In lieu of an appeal with the EEOC, you may, within 90 calendar days of the date of your receipt of the final decision or dismissal, file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court. Also, you may file a civil action after 180 calendar days have elapsed from the date you filed your individual complaint if a final decision has not been issued and you have not appealed the decision to the Commission.

If you do file an appeal with the EEOC or are not satisfied with the EEOC's decision, you may file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court within 90 calendar days of receipt of the Commission's final decision or after 180 days from the date you filed the appeal if there has been no final decision by the Commission. (Caveat: See the section on "Special Cases," below.)