Unlike most either states, Georgia has neither a general statewide anti-discrimination statute nor a state administrative agency to process discrimination claims. Georgia’s Fair Employment Practices Act of 1978 makes it illegal for a state agency to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, color, or in retaliation, but does not apply to private employers.
As a consequence, you will most likely have to file discrimination claims under federal law, and do so with the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office — in Georgia, the EEOC has offices in Atlanta and Savannah. If you work for the State of Georgia, you have to contact the Equal Employment Division of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (CEO).
You have 180 days from the date you believe you were discriminated against in which to file a claim with either the EEOC or the CEO. You can file a charge with the EEOC in person, by mail or by phone. The law does not require you to have an attorney at this point, but working with an employment law attorney from the start does give you a better chance of success at proving your case.
You must file your discrimination claim with the EEOC before filing a private lawsuit against your employer. Once the EEOC dismisses your charge — after investigation — you receive a “Notice-of-Right-to-Sue.” Regardless of the outcome of the EEOC’s investigation, you can file a private lawsuit against your employer, as long as you do so within 90 days of the receipt of your notice.