Employment Litigation Section Frequently Asked QuestionsRe: Right-to-Sue

How do I request a notice of right to sue?

If I have filed a charge with the EEOC and want a notice of right to sue, which agency will issue it to me?

Can you issue me a notice of right to sue on a charge I filed against a private employer or union?

If I am alleging discrimination because of my age, will the Department of Justice issue me a notice of right to sue?

I work for an agency of the federal government, and believe that I have experienced employment discrimination on the job. Will you issue me a notice of right to sue?

What should I do if I have reason to believe that the employer I work for is retaliating against me after learning that I have filed a charge or a lawsuit based on that charge?

Does the 90-day time frame within which I must file suit begin from the date on my notice of right to sue letter?

The 90-day time frame within which I must file suit expires in a week and I haven't found an attorney to take my case. Can the DOJ extend that 90-day time frame?

If I want the EEOC to continue processing my charge should I request a notice of right to sue on that charge?

Where can I find the procedural regulations of the EEOC that, among other things, address the issuance of notices of right to sue?

I have been unable to find an attorney to represent me after receiving my notice of right to sue. How can I find one?

Q. How do I request a notice of right to sue?

A. The Department of Justice has authority to issue a notice of right to sue on a charge filed under Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act only when the respondent is a state or local government, governmental agency or political subdivision. If you have filed such a charge with the EEOC and want a notice of right to sue, you may make your request in writing either to the office of the EEOC where you filed the charge or to the Employment Litigation Section, Right to Sue Unit. Our address is:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Employment Litigation Section, PHB
Right to Sue Unit
Washington, D.C. 20530
.

Q. If I have filed a charge with the EEOC and want a notice of right to sue, which agency will issue it to me?

A. The Right-to-Sue Unit of the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice issues notices of right to sue requested by charging parties, upon receipt of appropriate documentation from the EEOC, on charges that have been filed with the EEOC against state and local government employers under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act, except in those instances in which the EEOC has dismissed the charge.

Q. Can you issue me a notice of right to sue on a charge I filed against a private employer or union?

No. The Department of Justice does not have authority to issue a notice of right to sue on a charge filed against a private employer or union. Such a notice would have to be issued by the EEOC.

Q. If I am alleging discrimination because of my age, will the Department of Justice issue me a notice of right to sue?

A. No. Only the EEOC has authority to issue a notice of right to sue under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, regardless of whether the respondent named in the charge is a state or local government employer, private employer or a union.

Q. I work for an agency of the federal government, and believe that I have experienced employment discrimination on the job. Will you issue me a notice of right to sue? A. No. We do not have authority to issue notices of right to sue on complaints of employment discrimination against agencies of the federal government. The procedure for filing a charge of employment discrimination against a department or agency of the federal government is to contact an equal employment opportunity officer at that agency who is authorized to receive and investigate such a charge. The personnel office at the agency where you believe you experienced employment discrimination can provide you with further information about filing a charge if you have not yet done so. Q. What should I do if I have reason to believe that the employer I work for is retaliating against me after learning that I have filed a charge or a lawsuit based on that charge?

A. You should contact the EEOC office where you filed the first charge, or the EEOC office nearest you, to find out whether you can file a charge with respect to your allegation of retaliation.

Q. Does the 90-day time frame within which I must file suit begin from the date on my notice of right to sue letter?

A. The 90-day time frame begins from the date that the notice of right to sue letter is received.

Q. The 90-day time frame within which I must file suit expires in a week and I haven't found an attorney to take my case. Can the DOJ extend that 90-day time frame? A. No. The Department of Justice has no authority to grant an extension of time beyond the 90-day period referenced in the notice of right to sue letter. Q. If I want the EEOC to continue processing my charge should I request a notice of right to sue on that charge? A. No. If you want the EEOC to continue processing your charge you should not request a notice of right to sue on that charge. Q. Where can I find the procedural regulations of the EEOC that, among other things, address the issuance of notices of right to sue? A. The procedural regulations of the EEOC are at 29 C.F.R. 1601 et seq. Q. I have been unable to find an attorney to represent me after receiving my notice of right to sue. How can I find one?

A. The Department of Justice does not give legal advice to private citizens or represent them. However, the local EEOC office where you filed your charge may be able to provide you with the names of attorneys in that area who handle cases alleging employment discrimination.

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Updated August 6, 2015

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