If you have been discriminated against at work, you may be able to obtain compensation, and justice, by bringing a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit against your employer. To build a solid case against those who harmed you, however, there are certain steps that must be followed.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws. Before you are permitted to sue your employer for discrimination in federal court, you must first seek permission to do so from the EEOC. Upon approval, you will receive an EEOC ‘right to sue’ letter.
Claudia Pollak is a passionate attorney who works hard to protect the rights, reputation, and well-being of New York workers who have been victims of employment discrimination. You do not need to suffer in silence. Contact us today at (914) 529-9111 for a confidential consultation about your case.
What Qualifies as an EEOC Complaint?
If you are receiving unfair treatment at work, you may be wondering if the treatment qualifies as illegal discrimination. According to the EEOC, you may file a charge of discrimination under the following circumstances:
You are receiving unfair treatment based on your age, religion, disability, sex, national origin, race, color, or genetic information; or
You are being harassed based on any of the above; or
You are subjected to an adverse job action, such as termination, a demotion, a pay decrease, disciplinary action or a similarly retaliatory action, as a result of your complaint about discrimination.
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Missing important deadlines and making errors in the complaint process can result in unnecessary delays, and even outright dismissal of your claims. With an attorney by your side, you can dramatically improve your chances of obtaining the compensation and justice you deserve in a timely manner.
Filing a Claim with the EEOC
While your attorney is often able to negotiate a reasonable settlement of your workplace dispute, that is not always possible. If you have been discriminated at work and your employer is unwilling to appropriately compensate you for your emotional distress and/or lost wages, the first step is to file a claim of discrimination, known as a charge, with the EEOC. You have 180 days from the date of the last incident(s) of discrimination to do this. Under certain circumstances, the time limit may be extended to 300 days.
Your attorney can file a charge on your behalf, or, if you are not represented by counsel, you can file the charge with the EEOC by email, phone, mail or in person at an EEOC office. Your complaint should include as much information as possible, including your name and contact information, the name and contact information of your employer, a description of the discrimination, and the time/date that the incidents occurred.
It is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from a skilled employment discrimination lawyer before filing the charge with the EEOC. Cases involving workplace discrimination can be particularly stressful and emotional, and are legally technical. Having an experienced attorney by your side can help to ensure that your employer will answer for their unlawful actions.
What Does it Mean When EEOC Gives You A Right To Sue?
Once a charge has been filed, the EEOC will give a copy to you and your employer. Then the agency will either invite you and your employer to participate in a mediation, or it will investigate your claims. If your complaint is made outside of the 180 or 300-day window, however, it may be dismissed. Timely filing is critical.
Receiving a Right to Sue letter means that the EEOC has finished its investigation into your charge, and you have permission to proceed with suing your employer for federal discrimination violations.
The requirement to obtain permission to sue applies to Title VII lawsuits, as well as those filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act. For lawsuits filed under the Equal Pay Act, however, this requirement does not apply. An experienced New York employment discrimination attorney can help you determine how to proceed.
What to Do After You Get a Right to Sue Letter
If you already know that you want to bring a lawsuit against your employer, you can request a right to sue letter at any point in the process. If you filed a charge and more than 180 days have passed, the EEOC must issue the letter.
It’s important to note, however, that your window of opportunity to bring a lawsuit against your employer begins to close the moment you receive this right to sue letter. You have a strict 90-day time limit from the receipt of the letter to file your complaint in federal court.
When it comes to age discrimination lawsuits, there is a partial exception to the “right to sue rule.” As with the other types of discrimination, you must file a charge for age discrimination with the EEOC. However, once 60 days have passed, you may bring a lawsuit against your employer, even if you have not received a right to sue letter. If the agency does issue the letter, however, you are still required to file suit within 90 days.
Contact Claudia Pollak Law Today
If you are being discriminated against at work, the skilled legal team at Claudia Pollak Law can help. We are passionate about fighting for the rights of New York workers, and do our best to ensure that the individuals and companies responsible for discrimination and harassment are held accountable for their actions.
Our highly-experienced discrimination team will thoroughly analyze the details of your case, gather important evidence, calculate damages, and negotiate for the maximum possible settlement. Although we always strive to settle outside of court, we are prepared to fight for you at trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Don’t suffer through this stressful, painful situation another day. We can help. Contact Claudia Pollak Law today at (914) 529-9111 for a confidential consultation about your case.
Claudia Pollak, Esq. is an experienced Westchester and NYC-based employment lawyer representing employees facing discrimination, retaliation or wrongful termination because of their race, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender, or other protected characteristic. She also advises on executive severance agreements and restrictive covenants. Call her at 914-LAW-9111 (914-529-9111) for a free consultation.
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