If you’ve been a victim of discrimination, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Usually, the claim must be filed within 180 days from the date that the discrimination occurred. Federal applicants and employees must file a claim within 45 days through an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor. Under certain circumstances, the time limit can be extended. If you attempt to solve the dispute via a union grievance, legal arbitration, mediation or an internal grievance process, the time limit for filing a charge with the EEOC cannot be extended.
In the event of multiple violations, the deadline applies individually to each event. You must file a separate case within 180 days of each discriminatory event, though each discrimination event must be based on different grounds. If you suffered two instances of racial discrimination that were a year apart, you can only file for the latest occurrence. But if the first was gender discrimination and the second race discrimination, you could file for both. The lone exception is for ongoing harassment. In that case, you have to file within 180 or 300 days of the last occurrence. All prior cases will be examined at that point.
The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination in wages and benefits. If you wish to file an EPA discrimination charge, you may file a lawsuit directly in court. The EPA deadline is two years after the last act of discrimination. Willful discrimination cases have a three-year deadline. If you wish to file an Equal Pay Claim under Title VII, you have to file with the EEOC first. However, that doesn’t extend the deadline for an EPA lawsuit.
If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, you have until the next business day to file. If you need help figuring out the deadline, feel free to contact us for assistance. We can tell you how much time remains.