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What Are The Steps of Filing An Employee Discrimination Lawsuit?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Filing an employee discrimination lawsuit is a complex process that requires a clear understanding of the steps involved. This comprehensive guide will walk you through each stage, starting with finding legal guidance from an experienced employee discrimination attorney at East Idaho Law.

Recognizing Discrimination

Employee discrimination refers to unfair treatment of employees based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, disability, religion, and more. At East Idaho Law, we provide the legal guidance and support needed throughout this challenging process.

Discrimination can take many forms, including but not limited to:

Direct Discrimination: When an employee is treated unfairly due to their protected characteristics.

Indirect Discrimination: Involves policies or practices that disproportionately affect employees with certain protected characteristics.

Harassment: Inappropriate and offensive behavior based on protected characteristics.

Retaliation: Punitive actions taken against employees who report discrimination or participate in investigations.

Documenting instances of discrimination is crucial for building a strong case for an employee discrimination lawsuit.

Consultation with an Attorney

Legal Expertise: Attorneys understand the intricacies of discrimination law and can provide expert guidance.

Case Evaluation: An employee discrimination attorney can assess the strength of your case and advise on the best course of action.

Advocacy: They represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf.

During the initial consultation, an employee discrimination attorney will evaluate your case, discuss potential strategies, and outline the legal process. This meeting is an opportunity to determine if you and the employee discrimination attorney will work well together.

Filing a Complaint

Filing a complaint is the first formal step in the legal process. The complaint outlines your allegations of discrimination and identifies the responsible parties.

Depending on your situation, you may file a complaint with various agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state employment agency.

Your employee discrimination attorney can help you choose the appropriate agency and assist you in preparing a compelling and comprehensive complaint that outlines the details of your case.

Investigation and Mediation

After filing a complaint, the agency will initiate an investigation by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and assessing the validity of your claims.

In some cases, mediation can be an option to resolve the dispute without going to court. Your employee discrimination attorney will advise you on whether mediation is appropriate for your situation.

During the investigation, various outcomes are possible, including a finding of discrimination, no cause determination, or a settlement agreement. Your attorney will guide you through each scenario and advise on the best course of action.

Formal Lawsuit Filing

If the investigation does not result in a satisfactory resolution, you may choose to proceed with a formal lawsuit after discussing the benefits and risks with your attorney.

Filing a formal lawsuit involves drafting legal documents, serving the defendant, and initiating the court process. Your attorney will handle these procedures and file the lawsuit in the appropriate court.

Discovery and Evidence Gathering

Next, both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case to build their arguments and assess the strength of the opposing party's case.

Your attorney will help you gather evidence, including documents, emails, witness statements, and expert opinions, to support your claims of discrimination.

Witnesses who can testify to instances of discrimination and documentation that supports your case are invaluable assets during the discovery phase. Your attorney will help you identify and prepare witnesses and evidence.

Pretrial Procedures

The court will schedule a trial date, and depositions and interrogatories will be prepared. Depositions involve sworn testimony from witnesses, while interrogatories are written questions and answers exchanged between parties.

Before the trial, there may be opportunities for negotiation and settlement, all of which will be handled by your attorney.


The trial is a formal proceeding where both parties present their arguments and evidence. Your attorney will present your case, call witnesses, introduce evidence, and make legal arguments to prove discrimination occurred.

The opposing party will have the opportunity to cross-examine your witnesses and evidence, then your attorney will also have the chance to rebut the opposing party's arguments.

Verdict and Possible Appeals

If the verdict goes in your favor, you may be entitled to compensation, reinstatement, or other remedies. In the event that you are not satisfied with the trial outcome, your attorney can evaluate the possibility of filing an appeal or negotiating settlements based on the trial outcome.

In conclusion, filing an employee discrimination lawsuit is a complex process that requires careful planning, legal expertise, and dedication. East Idaho Law is a valuable resource for individuals facing workplace discrimination, offering the guidance and support needed to navigate this challenging journey.

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