Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
You do not need a lawyer to file a Complaint in federal court. The Complaint only needs to be "a short and plain statement" of the facts giving rise to the cause of action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. That includes a sentence stating why you're filing in the appropriate court.The Complaint must also state what relief you're asking for (an injunction, reinstatement, attorney's fees, punitive damages, etc.) Witnesses are not listed in the Complaint. You're allowed to allege both discrimination and retaliation - you don't have to pick one.
You have the ability to amend the Complaint later if you want to hire a lawyer to add more detail after you get the case opened. See Rule 15. But a reasonable person has to be able to read the original complaint and feel like, if every word is true, you're more likely than not entitled to the relief you're asking for. Make sure there are enough facts to meet that standard.
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