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Typically, a complaint must be filed within 180 days from the date of the discriminatory act. The complaint must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
However, if there is also a state or local agency which enforces laws prohibiting the same discriminatory practice, you could have up to 300 days in which to file with the EEOC.
It is never advisable, however, to wait until the last moment to file such a complaint. Time is never on the side of the person seeking legal protection under employment laws. If you feel that a discriminatory act has occurred, it is in your best interest to contact a reputable attorney specializing in employment law as soon as possible.
Generally employers are interested in resolving such practices by employees and will be quick to resolve situations for fear of negative publicity. Again, contacting an attorney as soon thereafter as possible is your best bet.