If you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination, there are several legal steps you can take to redress this situation. Under federal and state law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. As soon as you suspect that you’ve experienced employment discrimination, you should consider taking a series of actions to hold your employer accountable and, in some instances, to recover compensation. However, it’s important to act quickly so that you don’t forfeit your right to take such actions.
Filing a Charge of Discrimination With the EEOC
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires you to file a Charge of Discrimination with them before you may pursue a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. Under the current anti-discrimination laws, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a complaint. Typically, you must take action within 180 calendar days, unless a state or local agency enforces a law prohibiting workplace discrimination on the same basis. In such cases, the deadline extends to 300 calendar days. It’s best to take action as soon as possible to ensure that you file the charge within the specified window of time.
Other Ways to File a Discrimination Charge in Westchester County
In New York state, you may file a discrimination claim with other agencies as well. You can file a claim with the EEOC, the New York Division of Human Rights (DHR), or with the state administrative agency. All of these agencies work together to process claims, so you only have to file a claim with one agency. It can be difficult to understand the different filing windows for each agency, so it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced age discrimination attorney to discuss your options.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
Many employment discrimination cases are successfully resolved by an administrative agency, but there are times when you may wish to take further action against your employer. Employees in New York state have three years from the date of the discriminatory action in which to file a lawsuit. However, once you’ve filed a claim with the DHR, state law prevents you from taking your case to court—unless the case is dismissed for administrative reasons. Also, you are not allowed to file a case in two places at once (i.e., the DHR and New York State Supreme Court). Timing can be a complicated factor in employment discrimination cases, so it’s essential that you enlist the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney before you proceed.
For more information about what to do if you’ve suffered discrimination in the workplace, contact Gash & Associates, P.C. at (914) 328-8800 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced Westchester County lawyer today.