Dealing with discrimination while on the job is undoubtedly difficult. After all, your job is vitally important to your well-being. If you don’t get paid, you can’t support your lifestyle; regardless of whether you are living frivolously or not. Also, discrimination can hamper your professional growth and even leave lasting emotional damage.

While discrimination should not be tolerated, an employee often must seek legal redress in order to find justice. This involves filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before being able to file a lawsuit. However, many employees may not know that there are time limits associated with pursuing a discrimination claim.

This post will explain a few. 

Generally speaking, you must file a complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of when the discriminatory event took place. This deadline can be extended to 300 days if a state or local agency, such as California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (or DFEH), is tasked with enforcing discrimination claims.

Indeed, discrimination is not limited to how employees are treated. Discrimination can manifest itself in unfair pay among employees. If you decide to bring suit based on an Equal Pay Act violation, the deadline is two years from the date of the last discriminatory paycheck. If there was willful discrimination, the deadline is extended to three years.  Additionally, these claims can be filed directly in state or federal court. It is not necessary to file a claim with the EEOC.

If you have further questions about filing deadlines, an experienced employment law attorney can help.