If you have been discriminated against or harassed at work, you may be surprised to learn that you usually cannot just sue your employer directly. Instead, you typically must follow several steps before suing, including bringing your complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The following are the three steps you should know for bringing an employment discrimination lawsuit.
File Your Charge With the EEOC. If you want to sue for discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or retaliation, you first have to file a charge with one of the EEOC’s field offices. The EEOC will investigate the complaint and if they believe there is a violation, they will take over and file the lawsuit. In this case, this will be your one and only step.
Receive a Notice of Right to Sue. If the EEOC investigates and decides not to pursue your claim, the agency will give you a Notice of Right to Sue. This notice gives you permission to file a private lawsuit. Keep in mind that just because the EEOC does not pursue your matter, this does not mean that discrimination or harassment did not occur. The EEOC has very limited resources and they do not go after every case where discrimination has been found.
Bring a Private Lawsuit. After receiving your Notice of Right to Sue, you have 90 days to file a lawsuit. At this point, you should already be working with an employment attorney and they should be prepared to file suit.
These are the three general steps for bringing an employment discrimination lawsuit. There are some exceptions from these requirements, such as when you are suing for age discrimination or if you are suing under the Equal Pay Act. To learn more, you may want to contact a Philadelphia employment law attorney.