The answer is: it depends on what kind of lawsuit you’re bringing.
If your claim is against a private employer (not the government) and involves a discrete act, like a failure to promote or failure to hire, or a suspension under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, then if you miss the EEOC deadline for filing a charge of discrimination for this claim (either 180 or 300 days, depending on what state you live in), you likely will not be able to pursue your Title VII claim.
If, instead, your claim involves harassment or a hostile work environment, you may still be able to file a Title VII lawsuit in federal court even if you missed the 180 or 300 day EEOC charge deadline. The Supreme Court in National R.R. Passenger Corp. v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101 (2002) ruled that:
A charge alleging a hostile work environment claim, however, will not be time barred so long as all acts which constitute the claim are part of the same unlawful employment practice and at least one act falls within the time period.
The courts use the term “continuing violation” to describe this scenario. More information about sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims is available in the e-book below.
Maryland Washington DC Virginia Employment Lawyers
Hiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in a discrimination case. Eric Bachman, Chair of the Firm’s Discrimination Practice, has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting individual and class action discrimination cases. His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain. And his experience as a public defender enables him to feel at home in any courtroom and communicate effectively with the jury.
Having served as Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is trial-tested and ready to fight for you to obtain the relief that you deserve. As editor of the Glass Ceiling Discrimination blog, Bachman writes frequently on topics related to promotion discrimination, harassment, and other employment discrimination issues.
U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. To schedule a preliminary consultation, click here or call us at (202) 769-1681.