What is the EEOC?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created to help resolve issues regarding workplace discrimination. The Commission engages in activities such as:
- Mediating and settling workplace complaints
- Filing lawsuits against employers
- Investigating systematic patters of workplace discrimination
What is the Process of Filing a Lawsuit with the EEOC?
In order to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit, you must first file a charge with one of the field offices of the EEOC. Your charge may be filed on one the following grounds: race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or retaliation.
- You must first receive notice of right to sue. This is provided after completion of an investigation or dismissal of the charge filed with the EEOC. The right to sue notice gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a court of law.
- After receiving the notice, you must file the lawsuit within 90 days.
Exceptions to the Filing Process:
- Age Discrimination - You do not need a notice of right to sue for a claim involving age discrimination. You can file this lawsuit 60 days after filing a charge with the EEOC. However, you must still file the lawsuit within 90 days of the completion of the investigation by the EEOC.
- Equal Pay Act - You do not need to get a notice to sue or file a charge with the EEOC for issues concerning the Equal Pay Act. You can immediately proceed to the lawsuit within 2 years from the time of the discrimination and 3 years if the discrimination was willful.
If the investigation by the EEOC is taking too long or you would like to file before the completion of the investigation, you can request a notice of a right to sue. You will receive the notice in the event that it has been more than 180 days since you filed the charge, and you request a notice of right to sue.
If you receive the notice before the completion of the investigation, then the investigation will stop and the EEOC will close the case.
Proceeding with the Lawsuit: Do I Need an Attorney?
If you are victim of employment discrimination, it is best to get in touch with an experienced employment lawyer who can guide you through the notice process as well as provide legal assistance if you decide to proceed with the lawsuit.