Jurisdiction, Timelines and Administrative Exhaustion

The statutes that prohibit certain types of employment discrimination and retaliation do not apply to all businesses. Most employment laws require a private employer to have a specified minimum number of employees before the law applies. The minimum number of employees for various employment laws appear below:


Title VII (race, color, religion, sex, national origin):
Americans with Disabilities Act:
Pregnancy Discrimination Act:
Genetic Information nondiscrimination Act:
Age Discrimination in Employment Act:
Family & Medical Leave Act:

Minimum Number of Employees


Most federal and state antidiscrimination and anti-retaliation laws require that the aggrieved employee first file a complaint with an administrative agency and exhaust that administrative process before they have the right to sue the employer in state or federal court. In addition, employees have a shortened time period to file their claims with the proper agency. Failure to file a claim in time, typically 180 days from the last discriminatory or retaliatory act, results in the loss of the right to pursue the claim.

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