Potential clients often ask whether they should pursue their claims with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights. Although New York State and the EEOC have what are know as “dual filing,” the choice of which administrative agency to initially file a claim can make a significant difference.
Practically, if you file your claim with the New York State Division of Human Rights it is generally more likely that you will, at the very least, get an investigative conference from the agency. During this conference a DHR investigator will question witnesses and gather facts, prior to the agency issuing a determination.
If you file an administrative claim first with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) your claim will also be filed with the EEOC, and vice versa (“dual filing”). The primary difference, however, is that if the DHR investigates, and ultimately dismisses, your claim you will be precluded from pursuing any potential claims under New York State law in court.
If you file your claim with the EEOC, however, the result of a dismissal is not the same. If the EEOC dismisses your claim you will be issued a “Right to Sue,” which then allows you to pursue your claims under Federal law in court.
Even though the EEOC and DHR are designed to assist individuals without counsel, the considerations in selecting the appropriate venue, how to approach that venue, and the long term implications of that selection and approach, can be quite technical. It is important, therefore, if you believe you may have a claim for employment discrimination or retaliation that you speak with an experienced employment attorney before making any decisions which may impact your potential case.
Scott Peterson by Scott Peterson | | Connect with me:
Representing plaintiffs in employment and serious injury matters.