What are the time limits for filing a workplace sexual harassment claim?



What are the time limits for filing a workplace sexual harassment claim?

All workplace sexual harassment claims must be filed within a certain timeframe, known as a statute of limitations. In California, an employee has three years from the date of the most recent sexual harassment incident in which to file a complaint with the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Filing a claim with the DFEH is a necessary step for anyone planning to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit for damages against an employer. However, the DFEH rarely takes on any claim it receives. But you can obtain a “right to sue” letter from the DFEH, which will then enable you to file a lawsuit at Court. A skilled employment attorney can take care of this process for you.

You may have heard that you also have the option of filing an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at the federal level. As is often the case, California law is more employee-friendly than federal law. While the state DFEH gives you three years, the EEOC statute of limitations is only 180 days of the most recent sexual harassment incident. Like the DFEH, due to resource constraints, the EEOC cannot investigate and take on all of the complaints it receives.

If you have been sexually harassed at work, you should act as soon as possible. Regardless of the statute of limitations, witnesses’ memories will fade, and evidence may be lost the longer you wait. 

Talk to a San Francisco, sexual harassment lawyer right away to ensure you do not miss the deadline for filing a claim. McCormack Law Firm is here to help you understand your legal options and provide guidance about statutes of limitations applicable to your situation.

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