How does an employee file a claim under Title VII or other federal employment law?

An individual who believes they have been the victim of discrimination in the workforce must file a claim with the federal agency called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is called a charge of discrimination. A person called the charging party files such a charge at the nearest EEOC office. Many states have multiple local or field offices. For example, in the state of Florida there is an EEOC office in Miami and Tampa.

In the charge, the charging party must include his or her name, address and phone number, the employer’s name and address, and must also explain the charge of discrimination the factual basis for the charge and the date. The so-called Charge Form will contain a section entitled Cause of Discrimination and will list boxes next to race, age, color, disability, sex, religion, national origin, retaliation or other. The charging party must check all boxes that possibly apply. If not, that could prevent the raising of the claim later down the road.