You will need to get a "right to sue" letter from the EEOC before you can sue your former employer. The EEOC will issue a "right to sue" letter after it completes its investigation, and it can take a year or more for the EEOC to complete an investigation. I believe that the agency is overwhelmed with work and doesn't have adequate resources to handle to volume of work. It is possible that the EEOC might issue a "right to sue" letter before it completes its investigation, but you would have to request it and the the EEOC would have to concluded that it is unlikely to complete its investigation in a reasonable amount of time. In any case, I would encourage you to consult now with an employment attorney to get a thorough evaluation of your situation. Good luck.
My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.
If your case is for age discrimination, once you have filed with the EEOC, you can immediately file a lawsuit -- even before the EEOC issues a right to sue. But, you have to file suit within 90 days of when the EEOC issues the right to sue. If you haven't received it yet, you have the choice of waiting or going forward. You should speak with an attorney about the best strategy for your case.
Get a local lawyer who has employment law experience to go over your case and file sooner, rather than later. If the EEOC still has not issued your right to sue letter, you can get one and then sue. But make sure you move quickly, there is a short time to file. Only 90 days.
More facts could change the answer. This response is not legal advice.
You can request a "Right to Sue" from the EEOC based on the fact that it has been more than 180 days since you filed your charge. But you should have an attorney on board first, because you will only have 90 days to file your lawsuit once the EEOC issues the notice. Good luck.
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