If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can pursue a lawsuit against your employer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is a federal organization, must provide you with a right to sue letter before you take that next step of legal action. To receive the letter, you must file a charge with the EEOC. After you have filed the charge, the EEOC will determine the best way to handle your claim. After the investigation of the claim has been completed, the EEOC will tell you if you have met the requirements to file a charge and if you can go ahead and file a discrimination lawsuit.
When you file a claim, your information will be held confidential. After the charge has been properly filed, your employer will be told the basic details of your claim. If you want to stay anonymous throughout the process, you can have someone – such as an attorney – file the claim on your behalf. You need to understand the process so you can do everything properly and follow proper procedure so you can get your right to sue letter and get the process underway before the timeline runs out.
The Right To Sue Letter
The right to sue letter is issued when the EEOC cannot determine if the employee discriminated against you – the employee. You should act quickly, as you only have 90 days to file a lawsuit in such situations. The right to sue letter indicates that the EEOC has finished their investigation and that you can now proceed with a lawsuit. The EEOC can investigate your claim, and if they believe that you have missed the deadline, or if they don’t have jurisdiction over your claim, then it will be dismissed. The EEOC also has the authority to handle litigation on your behalf by pursuing charges against your employer, but this is a rare occurrence.
After you have gotten your right to sue letter, you must act quickly. If you are going to file a lawsuit, you have 90 days within receiving the letter to take legal action. While you must file a charge of discrimination before you file an age discrimination lawsuit, you don’t have to wait for a right to sue letter for that specific kind of claim. In that case, you can file a lawsuit 60 days after you have filed your charge. If the agency finishes processing the charge and issues you a right to sue letter, you still only have 90 days to file a claim, just as you would with any other discrimination-based claim.
When the EEOC completes their investigation, they will issue either a Cause Determination or a Right to Sue Letter. A Cause Determination means that the EEOC found that there is probable cause to believe that the employee was the victim of discrimination. That doesn’t mean that the employee would prevail in a lawsuit against their employer or that they are entitled to receive any money for damages. However, a Cause Determination is helpful in a lawsuit. If there is a Cause Determination, your employer may be much more likely to settle with you and resolve the matter.
If the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause, that indicates that based on the EEOC investigation into the matter has given them reasonable cause to believe that sexual harassment did take place. Usually, when there is determination of reasonable cause, there is an effort to reconcile the matter whether it be through a negotiated settlement or benefits.
How An Employment Lawyer Can Help
If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you should enlist the help of an employment lawyer who is licensed to handle such cases in your state. With the help of an attorney, you are more likely to build a strong case. Your goal is to have a successful claim and recover compensation for your damage. While some employment law attorneys work on the contingency basis, there are some who charge an hourly rate. Be sure to go over the specific details with your attorney when you retain their services.
As previously mentioned, there is a time limit or a statute of limitations for pursuing a lawsuit after harassment or discrimination. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page so you can determine the best way to proceed with your sexual harassment claim.