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Filing a Lawsuit

Whether your case is a discrimination case coming from the EEOC or BOLI, the first step after filing with the administrative agency is to file a “Complaint.” (Claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act do not go through EEOC, but can be filed directly in the federal court.) Your complaint is the document that tells the court what your claims are. You can file a lawsuit and a complaint “pro se” (without an attorney). The forms are available at the clerk’s office at the courthouse. However, I usually advise clients to have an employment lawyer prepare the complaint because the form Complaints still require you to write a portion of your story. After a Complaint (i.e., lawsuit) is filed, the court will randomly assign you a judge. In federal court you will have 120 days to serve your complaint on the company you are suing, the defendant. In state court, you should assume that you have at most 60 days.

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