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How to File an Age Discrimination in Employment Act Charge


It is illegal for Ohio employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of age. This prohibition applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, termination, promotion, wages and benefits, and training, among others. The law also prohibits harassment based on age.

If you believe you have suffered illegal age discrimination, you should meet with our Columbus Age Discrimination Attorneys.

Identify Where to File Your Discrimination Charge

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) outlaws employment discrimination based on age if the victim is 40 or older. In other words, federal law does not prohibit age discrimination if you are under age 40.

Federal law also applies to only certain employers. Generally, an employer must have at least 20 employees who work at least 20 weeks per year, so the federal law will not cover the smallest businesses in the state.

If you work for a smaller employer, then you might file a complaint under the state’s Fair Employment Practices Law, which like the federal law prohibits age discrimination against those who are 40 or older. It applies to Ohio employers with 4 or more employees. Unfortunately, if you work for an employer with 3 or fewer employees, you are not covered by either state or federal law.

How to File a Discrimination Charge with the EEOC

You have 180 days from the discrimination to file a complaint (called a “charge”) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You should avoid delay. You can file a charge by visiting your nearest EEOC office or by submitting a letter with required information:

  • Your name, address, and phone number
  • The name, address, and phone number of the employer you are filing the complaint against
  • The number of employees working in the company or agency
  • A brief description of each act of discrimination
  • The dates on which the discriminatory acts occurred
  • Your explanation for why the discrimination happened (i.e., age discrimination)
  • Your signature

You should certainly meet with our attorneys to discuss drafting a strong complaint. If the complaint is missing information, then the EEOC might delay consideration of it, and you can lose important rights in the meantime.

Bringing an Age Discrimination Lawsuit

You cannot bring a lawsuit in court until you file a discrimination charge with either the EEOC or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Once you file your charge with the EEOC, the agency might investigate or recommend mediation.

You can file a lawsuit, but you must keep two separate deadlines in mind:

  • At least 60 days must have passed from the date you submitted your age discrimination charge to the EEOC.
  • If you receive a notice that the EEOC has completed its investigation, you must file your lawsuit within 90 days of receiving this notice.

Filing a lawsuit is very complicated, and you would benefit from having experienced age discrimination attorneys represent you in court. Filing a federal lawsuit carries many requirements that you must meet.

Have You Experienced Age Discrimination?

If so, contact Coffman Legal today. Our firm has helped many people who have suffered illegal discrimination, and we would be glad to meet with you to discuss your dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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