Bringing a Utah Employment Discrimination Claim
This guide explains what to do if you feel that you have been discriminated against.
What types of employment discrimination does the law prohibit?With limited exceptions, the law prohibits employers, employment referral services, and labor unions from discriminating against a person based on his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. Discrimination includes refusing to hire a person, firing a person, demoting a person, revoking a person's benefits, treating a person worse than others, and fostering a hostile work environment.
What should I do if I feel that I've been discriminated against?If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, you must act quickly. You have 180 days from the date that you were discriminated against to contact the Equal Employment Commission of the United States ("EEOC") or the Utah Labor Commission and file a formal complaint. The failure to file a formal complaint with the EEOC or the Utah Labor Commission within 180 days will result in losing your ability to bring an employment discrimination lawsuit against your employer. If you decide to file your formal complaint with the Utah Labor Commission, you must still file a formal complaint with the EEOC within the earlier of 300 days from the date that you were discriminated against or 30 days after the Utah Labor Commission provides notice that it has terminated proceedings based on your formal complaint.
What happens after I file a formal complaint?After filing your formal complaint, the EEOC and/or the Utah Labor Commission will investigate it. The EEOC and the Utah Labor Commission have the ability to bring legal action based on your formal complaint. However, you cannot bring your own lawsuit seeking monetary damages until the EEOC has completed its investigation. If the EEOC has finished its investigation and does not take any legal action, it will issue you what is commonly called a "Right to Sue Letter."
What do I do once I receive a Right to Sue Letter?Once you receive a Right to Sue Letter from the EEOC, you must file a lawsuit within 90 days. If you fail to file on time, you will lose your ability to bring an employment discrimination lawsuit against your employer. To file a lawsuit, you must prepare a written complaint which states in detail what your employer did, when it happened, and what you want the court to do about it. In addition to being filed, you must also serve your formal complaint with a summons according to the rules of the court where you filed.