EEOC Inquiry vs Charge
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or “EEOC” is the federal agency charged with investigating complaints of, among other things, discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion and disability. In order to file a lawsuit under federal law, an employee must first file a “charge” with the EEOC within fairly short time limits.
In 2017 the EEOC first piloted and then launched a “public portal,” which allows employees to file charges and access their information online. In the midst of launching this new online program, it also debuted a Form, 290-A, or a “Pre-Charge Inquiry.” This is not the same as filing a charge, and going through an “inquiry” process might risk running out of time to file a lawsuit.
If you are considering contacting the EEOC about such a claim for discrimination, it is in your interest to consult with an attorney about your rights and options as early in the process as possible.