Employment laws can be complex and confusing. The process can become overwhelming when an employee has suffered discrimination at work because of his race, national origin, gender, religion, or other personal traits. Employers who commit discrimination of this sort have broken the law, and employees have a right to protect themselves. The New York employment discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates know that seeking legal relief for improper conduct by employers is confusing and stressful. No matter where you are in this process, from the day after the discrimination occurred to just before filing suit, we can take charge of your case.
Understand Discrimination and the EEOC Process
Under federal laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee – that is, to take any adverse action, such as firing, refusing to hire, or withholding a pay raise – based on certain protected characteristics, such as gender, race, religion, disability, or national origin.
In most cases, before an employee can file a lawsuit against his employer for discrimination, he must file a complaint with the federal agency in charge of enforcing federal employment discrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Once a complaint is filed with the EEOC, the agency will investigate the claim and usually at least attempt to schedule a mediation. The EEOC investigator may also conduct witness interviews, request more information, or even visit your workplace.
On rare occasions, the EEOC might decide to file a lawsuit on the employee’s behalf against the employer once the investigation is completed. Most times, the EEOC will choose not to file a lawsuit and instead will issue either a Dismissal and Notice of Rights or a Letter of Determination. A Dismissal and Notice of Rights indicates that the EEOC’s investigation did not unearth anything that, in the investigator’s opinion, constituted unlawful discrimination. However, the employee is free to file a lawsuit in federal court if he wants to.
If the EEOC has determined that discrimination may have occurred, it will send a Letter of Determination to both parties and attempt to have the parties to settle out of court. If the parties cannot agree on a settlement, the EEOC sends the employee a Right to Sue, which clears the path for a lawsuit in federal court. If you have received a Right to Sue, keep it, as it will be an important part of your subsequent lawsuit.
With an Attorney’s Help, File Your Lawsuit Within 90 Days
If you have received a Right to Sue letter, it means that the EEOC has determined that there are grounds for a discrimination claim. But even if you have received a Dismissal and Notice of Rights, you still may be able to file a successful lawsuit. In either case, you have only 90 days from the day you received the letter to file a lawsuit. It is extremely important that you meet this deadline. Otherwise, your case can be thrown out of court, and you may lose the ability to protect your rights.
As soon as you receive your Right to Sue, contact your attorney. If you do not have one, contact an experienced discrimination attorney as soon as you can. The more time your attorney has to prepare your case, the more he or she can help you – your time to file a lawsuit is also extremely limited.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
If you have received a Right to Sue, a Letter of Determination, or a Dismissal and Notice of Rights from the EEOC, contact an experienced New York EEOC representation lawyer right away. With a limited amount of time to act, it will benefit you to have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. Phillips & Associates has helped many New Yorkers with workplace discrimination issues and can help you. Call (866) 229-9441 or contact us online to speak with an experienced lawyer.