What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Sexual Harassment Claims?
In California, you have one year from the last act of harassment to exhaust your administrative remedies. What this means is you have a year from the last act of harassment to get a right to sue letter. If you don’t do that timely, your case is time-barred on the claim of harassment. However, if six months or eight months go by and the employer finally gets around to doing some investigation and they demote the victim, cut their hours, or transfer them to a bad location, the act of doing that is a separate act; an act of retaliation. An act of retaliation triggers a whole new one-year statute of limitations; one year from the last act of retaliation.
In all cases, take note of the dates that everything took place. If there is an act of harassment that takes place and then a couple of years go by and then another act of harassment takes place, you don’t get to use the first act to prove the unwanted harassing conduct. There is a concept called the continuing violation doctrine, where you may be able to link all of the acts together to get a statute of limitations problem. At that point, you also have to prove that the case of unwanted harassing conduct was severe or pervasive.
It has to be sufficient to alter the material terms and conditions of employment, thereby creating a hostile work environment, or it has to be quid pro quo. If we don’t get to use the first act of harassment because it’s more than a year, we’d have to try to link that together with the continuing acts doctrine, and if it’s too big of a gap, we won’t get to use that. Then, we’ll get to the statute of limitations problem.
You may have a case or you may not. By going to a lawyer, you will be told which acts may be barred by the statute of limitations. We want employers to make the workplace safer for everyone and rid the workplaces of harassing conduct. Even if you don’t have a case, we’ll tell you what to do; we’ll tell you to report it. Maybe the employer will change some things and then the workplace is better for everybody.
For more information on Statute of Limitations In A Sexual Harassment Case, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (909) 833-8999 today.