Employment discrimination is against the law. When faced with this challenging situation, you have the right to file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you choose to take this path, it is important to note that the agency requires you to follow certain procedural guidelines. Failure to follow them can result in a dismissal of your claim. The case Huri vs. Office of the Chief Judge of Circuit Court of Cook County exemplifies the importance of following procedural guidelines when pursuing a discrimination lawsuit.
Facts of Huri vs. Office of the Chief Judge of Circuit Court of Cook County
- The complainant received an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Right to Sue letter on March 31, 2015. This letter affirmed that the federal agency found reasonable cause to believe that discrimination did actually occur. The notification expressly stated that the recipient had 90 days from receipt of the letter to file a private lawsuit against the employer in federal court;
- On June 23, 2015, the complainant reportedly completed a pro se Complaint of Employment Discrimination against a Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge and filed it in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
- The court dismissed the claim because it was not filed in a timely manner. According to the court decision, it was due on June 22, 2015, one day prior to the actual filing date.
This outcome exemplifies the importance of having an experienced attorney represent you in an employment discrimination case. The procedural requirements of filing and litigating a case are just as vital to the success of the case as the actual facts of the case. Even if Huri had a legitimate claim, the court refused to hear any of the evidence due to the untimely filing.
The EEOC issues two types of letters upon investigation of a complaint:
- Dismissal and Notice of Rights. This letter is issued when the EEOC finds no evidence that the alleged discrimination occurred. Sent to the employer and the employee, it states that the agency does not support the claim, but it does inform the employee of his or her right to still file a federal lawsuit within 90 days from receipt of the letter;
- Right to Sue. This letter is issued when the EEOC finds evidence that the alleged discrimination occurred. The agency can proceed in one of two ways:
- The EEOC can file suit on behalf of the employee; or
- The EEOC can issue a Right to Sue letter to the employer and employee, describing the employee’s right to sue.
If you file an EEOC complaint and hear nothing back from the agency after 160 days, you can request a notice of Right to Sue. However, it is best to secure counsel before making this request due to the limited time frame that follows the execution of the letter. It can prove challenging to find an experienced employment law attorney within 90 days and once you do locate the right attorney, he or she needs time to conduct an investigation before filing the complaint.
Work with a Chicago Employment Attorney
If you feel that you were discriminated against at work, contact an experienced and knowledgeable employment attorney. Call the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline for a review of your claim today.