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Do you have to file a charge of discrimination?

When you're at work or applying for a job, you have rights that must be upheld. For instance, if you're aging, then you can't be fired just because you've gotten older. If you are black, you can't be turned away for a job simply due to the color of your skin. There are many times when discrimination could take place during the application process or while you're at work, but if you find you've been discriminated against, then you can file a charge of discrimination against the business responsible.

If you want the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to help with your discrimination case, you'll need to file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. This must be done before you can file a lawsuit against the company. On top of that, there are time limits involved, so you'll want to file this charge as soon as you can to avoid running out of time to file.

Once you file a charge, you could be asked to settle the dispute by working through a mediation program. Usually mediation is informal and it is always confidential, so it's a good place to work through the problem. If this doesn't work or if you don't participate in mediation, then your case will be placed with an investigator who will investigate the claim and decide if a violation has taken place.

If no violations are found, then you'll receive a notice that you have a right to sue. If a violation is found, then the EEOC will work to try to get the case settled out of court, so you don't need to go through a trial. You may want to work with a lawyer in any case, because the company may choose not to settle and decide to go to court instead.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Filing a Charge of Discrimination," accessed July 23, 2015

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The Law Offices of Laura J. Farris

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