If you believe you have an employment discrimination claim against your current or former employer, you must follow procedures set by state and federal law to make sure your case is handled properly. Before filing a lawsuit in court you must go through the procedures required by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Arizona Civil Rights Division (CRD).
Activities That May Justify an Employment Discrimination Claim
If you experience employment discrimination due to any protected characteristics, you may file a claim with the EEOC or CRD. Some protected characteristics include the following:
- National Origin
- Gender (as well as pregnancy and childbirth)
- Genetic information
Both federal and Arizona laws provide protection against discrimination due to your membership in any protected group.
Discriminatory acts could involve hiring, termination, promotions, compensation, physical or verbal abuse, or a variety of other acts. Talk to an employment discrimination attorney if you want to know whether you have a potential employment discrimination claim.
The Employment Discrimination Claim Process
You can file your claim with either the EEOC or the Arizona CRD. You have 180 days from the date the discrimination occurred to file a state claim and 300 days to file a federal claim. However, you may have other claims related to your employment discrimination, such as wrongful termination or harassment claims, that have their own statutes of limitations. Consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing deadlines and losing your chance to file a claim.
The EEOC or CRD will investigate your claim and collect evidence to determine if a possible case of employment discrimination occurred. Your claim may be resolved by the administrative agency, or you may exhaust your administrative remedies without receiving a resolution. At this point, you should receive a Notice of Dismissal or Notice of Right to Sue.
Once you receive this notice, you can proceed to file a lawsuit in federal or state court. You typically only have 90 days from the notice to file your lawsuit. You may also be able to negotiate a settlement at this point, depending on the facts of your case.
Before you file your claim, it’s advisable to consult with an employment attorney to help you analyze your case and navigate through the claims process.
Chernoff Law handles business and employment law matters throughout Arizona. Contact us to discuss your case with an experienced business litigation attorney.