How to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in Pennsylvania
You should consider filing a charge of discrimination in Pennsylvania if you were terminated from employment for an illegal reason. Learning how to file a charge of employment discrimination is the first step in gaining potential reparations for wrongful termination. You have a limited timeframe to file these charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). Once you have filed a charge of employment discrimination in PA, the EEOC or PHRC will investigate your claims and determine if the charge is warranted. Learn more about how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge by reading the following sections.
When to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in Pennsylvania
You can file a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC if you have been illegally terminated or otherwise discriminated against at work because of your:
- Race, skin color or ethnic background, including national origin.
- Age, if you are older than 40 years of age.
- Gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy) or sexual orientation.
- Disability or genetic information.
It is recommended that you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge as soon as you have decided to do so, but specific time limits exist. You have six months to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge in PA after you have been released from employment. This time limit is extended to 300 days if your state also has laws prohibiting discrimination on this basis. If you are a federal employee, you only have 45 days to file a charge of wrongful termination discrimination.
If you are filing a charge of discrimination in Pennsylvania, you should be aware of the process that will follow. It is also a complicated choice that may take time to address. Once a charge is filed, the EEOC must notify your employer of charges within 10 days and launch an investigation. You may wish to speak with an EEOC employee to discuss your options before filing.
How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination in Pennsylvania
Finding out how to file an EEOC employment discrimination charge is critical if you feel you have been subject to workplace discrimination. In Pennsylvania, you have the right to report to the EEOC or to the PHRC, which is the state agency that manages employment discrimination charges. If you are filing a charge of discrimination in Pennsylvania, you must file a charge with one of these organizations before you can pursue any other legal action against your employer. Once you report your wrongful termination charge in PA to one agency, it will be automatically filed with the other, providing you dual filing and additional protections under the law. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss a charge filed with the EEOC, as it is the primary investigative agency and the process is similar for filing charges with both agencies.
You can file an EEOC employment discrimination charge with the EEOC online or in person. To file your charge of wrongful termination discrimination charge online, you must first submit an online inquiry. When this is complete, an EEOC staff member will contact you for an interview. During this time, you will be asked general information to create a charge in the EEOC system.
When you file a charge of employment discrimination online, you will also be asked for documents supporting your charge. You will be asked to upload these documents into the online database. If you cannot or do not want to use the online reporting system, you also have the option of filing a charge of discrimination in person at an EEOC office.
To file a PA charge of discrimination in person, you must locate the nearest EEOC office and schedule an appointment to appear in person for an interview. When you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, you will need to bring required documents. To learn more about how to file a charge of employment discrimination in Pennsylvania, including detailed instructions, required documents and required information, you can download our complimentary guide today.
The Investigative Process for Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charges in Pennsylvania
Within 10 days of filing a charge of discrimination in Pennsylvania your employer will be alerted to your charge. While you cannot anonymously file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, you are protected from retaliation by the EEOC.
If the EEOC determines that you have a valid case for wrongful termination discrimination in Pennsylvania, it may ask you and your employer to go to mediation to try to come to terms that are acceptable for both parties. If mediation is not called for or does not work, your employer will be asked for a written response to your charge. When your employer has provided a response to your PA charge of wrongful termination discrimination, you will be given access to that statement. You will then be asked to respond within 20 days of receipt. During this time, the EEOC may ask your employer for more information, visit your employer, interview other witnesses and ask for additional documentation.
The process of investigating a wrongful termination discrimination charge usually takes several months, though mediation often provides more timely results. You are able to check the status of your charge at any time and can add to your charge if other discrimination or retaliation occurs due to your original complaint. When the EEOC has completed their investigation, they will notify both you and your employer of their final decision. For more specific information about filing a charge of discrimination in PA, you can download our complimentary guide today.