Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an EEOC complaint?
In 2015 I had a mediation with my then employer/boss for sexual harassment & retaliation. I was offered money in the mediation but didn’t take it because I wanted to file suit. How long do I have after such incident to file suit? The man I accused was recently fired for the same situation.
A: You should contact an experienced employment attorney. A lot of time has passed since the mediation, and it may be too late to file a claim.
Ordinarily, if an EEOC mediation is unsuccessful, the EEOC will begin an investigation into your case.
• The EEOC will give you a “Notice of Right to Sue” letter if the investigation does not find that your employer
violated the law. This letter gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a court of law.
• If the investigation does find that your employer violated the law, the EEOC may try to settle with your employer.
• The EEOC’s legal team will determine whether the EEOC should file a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
If the EEOC decides not to file a lawsuit, it will issue you a “Notice of Right to Sue,” so you can bring your own
• An EEOC investigation can be a lengthy process. If more than 180 days have passed since you filed your charge,
you can ask the EEOC for a “Notice of Right to Sue.” The EEOC must provide the notice if they cannot finish the
investigation within 180 days. Once the EEOC gives you a “Notice of Right to Sue,” the EEOC will close your case
and take no further action.
• Under some circumstances, you can ask for a “Notice of Right to Sue” before the EEOC has finished investigating
your claim, even before the 180 days have passed.
Once you receive a “Notice of Right to Sue” under any of those scenarios, you must file your lawsuit within 90 days.
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