While encountering unjust treatment at work can be stressful enough, addressing the situation could also be challenging. This could leave individuals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area feeling hesitant to step forward and file a complaint with the EEOC or in court, but waiting to address the issue may not be advisable. There are time limits for filing a discrimination complaint with the EEOC and/or state and local anti-discrimination agencies. Initiating the process prior to these deadlines may be essential to protect one’s interests.
Addressing time constraints
Individuals in the private sector who encounter discrimination or retaliation in the workplace may typically have up to 180 days to report the issue and file a complaint with the EEOC or with state and local agencies. However, this limit may be extended to up to 300 days in cases where the EEOC has a “work-sharing” agreement with the corresponding state or local agency. Several employment laws have even longer time limits, while some whistleblower laws have shorter time limits (and require filing with the U.S. Department of Labor). For federal employees, the time limits are much shorter. Knowing how much time one has to step forward and file a complaint with an agency or in court can be essential in deciding how to proceed.
While a person may still be able to pursue a resolution through other means, any negotiations usually will not postpone the deadline for filing with the agency or with a court. Sometimes it may be difficult to determine the date on which the deadline will fall, either in determining when the clock starts running, or in determining the effect of holidays and weekends on the deadline. While taking steps to file a complaint as soon as possible may avoid missing the deadline, preparing to initiate the process can be a daunting task.
Initiating the process
While preparing to file a discrimination claim can be stressful and intimidating, those who encounter such treatment may find comfort in knowing they don’t have to face this alone. When similar issues arise, a person in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area could consider retaining an attorney for advice in taking the necessary steps to address the situation. An attorney can help a client understand every aspect of the process and assist in protecting against illegal workplace treatment through the appropriate channels.