The government shutdown has shuttered a lot of agencies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are two agencies that have been hard-hit by the furloughs. Both websites are currently down, which poses an issue for those who plan to file claims against an employer. Employee rights claims have statutes of limitations, and once time runs out, a claim cannot be filed, no matter the reason for not filing. But there are ways New York City residents and others can file claims and still do so within the required time frame, even while the shutdown is ongoing.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that all claims filed against employers be submitted within 300 days of the incident in most states, and within 180 days in North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama. With the EEOC's website currently not functional, you'll have to take another avenue to file a claim, such as visiting a local EEOC office, provided the employees have not been sent home. Other options include filing with the state EEOC office, faxing the claim to the EEOC or sending the claim via a delivery service that provides return service. The object is to prove that you filed the claim on time, so whatever method you choose, make sure you have a receipt with the date showing when you filed your claim.
The NLRB allows a charge to be made within six months of when the incident occurred. The agency states that anyone who is close to the six month deadline should fax the charge to the NLRB and send a copy of the complaint to the person being charged. Charges filed after the six-month window will not be accepted.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to file any claims or charges with the EEOC and NLRB within the allowable time frames. For anyone who needs assistance determining whether or not to file a claim, a legal professional experienced with employee rights claims can provide guidance in making that determination, as well as offer filing assistance.
AOL Jobs, "Shutdown Doesn't Stop Employment Law Filing Deadlines" Donna Ballman, Oct. 02, 2013