How to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in Virginia
You should consider filing a charge of discrimination in Virginia if you have been terminated from employment for reasons based on your protected personal characteristics or in retaliation for making a complaint. You can file a wrongful termination discrimination charge with either the Virginia Division of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Time limits exist regarding how long you have to file a so it is important that you be aware of the laws that apply to your particular case. However, Virginia workers should be aware of what is considered a wrongful termination before filing a claim. Find out how to file a charge of employment discrimination in Virginia in the following sections.
When to File a Charge of Discrimination in Virginia
When learning how to file a charge of employment discrimination, it is important to determine the timeframe in which you must file. The deadline for filing a charge of discrimination in Virginia varies depending on the type of wrongful termination that occurred and the agency you must submit a claim to. While the state deadline is several months, the federal limit for reporting to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is almost half that period. Find out details about when to file a charge by downloading our comprehensive guide.
You will need to learn how to file an EEOC employment discrimination claim if you are terminated from employment because of characteristics protected under equal opportunity employment laws. You should also file a discrimination claim with the EEOC if you are fired after filing a report of discrimination or other illegal or unethical activity. Either report must be filed within the appropriate timeframe.
It should also be noted that you must file a charge of employment discrimination with either the EEOC or the Virginia Division of Human Rights before you can begin the discover the process on how to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer.
How to File an EEOC Employment Discrimination Charge in Virginia
You can file a wrongful termination discrimination charge with both the Virginia Division of Human Rights (DHR) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. No matter which option you choose to file a charge of employment discrimination, the process is similar, and once you file a charge with one agency, it will automatically be filed with the other agency upon completion.
You may file an EEOC wrongful termination complaint online, in person or by mail. If you wish to file a charge of employment discrimination online, then you should begin by submitting an inquiry. Submitting an inquiry does not mean that you have submitted an official charge of discrimination. The factors that weigh into filing a charge of discrimination in Virginia and at the federal level are numerous. After you submit an inquiry, a member of the EEOC staff will contact you to complete an initial interview and will provide information about the wrongful termination process. They can also tell you at this time whether they believe you have a case for wrongful termination discrimination or if you should pursue alternative methods of remediation. You can file your charge of employment discrimination online once you have completed the initial interview with the EEOC. You should gather all information regarding your claim of wrongful termination prior to filling out the form for ease of completion.
If you wish to file a charge of discrimination in Virginia in person you should either call the EEOC nearest you or visit the website to schedule an appointment. While you cannot file a wrongful termination discrimination charge over the phone, calling ensures that you will be seen on the date you arrive and that the EEOC staff will be prepared with background information regarding your case. This is recommended if you have a short timeframe in which to file your complaint as it will expedite the review of your claim. The information that you will be required to provide regarding your wrongful termination discrimination charge will be the same as if you were filing online so you should bring all records needed. Download our free guide to discover what information you must provide the EEOC.
You can also file an EEOC employment discrimination charge by mail. To do this you should write a letter to the EEOC outlining the information necessary to file a charge such as the reason for filing a charge of discrimination in Virginia, your contact information, your employer contact information and your signature. You must sign your letter in order for an investigation to occur. You can file a wrongful termination discrimination charge by mail if your time to report is running out for expedited service. Rather than a traditional intake interview, the EEOC will contact you if it needs further information.
After Filing a Charge of Discrimination in Virginia
After filing a charge of wrongful termination in Virginia, you can check the status of your charge online at any time. Within 10 days of the date you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, your employer will be alerted that a charge has been filed against him or her. He or she will also be provided with your name as the claimant. While many protections exist around your privacy as a complainant you cannot anonymously submit or pursue a charge of wrongful termination discrimination.
If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determines that your wrongful termination discrimination charge violates laws that they are responsible to enforce, then you will be notified that an investigation will occur. However, if the EEOC determines that the termination did not break the at-will employment law in Virginia, then it will not pursue the claim. In most cases, when you file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, the EEOC will request that you attend mediation to reach a voluntary settlement regarding your charge. If this does not work or if mediation was not recommended, then the investigation will continue with a request for a response from your employer.
When the EEOC decides to investigate your charge of wrongful termination discrimination, they will request a “Respondent’s Position Statement” from your employer, which is essentially a response to the charges. You can request and read this position statement and then you must provide a response within a specific number of days from when you received it. Your employer will also likely be required to answer questions regarding your claim. The EEOC will inform you when your charge has been fully investigated and provide you the results. You may then also request a Notice of Right to Sue to file an additional lawsuit against your employer.