Filing a Discrimination Claim - Nevada

1. What kinds of discrimination are against state law in Nevada?

Nevada law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, age (over 40) and disability.

2. How do I file a discrimination claim in Nevada?

A discrimination claim can be filed either with the state administrative agency, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) or the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The two agencies have what is called a work-sharing agreement, which means that the agencies cooperate with each other to process claims. Filing a claim with both agencies is unnecessary, as long as you indicate to one of the agencies that you want it to cross-file the claim with the other agency.

To file a claim with the NERC, contact the nearest office below. More information about filing a claim with NERC can be found at: http://www.nvdetr.org/nerc.htm.

Reno Office
2450 Wrondel Way, Suite C
Reno, NV 89509-1700
Phone: (775) 688-1288
Fax: (775) 688-1292
TDD: (775) 688-1288
Las Vegas Office
1455 E. Tropicana Ave, Suite 500
Las Vegas, NV 89119-6522
Phone: (702) 486-7161
Fax: (702) 486-7054
TDD: (702) 486-7164

To file a claim with the EEOC, contact your local EEOC office below. More information about filing a claim with the EEOC can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html.

EEOC Los Angeles District Office
255 E. Temple
4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 894-1000
TTY: (213) 894-1121

3. What are my time deadlines?

Do not delay in contacting the NERC or EEOC to file a claim. 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 NERC within six months of the date you believe you were discriminated against. To preserve your claim under federal law, you must file with the EEOC within 300 days of the date you believe you were discriminated against. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, however, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your discrimination claim with the state and federal administrative agencies.

4. How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Nevada?

If your case is successfully resolved by an administrative agency, it may not be necessary to hire an attorney or file a lawsuit (to resolve your case, you probably will be required as to sign a release of your legal claims). If your case is not resolved by the NERC or EEOC, and you may want to continue to pursue the matter, you will need to pursue your claim in court. A federal employment discrimination case cannot be filed in court without first going to the EEOC, as discussed above, and having the EEOC dismiss your claim. This process is called exhaustion of your administrative remedy. Similarly, before you can proceed with a lawsuit based on your state discrimination claim, you must file with the NERC.

Because Nevada's state anti-discrimination law does not specifically allow the compensatory (emotional pain and suffering) and punitive damages (damages intended to punish the employer) allowed under federal law, many Nevada attorneys choose to file employment discrimination cases in federal or state court but prefer to use federal law. A case filed in state court under federal law may be subject to removal, which means that a defendant employer requests to move the case to federal court because it involves a federal statute, such as Title VII or the ADEA.

The EEOC must first issue the document known as Dismissal and Notice of Rights or Notice of Right to Sue (Form 161) before you can file a case based upon your federal claim. A lawsuit based on your federal discrimination claim must be filed in federal or state court within 90 days of the date you receive the notice. (Be sure to mark down that date when you receive the notice.)

You may request a similar right-to-sue notice from NERC to proceed with your state claim. A lawsuit based on your state claim must be filed within 90 days of the date NERC dismisses your case.

These deadlines are called the statute of limitations. If you have received one of these agency dismissal notices, do not delay consulting with an attorney. If your lawsuit is not filed by the deadline, then you may lose your ability to pursue a discrimination case.