Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Responding to a Complaint

After a discrimination complaint is filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), it will be served to the respondent (the person named in the complaint responsible for the alleged discrimination) within 30 days.

What happens if a complaint is filed against me?

If a complaint is filed with the PHRC naming you, your company, or your organization as a respondent, the PHRC will send the named respondent(s) a copy of the complaint. This is called serving the complaint.

  • Respondents have 30 days from the date the complaint is served to provide the PHRC with a written, verified answer, and send a copy to the complainant.
  • If you are unable, to file an answer within this time, the PHRC may grant you an extension of no more than 30 additional days. You will need to provide an acceptable justification in order to be granted an extension.
  • In no case will you have more than 60 days in which to respond.

Before you sign the answer, make sure it is correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

  • Pennsylvania law provides penalties for persons who knowingly file false answers.
  • Failure to answer a complaint may result in a judgment against you.

You, your company, or organization have the right to be represented before the PHRC by a private attorney.

The PHRC will also file employment complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if the allegations are protected under federal laws. 

Learn more about the investigation process

If you received a letter stating that a complaint was filed against you and it referred you to this page, you should review the following:

Contact the PHRC

If you have questions about responding to a complaint, call or email us.

Call the PHRC


Contact the PHRC regional office closest to you

Contact the PHRC regional office closest to you

Fill out a contact us form

Fill out a contact us form