If you want to sue your employer for discrimination or harassment, you must first file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or the agency in your state that enforces its anti-discrimination laws and then get a right-to-sue letter from that agency.
After you receive your right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, you generally have only 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court. Some state agencies have longer time limits and may allow you to wait as long as a year after receiving your right to sue letter to sue under state law. However, to make sure you are fully protected, you should file a lawsuit within the time stated on your right-to-sue letter. You should see an attorney who specializes in employment law (an employment law attorney) as soon as you can – preferably before you even receive your right-to-sue letter.
If you do decide to file a lawsuit, it normally takes a long time to be resolved. Discrimination lawsuits can last 2-3 years, although your case might end sooner if you and your employer can reach a settlement. Retaliation “Retaliation” occurs when your employer or a co-worker takes revenge against you for complaining about discrimination or harassment. Retaliation can include demotions, bad work or shift assignments, negative evaluations, or any other unfair treatment. Federal law prohibits retaliation.
Even if you can’t prove your original complaint, your employer still can’t retaliate against you unless you made that original complaint in bad faith. If your employer or a co-worker retaliates against you for complaining about discrimination, you should file new claim for retaliation with the EEOC and your state agency.