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Filing a Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit

Feb 11, 2008
Laws centering around employment and the workplace are usually quite different from most other law related fields because, generally speaking, several different conditions need to be satisfied before litigation can get underway.

In Texas for instance, someone who is claiming to be a victim of employment discrimination on the basis of gender, age, race, nationality, or disability must first file an official Charge of Discrimination with one of two government agents: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Workforce Commission/Division of Civil Rights. A qualified Texas employment attorney will usually be willing and able to help you file these charges before proceeding.

Time is of the utmost essence and is absolutely critical and is a complicated aspect of employment discrimination claims. Generally, discrimination charges must be filed within a timeframe of 180 days (6 months) of a discriminatory event, such as an unlawful termination.

However there are provisions for filing later - using Texas as an example again, Houston labor lawyers have successfully filed as late as 300 days after the discriminatory event occurred. Typically, as recent reports have confirmed, those who are hasty in charging files (within the recommended 180 day time frame) will have more strategic options and will have a better chance of reaching settlements. Therefore it is highly recommended that filing take place during the first six months.

In Texas, when a victim files a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, it is then filed with the Texas Workforce Commission/Division of Civil Rights. Once the EEOC has completed their investigations, which may be conducted by the EEOC itself, a right to sue letter is provided giving you 90 days from its receipt to file a lawsuit in Federal Court against the accused job discriminator.

However, it is preferable, in some situations, to also request a right to sue letter from the workforce Commission/Division of Civil Rights. This right to sue letter provides a 60 day time frame in which to file suit. If the employer in question is based within the state, Federal Court (in a somewhat more difficult forum for employees to prevail) can be avoided and suit can be filed through the state's court system, which is typically a more favorable forum by which to sue.

Once a suit is filed, you are increasingly reliant on your attorney to provide the research, dedication and knowledge to see that you are successful in your lawsuit. There are numerous other strategic considerations concerning the discrimination laws. A qualified Texas labor lawyer could be the difference in justice and disappointment. On-job discrimination is not to be taken lightly.
About the Author
Art Gib writes for Rosenberg Law (http://www.rosenberglaw.com), a Texas Employment Attorney law firm specializing in labor law and job discrimination based in Houston, Texas.
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