Discrimination Procedures

With one possible exception – claims of race discrimination – a person who wishes to pursue a claim of employment discrimination or retaliation in Colorado must follow certain procedures. These procedures do not apply to federal employees and applicants for federal jobs.

The first step is to file a charge of employment discrimination and/or retaliation with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Colorado Civil Rights Division. Here’s a quick overview of the time deadlines and the contact information:

Federal State
Agency Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Colorado Civil Rights Division
Address 303 East 18th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203 HQ: 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202
Phone (303) 866-1300 (303) 894-2997
Time to File Charge Within 300 days of unlawful employment action Within six months of unlawful employment action

If you file a charge on your own, you should do the following, at a minimum:

  1. Make an appointment with either the EEOC or CCRD.
  2. Make sure that your appointment is scheduled within the time limit to file a charge with that agency.
  3. Be clear on what kind of discrimination (sex, race, etc.) you are claiming and why you believe that the employer discriminated against you.
  4. Bring the key documentation for your charge to your appointment.
  5. Prepare a list of possible witnesses, as well as of people you claim were treated more favorably than the way you were treated.
  6. Make sure that you’re on time and that you leave enough time – generally, several hours – for your appointment.

A separate statute – 42 U.S.C. 1981 – also prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race and retaliation for exercising rights under that statute. That includes discrimination only against African Americans and Asian Americans, among other groups, but also against Mexican Americans, Jews and Muslims. It is not necessary to file a charge of employment discrimination under this statute. A section 1981 lawsuit can be filed within two, and in some cases, within four years of the allegedly unlawful employment action.

A related statute, 42 USC 1983, prohibits state and local government entities from denying the equal protection of the laws to any person. It is not necessary to file a charge under this statute. There is a two-year statute of limitations. However, whether a claim can be brought against an agency of the State of Colorado or against any other State agency, and whether a claim can be brought against a State employee, is too complex to be covered in this Web site.