Attention Pennsylvania workers: This is an urgent message about your employment law rights and fast approaching deadlines to investigate and file claims.
In the wake of COVID-19, we saw an unprecedented influx of employment law cases. Because of this, there has been an increase in cases including:
- Workplace discrimination;
- Wrongful termination;
- Sexual Harassment;
- Wage claims;
- Failure to pay the proper wage;
- Failure to pay overtime; and
- Americans with Disabilities Act claims
Each day we are receiving more and more calls from concerned employees. And what we are finding is that most people are unaware that they have very tight deadlines to keep up with. And if you don’t, you will lose your right to compensation forever.
Deadlines for Filing
So, what are these deadlines? The deadlines themselves depend on the size of your employer.
Filing with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
Most people are going to be subject to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). This covers employers with 4-14 employees. Under the PHRA, you have only a 180 day-deadline to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The clock starts ticking from the very first date that you experience an instance of discrimination. The first step in any claim is to file before the deadline. If you miss this deadline, there is nothing we can do for you. No matter how badly you were mistreated, and how much you suffered, if you miss this deadline, you will be unable to recover.
Filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Larger employers with 15 or more employees are covered by federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA). Under these laws, you have a 300-day deadline to file a “charge” with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Like with the PHRC, the clock starts ticking from the date of the first instance of discrimination. And in order to file a charge, we first need to get an intake interview with the EEOC. Although this may seem like a fairly straight-forward and simple process, submitting a claim and obtaining this initial interview takes longer than you might think.
Right now, the EEOC is backed up until October, 2020 for new intake interviews. This is particularly troublesome for employees who have experienced wrongful employment action during COVID-19, as their deadline for filing is approaching in December 2020.
Because of that, you should use local or state agencies known as Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs). These are local organizations that also conduct intake interviews and allow you to file a claim. They may be able to assist more quickly and simultaneously file a claim with the EEOC on your behalf.
Also, if you have 60 days or less to file a charge, there are special EEOC procedures to expedite your initial filing. To find out more, see our article on filing claims with the EEOC that details the process from start to finish.
Don’t Wait to Fight for Your Rights!
Your main takeaway should be: Don’t Wait. The deadlines are fast approaching for many people who were terminated, or had an issue, back in March. Three hundred days from March 1st is December 27th. And remember the interviews are not even open until October.
You cannot sit on these questions. You need to know your rights now. Please call us right away if you have anything that you would like to discuss. Our consultations are always 100 percent free. And we never charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you. Call us at 877-259-WARD, or visit www.fentersward.com for more information.
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