As an attorney handling legal challenges to denials of requests for religious and/or medical exemptions to the covid “vaccine” mandates, I frequently hear frustrating stories of how people have tried to file complaints on their own with the EEOC – which is a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit in court under Title VII or the ADA – and are told they have to wait months for an “intake interview” before their complaints will be processed by the agency.
It is apparent to me that people who go onto the EEOC website are misunderstanding (or being misled about) the process for filing complaints (called “charges of discrimination”) with the agency. The EEOC website clearly states that “[s]ubmitting an inquiry is different from filing a charge of discrimination.” In other words, simply contacting the EEOC, whether through the website or by telephone, is NOT the same as filing a charge of discrimination. This means – very important! – that simply contacting the EEOC, whether through the website or by telephone, does NOT satisfy the legal prerequisite for filing a lawsuit in court. Before a lawsuit can be filed, you must first obtain a “notice of right to sue” from the EEOC, and this requires properly filing a charge of discrimination with the agency and requesting the notice.
An experienced attorney knows how to cut through the bureaucratic red tape, file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC right away, and request the right to sue notice. There is no reason to wait for an “intake interview.” There is no reason to allow the EEOC to drag its feet for many months, delaying you from filing your lawsuit in court. But to make sure that the EEOC process is handled correctly and efficiently, you definitely should hire a lawyer. Yes, this will cost some money. But people who try to represent themselves (“pro se”) before the EEOC face lengthy delays in the processing of their complaints and risk filing incorrect or incomplete charges that do not preserve their legal rights.
If you are prepared to take legal action to protect your rights, make sure you do it right. Hire a lawyer!