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Timeliness

A charge must be filed with EEOC within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, in order to protect the charging party's rights.

This 180-day filing deadline may be extended to 300 days if the charge also is covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law.

These time limits do not apply to claims under the Equal Pay Act, because under that Act persons do not have to first file a charge with EEOC in order to have the right to go to court. However, since many EPA claims also raise Title VII sex discrimination issues, it may be advisable to file charges under both laws within the time limits indicated.

Washington Field Office Information

Except as noted below, an individual has 300 days from the date of alleged harm to file a charge with this office against an employer with 15 or more employees for discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and/or disability in the District of Columbia and in the Virginia counties under this office's jurisdiction. An individual has 300 days from the date of alleged harm to file a charge with this office against an employer with 20 or more employees for discrimination based on age in the District of Columbia and the Virginia counties under this office's jurisdiction. The exception is that employees or applicants to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority must file within 180 days of the alleged harm.

Charges against employers of less than 15 employees (for race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and/or disability) or less than 20 employees (for age) must be filed with the appropriate state or local agency within the time limits prescribed by state or local laws. These time limits can vary from 180 days to 365 days, depending on where your case arose. For specific time limits, contact your state or local agency.

To protect your legal rights, it is always best to contact EEOC promptly when discrimination is suspected.