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Filing A Charge of Discrimination

With the EEOC

If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, color, religion,  sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national  origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination. A charge of discrimination is a signed statement  asserting that an employer, union or labor organization engaged in employment  discrimination. It requests EEOC to take remedial action.

All of the laws enforced  by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a Charge of  Discrimination with us before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. In addition, an individual, organization, or agency may  file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved  person's identity. There are time limits for filing a charge. The laws enforced by the EEOC require the agency to notify the employer that a  charge has been filed against it.

A Charge of  Discrimination can be completed through our EEOC Public Portal after you submit an online inquiry and we interview you. Filing a formal charge of employment  discrimination is a serious matter. In the EEOC's experience, having the opportunity to discuss your concerns with an EEOC staff member in an interview is the best way to assess how to address your concerns about employment  discrimination and determine whether filing a charge of discrimination is the appropriate path for you. In any event, the final decision to file a charge is your own.

If you have 60 days or  fewer in which to file a timely charge, the EEOC Public Portal will provide special directions for quickly providing necessary information to the EEOC and how to file your charge quickly. Or, go to Find Your Nearest Office and enter your zip code for the contact information of the EEOC office closest to you.

The laws enforced by the  EEOC require the agency to accept charges alleging employment discrimination.  If the laws do not apply to your claims, if the charge was not filed within the  law's time limits, or if the EEOC decides to limit its investigation, the EEOC will dismiss the charge without any further investigation and notify you of your legal rights.

With  A State or Local Agency

Many states and local jurisdictions have their own anti-discrimination laws, and agencies responsible  for enforcing those laws (Fair Employment Practices Agencies, or FEPAs). If you file a charge with a FEPA, it will automatically be "dual-filed" with EEOC  if federal laws apply. You do not need to file with both agencies.

Note: Federal employees and  job applicants have similar protections, but a different complaint  process.

Federal Government Employees and Applicants

The procedures for filing a complaint of  discrimination against a federal government agency differ from those for filing a charge against a private or public employer. For discrimination complaints against a federal government agency, the procedures are different.  Go to Federal Employees & Applicants for a description of those procedures.  Federal  employees and applicants can request a hearing or file an appeal with EEOC through the EEOC Public Portal, which allows individuals to:

  • Create an account
  • Request a hearing
  • File an appeal
  • Identify a representative and provide their contact information
  • Submit and receive documents supporting their hearing request or appeal

Log into the EEOC Public Portal to:

  • Submit an inquiry online
  • Schedule an intake interview
4 Ways to Contact the EEOC

If you are a licensed attorney filing on behalf of a client, use EEOC E-File for Attorneys to:

  • Upload a charge signed by your client OR create and submit a charge that your client can sign through the EEOC Public Portal