New Jersey EEOC Charges & Complaints Lawyer
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcing the nation’s laws that prohibit employment discrimination. These laws prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, and genetic information. As a victim of discrimination in the workplace, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer and recover compensation for the economic and non-economic harm you have suffered due to their actions or negligence. In almost all instances, however, before you can file a lawsuit, you must first file a charge or complaint with the EEOC.
The employment law attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo can advise you and assist you through the legal process regarding employment discrimination, including filing your charge with the EEOC and representing you in any lawsuit necessary to vindicate your rights. Learn more below about the process of filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, and contact our experienced New Jersey EEOC charges & complaints lawyers for a free consultation regarding your personal situation.
Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination With the EEOC
To start, you can log in to the EEOC Public Portal, submit an online inquiry, and schedule an intake interview. This way, you can discuss your situation with a staff member at the EEOC and receive some guidance regarding whether it makes sense for you to file a formal complaint.
Once you file a formal charge, which includes a signed statement by you regarding the discrimination you believe to have occurred, the EEOC will conduct an investigation. If the agency finds reasonable cause to believe that discrimination did occur, they may either try to resolve the dispute through conciliation or file a lawsuit against the employer.
If the EEOC doesn’t find reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred or if they decline to pursue a lawsuit, they will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue. Once you have this notice, you can file your own private lawsuit against the employer and collect money damages or other remedies such as reinstatement with back pay plus interest if you are successful. The experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo will vigorously represent you in your lawsuit and fight to see that you are fully compensated for the harm done to you by your employer’s discriminatory actions.
A civil lawsuit must be filed within 90 days of receiving the right to sue notice from the EEOC. You can also request this notice earlier from the EEOC without waiting for them to conduct an investigation first. For an age discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), you can file your lawsuit 60 days after filing your charge with the EEOC, without waiting for a Notice of Right to Sue. If you have an Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim, you don’t have to file with the EEOC at all if you don’t want but can instead proceed straight to court.
Timeline for Filing an EEOC Complaint
Generally speaking, you have 180 days from the day of the discrimination or the last incident of harassment to file a formal complaint. If there is a state or local agency that enforces a similar anti-discrimination law, such as the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), then you have 300 days to file a charge with the EEOC. In the case of age discrimination, you have 300 days to file a formal charge if there is an equivalent state law outlawing age discrimination, but not a local law. If there is only a local law, then you must revert to the 180-day filing deadline.
If you have a pay disparity claim, you might be able to file your claim under either the Equal Pay Act or Title VII. For EPA claims, you have two years from the date of the last discriminatory paycheck to file your charge with the EEOC, or three years if the violation was willful. If you are filing your claim under Title VII, however, you will want to stick to the applicable 180-day/300-day timeline.
Except for an EPA claim, you must file a charge with the EEOC before you have the right to file your own lawsuit. This includes employment discrimination claims brought under any of the following laws:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
For many of the same types of discrimination covered under these laws, you could also choose to file your charge at the state level with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) under New Jersey’s comprehensive Law Against Discrimination (LAD). If you do file a LAD claim with DCR, your complaint will be automatically dual-filed with the EEOC.
Your Right to File Charges Is Protected by Law
Once you file a complaint with the EEOC, the agency will notify the employer about the charge. If you wish to remain anonymous, someone else can file on your behalf. However, you should know that you are protected by law from any retaliation at work for filing a charge; you cannot be fired, disciplined, transferred, demoted, have your hours cut or otherwise be treated adversely for complaining about discrimination. If you are retaliated against, you’ll have a second claim for money damages against your employer in addition to the original discrimination complaint.
EEOC Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
For help navigating the process of filing a claim with the EEOC regarding employment discrimination in your workplace, trust the New Jersey employment law attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo to give you practical advice and strong, professional representation to protect your rights and promote your interests. Call our experienced NJ EEOC charges & complaints lawyers today.