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Filing a Discrimination Claim

An employee may file a complaint if the employee believes that an employer discriminated against him or her because of citizenship or immigration status, national origin, or any other prohibited practice. Employees can also file a complaint if they believe they are a victim of document abuse.

Filing a Complaint with the Government

Depending on the type of discrimination you suffer, you may file a discrimination charge with either the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employees must file discrimination charges with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices within 180 days of the date the employee believes the discrimination occurred. The deadline to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission depends on where the discrimination took place. The deadline is 180 days, unless a state or local agency enforces a state or local law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis, in which case the deadline is 300 calendar days.

  • Contact the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) if you want to file a charge of employment discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin. OSC has jurisdiction over national origin claims against employers with four to 14 employees.
  • Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you want to file a complaint of employment discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or other prohibited basis and your employer has 15 or more employees.

OSC or EEOC will notify the employer of the discrimination complaint within 10 days of filing. The employer will receive

  • a notice of the charge
  • a request for information
  • a reminder that retaliation is unlawful

For more information about employment discrimination, contact OSC or EEOC.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/16/2011