- July 10, 2019
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How long do you have to sue an employer: All you should know
Suing an employer can be a daunting process, and one of the most important factors to consider is how long you have to bring forward your lawsuit. Depending on the type of case you are filing, whether it’s for discrimination or other types of claims, the time limit varies. Knowing these time frames will help keep your claim within legal parameters and ensure that you don’t miss out on any potential benefits. Here are some things you should know about suing an employer:
1. Statute of Limitations
In general, there is typically a two-year statute of limitations that applies when filing a lawsuit against an employer. This means that if more than two years have passed since the incident occurred, you may no longer be able to bring a case against them.
2. Statutes for Discrimination Claims
For discrimination claims, the time limit is shorter than the two-year statute of limitations for other types of claims. Depending on your state and the specifics of your case, you may have as little as 180 days to file a claim with an appropriate government agency.
3. Statute for Wrongful Termination Claims
The statute of limitations is slightly longer when filing wrongful termination claims, typically three years in most states. However, this timeline can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your termination and what type of contract or agreement was in place at the time you were let go.
4. Exceptions to Statutes
There are some exceptions to these statutes. For instance, certain types of contracts may specify a shorter (or longer) statute of limitations, which would take precedence over the general statutes mentioned above. Additionally, if you have been injured due to your employer’s negligence or intentional misconduct, the statute of limitations may be extended as well.
5. Statute for Contract Disputes
If you are filing a lawsuit related to an agreement between you and your employer—such as a breach of contract dispute—you typically have four years from the time the contract was broken to file the suit.
6. Statute for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
When suing an employer over a breach of fiduciary duty, such as when they fail to act in accordance with their ethical or legal obligations, the statute of limitations is typically two years.
7. Statute for Wage and Hour Claims
If you are filing a lawsuit to recover unpaid wages or overtime pay, the statute of limitations can vary depending on where you live. In some states it may be as little as one year, while in others it could be up to three years.
8. State Labor Laws
Finally, make sure to understand what is the claim process and familiarize yourself with your state’s labor laws before bringing a lawsuit against an employer. Many states have specific regulations that must be followed when filing a claim, so doing your research ahead of time will ensure that all applicable deadlines are met and potential benefits are not inadvertently forfeited.
Suing an employer can be a complex process, and different types of claims have their own statutes of limitations. Knowing these time frames is essential to maximizing your chances for success and ensuring that you receive any benefits due to you. With this information in mind, you can feel more confident when suing an employer and better informed about the process ahead.