The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination

Note: Federal employees or applicants for Federal employment should see Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing.

Who Can File a Charge of Discrimination?

How Is a Charge of Discrimination Filed?

What Information Must Be Provided to File a Charge?

What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Charge of Discrimination?

All laws enforced by EEOC, except the Equal Pay Act, require filing a charge with EEOC before a private lawsuit may be filed in court. There are strict time limits within which charges must be filed:

What Agency Handles a Charge that is also Covered by State or Local Law?

Many states and localities have anti-discrimination laws and agencies responsible for enforcing those laws. EEOC refers to these agencies as "Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs)." Through the use of "work sharing agreements," EEOC and the FEPAs avoid duplication of effort while at the same time ensuring that a charging party's rights are protected under both federal and state law.

How Is a Charge Filed for Discrimination Outside the United States?

U.S.-based companies that employ U.S. citizens outside the United States or its territories are covered under EEO laws, with certain exceptions. An individual alleging an EEO violation outside the U.S. should file a charge with the district office closest to his or her employer's headquarters. However, if you are unsure where to file, you may file a charge with any EEOC office.

For answers to common questions about how EEO laws apply to multinational employers, please see:

This page was last modified on December 20, 2007.

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