If you believe that you have been discriminated against by an employer, labor union or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because...
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by an employer, labor union or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age or disability, or believe that you have been discriminated against because of opposing a discriminatory practice, then you need to seek legal advice.
First, you must report the discrimination as outlined in your Employee Handbook. If there are no policies or procedures in writing, then report the discrimination to your direct supervisor. If your direct supervisor is the perpetrator, then go to the next level of management or the human resources department and file a written complaint with the Company. You need to keep a copy of everything that you turn in to the Company regarding the discrimination. Hopefully, your Employer will investigate the matter and take appropriate action to ensure that the discrimination ceases.
You should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1-800-669-4000 and file a complaint with the agency against your Employer within 300 days of the last act of discrimination (which is usually when you are terminated). You may also contact the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) at 1-877-781-4236 and file a complaint within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. In most cases, your complaint will be filed with both agencies, however, only one agency will investigate the matter. After you have signed and filed a complaint with the EEOC or MCHR, an investigator will most likely contact you and request more information regarding your complaint. It is in your best interest to be organized before filing the complaint e.g. compiling a timeline of dates/events of discrimination, witness list, etc. Once the agency obtains information from you, then they will request information from the Employer. The investigation process can take up to 6 months - depending upon the complexity of your case.
It can only help your case to seek legal advice so that you can be better prepared when the agency requests more information and/or a statement concerning the facts of your complaint.
Once you receive a document from the EEOC and/or the MCHR called a “Right to Sue”, you will have 90 days to file your lawsuit in federal or state court. You will receive a Right to Sue letter after the investigation has been completed and/or if you request a Right to Sue letter. At this stage, you will need to obtain an attorney as soon as possible.
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