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Filing a Discrimination Claim

Who investigates claims of discrimination?

The EEOC is the federal agency that receives and processes complaints in regard to Title VII and sexual harassment. There will be times when the agency will coordinate with state authorities in handling a complaint.

Who may file a claim of discrimination?

Any individual who believes that her employment rights have been violated can file with the EEOC.

Where do I file a charge?

Charges may be filed by mail, in person or over the phone. The local EEOC office may be reached by calling 800.669.4000.

How long do I file a discrimination claim?

In most cases the claim must be brought within 180 days of the discriminatory act. If your state has an antidiscrimination law, this deadline may be extended to 300 days. Check with your state Human Rights Commission to see if your jurisdiction has extended the filing deadline.

What happens after the charge is filed with the EEOC?

Your company will be told that a charge has been filed. At that point the agency may ask the employer to respond in writing to the allegations that have been made. The EEOC also has the right to investigate and may request documents, interview employees and visit the work site. The agency may also suggest mediation.

Do I lose my right to sue if the EEOC dismisses my claim?

No. Upon notice of dismissal, the EEOC will issue you a "right to sue" letter. You will then have 90 days in which to file a lawsuit on your own behalf.

What remedies exist should the EEOC find that discrimination did occur?

There are a number of remedies available, including front and back pay, hiring, promotion, reinstatement or other reasonable accommodations. In addition, the EEOC can order attorney's fees, expert witness costs and court costs be paid.