Steps to Filing a Discrimination Complaint

September 10, 2018

In 2017, over 84,000 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Many thousands more were filed with local and state agencies, as well as directly in state courts. It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. This is often due to race, gender, nationality, religion, age, disability, or familial status.

If you believe to have been a victim of workplace discrimination, there are specific steps you must take to file a discrimination complaint.

Employment Attorneys

If you believe to have suffered from a civil rights violation, the best place to start is to speak with an experienced civil rights attorney. They can guide you in determining which laws apply to you, where you should file your lawsuit, and what options are available to you.

Filing a Government Agency Claim 

Employees who believe they have been discriminated and/or retaliated against can file a claim with a local or state agency, like the New York City Division of Human Rights, or with a federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). For almost all types of employment discrimination, the charging party must file a complaint with EEOC before filing any private federal lawsuit and must do so within 180 days (or 300 days depending on the jurisdiction) of the alleged offense. Only after receiving permission from the EEOC in the form of a “right to sue” letter may individuals pursue a federal lawsuit. Federal lawsuits must be filed within 90 days of receiving your “right to sue” notice.

Federal vs. State Court

An employee may elect not to file with a government agency and/or forgo federal discrimination claims and directly file a state lawsuit.  There are specific deadlines and requirements for state lawsuits as well. Where you can file is dependent on the specifics of your case, but you must do it within the applicable deadlines for your state and jurisdiction.

Contact Us Today! 

The Cochran firm New York’s employment discrimination lawyers are committed to getting you the money you deserve and holding your employer accountable for any wrongdoing that has caused you to suffer. If you think you may have a claim against a former or current employer, contact us today for a free consultation.

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