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What is the Statute of Limitations on Sexual Harassment in California?

Posted by Brian Vogel | Dec 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

The names in the news keep adding up with seemingly every passing day – Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, and a host of other media and political names with multiple accusations of sexual harassment and other illegal acts both in the workplace and outside of it. Many of these allegations go back decades, while some are from the more recent past. Sadly, with these revelations, the American public is also starting to realize the reasons that sexual harassment victims often stay silent for so long, and indeed forever, in some cases, as they have faced reprisal – either perceived or real – for coming forward.

One positive outcome of all of these horrific stories of sexual harassment in the workplace may be that more women and men who have experienced sexual harassment will feel encouraged and empowered to come forward. But while it is never too late to make past sexual harassment known in the public sphere, California and federal law do limit the time in which to bring a sexual harassment claim against an employer, pursuant to the applicable statutes of limitation.

You Have Up to One Year in California to File a Sexual Harassment Charge With the State

Prior to bringing a sexual harassment claim for money damages and other forms of relief, it is necessary to file a charge with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at the federal level or with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). In California, your attorney can either ask the DFEH to investigate your claim or provide you with a right to sue letter authorizing your lawsuit against the offender and/or employer.

The deadline for filing a claim with the EEOC is six months from the last date of sexual harassment. The deadline is longer in California, as you have up to 1 year from the last date of sexual harassment to file your claim with the DFEH.

There are certain exceptions to the one-year time limit in California, such as where you are unsure of the identity of your harasser and/or his or her role with the employer, and where the victim was underage.

Speak With a California Sexual Harassment Attorney About Your Options

Before assuming that you do not have the right to bring a sexual harassment claim against your claim for an event that happened in the past, speak with an experienced California sexual harassment attorney who can provide you with guidance on whether that is indeed the case, as well as what other options you have for relief.

Sexual harassment can take many forms, and thus an act that you might not have understood to be illegal but which was still damaging might qualify as an act of sexual harassment extending your time to file a claim. There may also be other forms of legal relief – including a tort claim based on sexual assault – which may provide longer periods of time in which to file a claim.

Contact a Pasadena Sexual Harassment Attorney Today

The Law Offices of Brian I. Vogel represents California workers in helping them win justice and financial recovery through wrongful employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment law actions. With three decades of experience in bringing hundreds of actions on behalf of California workers, Brian Vogel has the skills, tenacity, and deep knowledge of California and federal employment law to fight for justice on your behalf.

If you believe you may be a victim of sexual discrimination in the workplace, contact attorney Brian I. Vogel today to schedule a consultation regarding your options.

About the Author

Brian Vogel

Working Hard for Workers' Rights Brian I. Vogel graduated with a philosophy degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1982 and with a law degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York in 1986 and has been a licensed California attorney since 1987. Employment attorney Brian Vo...


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