How to Bring a Discrimination or Harassment Claim?
Any claim that arises under the Massachusetts or federal discrimination laws must follow the basic steps below. This includes claims for discrimination, as well as sexual harassment claims and any claims of retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment.
First, the claim must be filed in either the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD") or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Most discrimination claims are recognized under both federal and state law, in which case you can file the claim in either agency. If your claims are only state law claims, you should file with the MCAD. These claims must be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory or retaliatory act.
Second, you will have an opportunity to decide whether you want to litigate the claim in the agency, or withdraw it and file in state or federal court. You can do this after 90 days if you are in MCAD, and after 180 days if you are in the EEOC. If you file on your own (without a lawyer) this is a good time to talk to an employment lawyer about the strength of your claims and the pros and cons of going to court instead of remaining with the MCAD or EEOC.
Learn more here about bringing a discrimination complaint.
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