is a "Right to Sue" letter?

You cannot file a lawsuit under Title VII against an employer for discrimination unless you first obtain a "right to sue" letter from the EEOC. Prior to engaging in formal legal proceedings, the EEOC performs an investigation to ensure that discrimination claims are valid.

How to Obtain a Right to Sue Letter

After the EEOC is notified of the discrimination, you can receive a "right to sue" letter one of two ways:

When the EEOC investigates and believes there is no reasonable cause for discrimination, then the EEOC will issue a Dismissal and Notice of rights that allows you to file a lawsuit within 90 days of receiving the letter. Although you do not have support from the EEOC, you are able to file a lawsuit.

The EEOC investigates and believes there is a reasonable cause for discrimination. The EEOC will then award you with a letter of determination. The EEOC has the right to file a lawsuit on your behalf, but will rarely exercise this right. Upon receiving this letter, you can file a lawsuit within 90 days.

Requesting a Letter

If you feel the investigation is taking too long, you can request a letter from the EEOC after they have had 180 days to investigate. The EEOC is obligated to provide the letter even if the investigation is not complete, at which time they will close the investigation. You will still only have 90 days from the time of receipt to file the lawsuit.

Do I Need Legal Representation?

If you decide to proceed with a lawsuit, you can receive a copy of the EEOC investigation findings. It is best to find an experienced employment lawyer before the EEOC has completed its investigation.

Photo of page author Vahagn Vartanian

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 03-25-2018 10:40 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.