The Statute Of Limitations When You Can File A Claim Against An Employer

In this article, you can discover…

  • The statute of limitations for employment-related claims.
  • What to do when you are violated in the workplace.
  • How to manage internal reporting and human resources.


What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Filing A Claim Against An Employer?

Each statute has a different statute of limitations. Under several statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you have administrative requirements to exhaust before you can file a lawsuit. These claims can expire as soon as 180 days from the offending or discriminatory conduct. On the other hand, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you have two years to file your claim, with specific circumstances allowing for up to three years.

For example, if you have been discriminated against by your employer based on a disability, gender, race, or national origin, you would likely have to report your claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the EEOC, before you can file a lawsuit because your claim arises under the ADA or Title VII. After filing a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, the EEOC has a period to investigate your claim, and after that time expires, they give you the Right to Sue. Only then can you pursue your lawsuit.

Additionally, Florida’s Civil Rights Act covers much of the protections provided by federal statutes and has a similar administrative entity to the EEOC called the Florida Commission on Human Relations. If your claim is covered by the Florida Civil Rights Act, then you have up to 300 days to file your administrative charge. Moreover, you can file your claim with the EEOC or the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Florida has two whistleblower statutes under which we pursue claims. One of the two is a public whistleblower statute with administrative requirements that must be adhered to and exhausted. The time frames are as short as 60 days to report the claim to the required administrative body. Florida also has a private whistleblower statute. It applies to private employers and allows up to two years to file a claim, which can be done directly in civil court.

What Steps Should I Take If My Rights Are Violated, Or I Face Mistreatment In My Workplace?

The first step would always be to start documenting the offending conduct. Take detailed notes of the offending conduct, including names, dates, and the location the conduct occurred. However, you should avoid recording private conversations or videotaping private meetings (because that may be illegal). If you are being subjected to discrimination by a coworker, make sure to report it to your supervisor in writing, and document your employer’s response to your complaints or requests for accommodation.

Additionally, be aware of the internal reporting procedures that you have in place. Be sure to review any policy handbooks and Human Resources manuals you have received regarding reporting offending or harassing conduct.

Often, it can be challenging to prove that an employer engaged in unlawful discrimination if you don’t comply with their reporting procedures; they’re going to argue that you didn’t adequately notify them of the conduct. Therefore, it’s essential that you make yourself aware of the internal policies regarding reporting offensive behavior, harassment, and discrimination to your superiors.

Lastly, you should contact an attorney if you believe you have endured discrimination in the workplace. You may only have a short period to file your claim with the EEOC, and if you miss that period, you’re unlikely to be able to pursue any remedy against the employer.

What Is The Significance Of Internal Complaint Procedures?

It is crucial that, if the employer has internal reporting requirements, you comply with those requirements. Internal reporting is advisable because it puts the employer on notice of discriminatory conduct and provides documentation from your perspective.

Additionally, documenting the circumstances is imperative so that your attorney can have a clear understanding of the line of events leading to the position that you’re in regarding wrongful discrimination.

These cases often come down to establishing that there is no other explanation for the treatment you endured but discrimination. If you can’t clearly explain the events that have happened, it’s going to be challenging to prove your case. So as far as the internal complaint process is concerned, it’s important that you comply with it.

Should I Trust My Human Resources Department?

Whether or not you can trust your human resources department is not necessarily relevant because the law protects employees reporting discriminatory conduct.

For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act dictates that an employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting violations of the Act or making a claim under the Act. Since the law protects you regarding internal reporting, complying with the employer’s reporting process is the priority, and whether or not you can trust the human resources person should be secondary.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Labor & Employment Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.

For more information on Labor & Employment Cases in Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 678-5155 today.

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