If you are the victim of discrimination, be advised that your right to file a claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This means you only have a certain period of time to file your claim or you lose the ability to do so, forever. In Massachusetts, employment discrimination claims must be filed with the Massachusetts Commissions Against Discrimination (MCAD) and/or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before you can file a complaint in a court of law. You must file your claim of discrimination with the MCAD within 300 days of the discriminatory conduct or practice you are complaining about. There is a 180-day period to file claims with the EEOC, although claims filed within the 300 days at the MCAD that are ‘dually filed’ with the EEOC are considered timely in Massachusetts. Also, you must file your claim in a court of law within three years of the discriminatory conduct you are complaining about.
Please note that these are general parameters only. (For example, if you are a federal employee, different timelines apply and you must file with your Agency’s EEO Office.) Courts are very harsh when dealing with filing deadlines. Only on rare occasions will a court permit a claim that is filed late to proceed. Do not rely on someone telling you to wait for any reason.
If you need to determine what time periods apply to your claim, when the applicable time periods start ‘ticking,’ and where you must file a complaint, you should contact an experienced discrimination attorney immediately. Call Swartz Law today at (816) 444-8900 or send us an email online.