Should I hire an attorney if I filed an EEOC charge?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should I hire an attorney if I filed an EEOC charge?

I just filed a charge against my former
employer for discrimination under Title
I of the ADA. I was discriminated
against for 2 disabilities that they
were aware of and I was undergoing
treatment for. I was actually fired one
week before a surgery that I had
approved PTO for. My question is do I
need to hire an attorney at this point?
I understand that mediation is a
possibility. I fully understand the laws
and have a Masters degree in which I
took 2 law courses, so I don’t feel like
I would be confused. My understanding is
that an attorney could only counsel, not
speak for me at mediation. Should I wait
to hire an attorney if mediation and
conciliation fail and I need to sue?
Also, should I sue in state or federal
court, or both? When I filed with the
EEOC, they filed the charge with the
Ohio Civil Rights Commission as well to
preserve my right to sue in state court.

Asked on May 6, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You have the right idea: while the complaint is in the hands of the EEOC or Ohio Civil Rights Commission, you don't need an attorney: the agency, if they move ahead with your case, will represent your interests. There is no need to incur an attorney's costs at this juncture.
2) If the matter is not resolved by the agency and you sue, then hire an attorney.
3) Sue in state court if you need to sue, so you can better access rights under state law as well as rights under federal law.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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