How To File Discrimination Charges with the EEOC

How To File Discrimination Charges with the EEOC

If you believe that your employer has unlawfully discriminated against you based on a protected characteristic, you may want to consider filing charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you are worried about your employer learning about your identity with the filed charges, you can ask another person or entity to file the charge on your behalf. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with contact both you and your employer within 10 days of receiving your charges. It will then conduct an investigation of the allegations that you have made. You can meet with the attorneys at Swartz Swidler LLC for an assessment of the merits of your discrimination claim.

If the agency agrees that your employer violated the anti-discrimination laws, it may either try to settle the case with your employer or sue the employer on your behalf in court. The agency may also opt not to sue. In this case, the EEOC will send you a notice of your right to sue. If you receive this notice, you can then get help from Swartz Swidler with filing a federal lawsuit. You are not able to file a federal lawsuit for discrimination against your employer without first filing discrimination charges with the EEOC, however.

Before filing and how to file discrimination charges

You are required to file your charges either in person or via mail. The agency does have an online assessment tool that can help you determine whether or not filing charges is the best option. You can then complete the intake questionnaire, print it out and mail it or take it to your nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office. You will need to gather the following information:

  •  Your contact information, including your address and phone number
  • your employer’s contact information, including the employer’s name, address and phone number along with the number of employees at the company
  • Description of the alleged discrimination
  • Dates of when the discrimination occurred

If you are employed by the federal government or an applicant for a federal position, you will want to review the agency’s federal sector EEO complaint process.

How to file discrimination charges

The agency will not accept charges online or over the telephone. You are allowed to call 1-800-669-4000 and give them your basic information in order to make the process go a little faster. That information will then be sent to the local agency field office. That office will then contact you so that you can schedule your in-person meeting. If you decide to file your charges via mail, send the information that was previously listed along with why you believe you were a victim of discrimination and what the basis for the discrimination was.

In order to file your charges in person, you’ll need to find the field office location that is closest to you. Bring all of the evidence and documentation that you have that might help your case. This may include text messages, emails and performance evaluations. It is a good idea to provide contact information and names of all other people who witnessed the alleged discriminatory acts. You can choose to go alone or you may bring your attorney from Swartz Swidler with you.

Time Limits for filing charges

There are strict statutory deadlines for filing discrimination charges. You must file your charges within 180 days of when the discriminatory act occurred. If the discriminatory act is also covered under local or state laws, your filing deadline will be extended to 300 days. No extension is given for age discrimination matters if age bias is only prohibited by a local law and not a state law. It is smart to contact an employment law attorney at Swartz Swidler immediately after the discrimination happened.

Equal Pay Act claims do not require filing discrimination charges before filing a lawsuit. These claims still may raise Title VII discrimination issues as well, so it may be advisable to file charges with the agency within the statutory deadline. If you are a federal employee, your deadline is much shorter. You must file your charges within 45 days of the incident. To learn more about your rights and the merits of your claim, contact the attorneys at Swartz Swidler LLC to schedule a consultation.