A notice of right to sue, informally referred to as a right to sue letter, from the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) allows you to file suit in state court using your own resources 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 and closes its complaint. Notices of right to sue can only be issued after a complainant's written request and a complaint has been on file for over 180 days and is still open.
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), your MCHR complaint number, and the complaint number with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if your complaint is dually filed with EEOC.
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 whether 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 Missouri Bar at https://mobar.org. In the Springfield area, you may call the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association at 417-831-2783.
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 sensitive or confidential records) 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 appropriate charges. After MCHR receives your 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. Respondents may similarly 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, then MCHR will close your case and notify you of your right to appeal. If the finding is Probable Cause, then MCHR will attempt to conciliate (settle) your case. If conciliation is not successful, then MCHR may hold a public hearing on your case.
Obtaining a Notice of Right To Sue from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
If your complaint is dually filed with EEOC, then you can get a Notice of Right to Sue from EEOC and file a discrimination suit in federal court. Once MCHR closes your complaint and issues the MCHR Notice of Right to Sue, your request will be forwarded to EEOC, which will issue a federal Notice of Right to Sue.