The following article will be the first in a series discussing cases filed with the United States Equal Employment Commission ("EEOC") and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights ("MCCR").
One interesting difference between the two agencies is the timeline and procedure for taking your case to court.
Under the EEOC, if the investigation is ongoing, you can request a Notice of Right to Sue, and, upon receipt, you have 90 days to file in federal court. Similarly, if the EEOC concludes its investigation and does not find probable cause of discrimination, you will typically be issued a Notice of Right to Sue which will enable you file in federal court - within 90 days of receipt of the Notice of Right to Sue.
Pretty straight forward.
Under the MCCR laws, it gets a little trickier - specifically with respect to filing in state court.
In order to bring the case to court, at least 180 days must have elapsed since the filing of the administrative complaint, and the action must be filed in state court within two years after the "unlawful employment practice" occurred.
For example, if the "unlawful employment practice" was a termination, that, hypothetically happened almost two years ago - this means that - even if the investigation is still ongoing, the two year deadline from the termination is a hard and fast deadline - regardless of the status of the investigation.
Contrast this with the EEOC process: if the EEOC investigation is still ongoing - there is no clock ticking for you to file the claim in federal court - you only need to keep an eye on the EEOC's progress.
If you are pursuing a discrimination case in Maryland and would like guidance on how to navigate this uncertain arena, contact our firm to schedule a consultation.