I wish I had a dollar for everytime this has happened here in San Antonio or especially across the country. A person came to see me who did not receive his "right-to-sue letter" from the EEOC. It was sent four months ago, but he just now found out about it. He contacted the EEOC to get a status report and learned of his right-to-sue letter. Across the country, this happens many times, perhaps dozens, each year. It has been a problem ever since some time in the 1970’s when the EEOC stopped sending right-to-sue letters certified. Many folks, terminated from their job, must move to cheaper living arrangements or, perhaps to a new job. The employee may forget to notify the EEOC about an address change. Or, the EEOC may lose track of the address change.
Invariably, the Charging Party (the employee filing the complaint) responds to this problem by going to the EEOC and asking them to rescind the first RTS letter and issue a new one. Most regional offices refuse to do so. They point to their log which says they mailed the letter. The EEOC offers no solution. The employee is stuck.
A right-to-sue letter refers to the Dismissal and Notice of Rights. The EEOC sends these right-to-sue letters at the conclusion of its supposed investigation. The Notice notifies the Charging Party that s/he must file their lawsuit within 90 days. See EEOC explanation of the lawsuit process. If you miss the 90 days, your rights to file suit in federal court are waived forever.
There may be ways around the missing right-to-sue letter. That is, there may be other causes of action available for certain types of discrimination. But, discrimination cases are difficult enough without having statute of limitation (deadline to file suit) issues floating around.