The Law and Your Job

Major Federal Laws

How does someone file a charge under federal law?

If you have been discriminated against, you must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days from the date of the discriminatory act. There are regional offices of the EEOC in most major cities in the U.S. Access www.eeoc.gov for more information.

There is an exception to this time limit if the discrimination occurred in a state that has a state law prohibiting discrimination. In that case you must first file a charge with the state agency responsible for enforcing the state law. You must give the state agency at least sixty days to investigate your complaint. After sixty days you can then file a charge with the EEOC, but the charge must be filed within 300 days from the date the discrimination occurred or within thirty days after the state agency terminates its proceedings, whichever occurs first.

When the EEOC completes its investigation of the charge, it sends a letter to the person who filed the charge. The letter states whether the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe the law was violated and informs the charging party that he or she has ninety days within which to file a lawsuit in court. This letter is called a "right to sue" letter.

>>What are the major federal anti-discrimination laws?
>>What aspects of the employment relationship are regulated by these laws?
>>What types of employers are regulated under Title VII?
>>How do I know if an action is discriminatory in violation of the law?
>>What should I do if I think I have been discriminated against in violation of the law?
>>How does someone file a charge under federal law?
>>What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
>>What types of employers are regulated under the ADEA?
>>Is there a federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADEA?
>>What is Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act?
>>What is a “disability”?
>>What types of employers are regulated under the ADA?
>>Is there a federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADA?


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