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Can I win a case if the EEOC have given me a notice of "right to sue" letter?

Knightdale, NC |

My current employer promoted me from hourly position to a salary management position. Once my criminal background information was obtained my employer sent me a letter to terminate me but then reconsidered and gave me my original position back. I started my hourly position 09/2007 and was promoted 04/2011 When I first started I disclosed all of my criminal background history with the company. Now that I recieved this letter from the EEOC what are my chances of finding a lawyer to pick up the case and winning? I later found out someone of a different race had the same issue in 2008 but they got promoted with no problem even though his criminal history was worse than mines. How do I handle this?

Attorney Answers 3


I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. The following is information only.

Going through the EEOC administrative process and obtaining a right-to-sue letter is a mandatory prerequisite to filing a lawsuit in court. After the EEOC has finished doing whatever it will do with a charge, it issues a right-to-sue letter. A right-to-sue letter is not a statement on the strength or weakness of your case. Almost always, the right-to-sue letter says that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether there was a violation of law. This does not mean the EEOC was able to adequately investigate your case. All it means is that the EEOC is not going to do anything else.

After you receive the right-to-sue letter, you only have 90 days to file a lawsuit in court. From an attorney's perspective, this is a very short time, so I urge you to look for an attorney immediately.

In addition, a North Carolina employment attorney can let you know whether there is a similar law in your state that provides more generous benefits to employees than does whatever law your EEOC case alleges the employer broke.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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I agree with my colleague. YOu need to consult with an experienced employment attorney in North carolina who can examine the facts of your case and provide a legal option. Many EEOC "right to sue" letters are no true indication of the existance of discrimination based on the method utalized by the EEOC based on its resources and mandate through Federal legislation and regulations. Good lcuk.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.

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The EEOC right to sue letter is no predictor of success or failure for a discrimination lawsuit. It is only procedural document that allows you to file the lawsuit in the first place. The most important things for you to do now are (1) request a complete copy of your file from the EEOC pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act and (2) find a good employment attorney in North Carolina.

Kirk J. Angel is a North Carolina licensed attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has focused on employment law for more than 14 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.

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