A Notice of Right to Sue from the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) allows you to file a suit in state court on the discriminatory acts you alleged in the complaint you filed with MCHR. If you get a Notice of Right to Sue, then MCHR stops its investigation.
The Missouri Supreme Court has indicated that MCHR can issue a Notice of Right to Sue at any time while a case is open (see Igoe v. Dept. Of Labor and Industrial Relations). When possible, the MCHR will complete its investigation and make an investigative finding within 180 days from the filing of the complaint. If the finding is No Probable Cause, then the case is closed.
How to get a Notice of Right to Sue:
You must make a written request through the MCHR. Be sure to include your name, the name of the Respondent (company or entity you filed against) and your case number(s).
Time limits on filing suit:
You must file suit in state court within two years of the date(s) of the discrimination and within 90 days of the date of your Notice of Right to Sue.
MCHR cannot tell you to get an attorney - that is a decision you must make. If you are unsure, it might be a good idea to consult an attorney.
Filing suit in court:
Because filing suit is a legal procedure, MCHR cannot advise you. If you have questions about filing suit, consult an attorney or the circuit court in your area.
Obtaining an attorney:
MCHR does not maintain a list of attorneys. You may obtain names of attorneys from your local bar association or the Lawyers Referral Service of the Missouri Bar. In the St. Louis area, call 314-621-6681. In the Springfield area, call 417-831-2783. For all other areas, call 573-221-9472.
Length of time to obtain a Notice of Right to Sue:
The time varies, but MCHR usually can issue one within 30 days of your request. If your two-year filing time is near, let MCHR know and MCHR will expedite issuing your Notice of Right to Sue.
Getting a copy of your file:
Once you have received your Notice of Right to Sue and your case with MCHR is closed, you can get a copy of your file (except for confidential information) by making a written request. There is a copying charge of 10 cents per page plus postage. When MCHR receives your written request, MCHR will inform you of the charge. After MCHR receives payment, MCHR will mail you a copy of your file. Depending on the size of your file, you should receive your copy in approximately two weeks. The Respondent may also request a copy of the file.
Alternative to Notice of Right to Sue:
MCHR will continue with the investigation of your complaint and the Executive Director will make a finding. If the finding is No Probable Cause, MCHR will close your case and issue you a Notice of Right to Sue. If the finding is Probable Cause, MCHR will attempt to conciliate (try to settle) your case. If conciliation is not successful, MCHR may hold a hearing on your case.
Obtaining a Notice of Right To Sue from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
You can get a Notice of Right to Sue from EEOC and file a discrimination suit in federal court. Once MCHR closes your case and issues the MCHR Notice of Right to Sue, your request will be forwarded to EEOC. That agency will issue a federal Notice of Right to Sue.