Discrimination is basically favoring one person differently from their peers at work, each state has passed laws and rules to protect employment rights, & what the employee can do. The purpose of the Idaho anti-discrimination/harassment law is to protect the employee’s in Idaho from unlawful discrimination/harassment during employment.
1. Discrimination and Harassment are against the law in Idaho
Idaho law specifically makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of religion, race, age, disability, and gender.
2. What if I face discrimination/harassment by my employer or fellow employee?
Discrimination claims can be filed either with the state administrative agency, the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) or with the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Filing a claim with both agencies is unnecessary, as long as you specify what agency you would like to direct your claim to. If your workplace has 15 or more employees, you may file with either agency.
Idaho Human Rights Commission
317 West Main Street
Second Floor Boise, ID 83720-0040
Phone: (208) 334-2873
Toll-Free (888) 249-7025
TDD (208) 334-4751
FAX (208) 334-2664
To file a claim with the EEOC, contact your local EEOC office.
3. What are my time deadlines?
It is very important not to delay in contacting the IHRC or EEOC. There are strict time limits in which charges of employment discrimination must be filed. To preserve your claim under state law, you must file with the IHRC (or cross-file with the EEOC) within one year of the date, the incident took place. To preserve your claim under federal law, you must file with the EEOC (or cross-file with the state agency) within 300 days of the date of the incident.
4. What happens after I file a charge with the EEOC?
When your charge is filed, the EEOC will give you a copy of your charge with a case number. Within 10 days, the EEOC will also send a notice and a copy of the charge to the employer. During this time, the EEOC must decide on one of the following actions:
- Suggest a mediation program
- Ask the employer to provide a written answer to your charge.
- Dismiss the claim if your charge was not filed in time, or deemed inadequate.
If the EEOC decides to proceed further with your charge, they will interview witnesses and gather documents. Once the investigation process is finished, they will contact the victim. If they decide that discrimination did not occur, then they will send you a “Notice of Right to Sue.” This notice gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a court of law.
The length of the investigation generally is a time-consuming process. On average, it takes the EEOC nearly5-7 months to investigate a charge. A charge is often settled faster through mediation, (usually in less than 2months).
5. How can I, or my attorney pursue a claim in the Idaho court?
If the case is not resolved by the IHRC or EEOC, it is a private legal matter. A federal employment discrimination case cannot go to court without first going to the EEOC, as discussed above and having the EEOC dismiss your case. This legal process is called “exhaustion” of the legal remedy. Therefore, you can proceed with a lawsuit based on the Idaho state discrimination claim, because the employee previously filed with the IHRC. Since this may limit recovery, for damage fees, many attorneys in Idaho choose to file employment discrimination claims in federal court.
After “Dismissal and Notice of Rights” or “Notice of Right to Sue” (Form 161), only then can you file a case in court based upon your federal claim. A lawsuit based on a federal discrimination claim must be filed in federal within 90 days. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time, you may lose your right to pursue your case in court.
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