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94. Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA) Complaints

Complaints who wish to file complaints of age discrimination have two important options:

  1. Use the Administrative Complaint Process

    File a formal complaint under 29 C.F.R. § 1614;


  2. Bypass the Administrative Complaint Process and File Civil Action in United States District Court

    Bypass the administrative complaint process under 29 C.F.R. § 1614 and file a civil action directly in United States District Court.

    1. Administrative Complaint Processing of Age-based Complaints: If a complainant chooses the administrative complaint process forum, the EOUSA must exhaust its administrative remedies before the complainant can proceed to court. The EOUSA has 180 days from the date complainant filed his/her formal complaint to exhaust its administrative remedies or 180 days after the aggrieved filed an appeal with the Commission, provided the Commission has not issued a decision.

      Refer to Section 3-5.200 et seq., for complaint processing information.

    2. Filing a Civil Action in United States District Court, Bypassing the Administrative Complaint Processing: The Complainant may file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court after first giving the EEOC not less than 30 days notice of intent to file such action. Such notice must be filed within 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination. The notice may be mailed to the EEOC Headquarters at the following address: Director, Office of Federal Operations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Post Office Box 19848, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Since the statute of limitations in Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) cases is not consistently applied by the courts, the complainant wishing to bypass the administrative process should initiate the civil action as soon as possible after the expiration of the 30-day waiting period which follows the notice of intent to sue.

Updated September 19, 2018