There are three primary rules that can easily trip a person up in filing a discrimination complaint and prevent the EEOC from even accepting a complaint.
1. The first rule deals with the length of time from the incident you are complaining about to the day you file the complaint. Currently, the EEOC will allow a person to file a complaint up to three hundred days after an incident (such as termination). The three-hundred-day time limit includes weekends and holidays. It may be helpful for you to use a calendar when determining if your complaint fits within this time limit. There are no exceptions for complaints that are filed too late.
2. The second rule is the requirement that an employer must employ a minimum of twenty or more people for complaints of age discrimination to be heard. All other discrimination charges require that an employer employ a minimum of fifteen people. An employee may need to determine how many workers the employer had at the time of the alleged discrimination, in order to comply with this requirement.
3. The third requirement is that a discrimination complaint must concern at least one of the bases that EEOC has set out as illegal discrimination. These bases are age, color, race, national origin, disability, religion, retaliation, or sex discrimination. No matter how egregious or unfair the actions of an employer are, they must be linked to one of these bases.