Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Harassment Cases

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Time Limits to File Your Claims for Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment statute of limitations may vary between federal and state laws. They may also vary from time limits assigned to other employment law violations. Understanding your rights under the law is important for your case. However, understanding the time limits to file a claim is imperative to getting your case heard.

Sometimes, you may miss the statute of limitations under federal law. However, your state’s law may provide additional time to file your case in state court. Therefore, when your time to file expires under one law, do not assume your time to file expired under all laws.

What Are the Federal Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Harassment Cases?

Sexual harassment cases fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Sexual harassment is a form of sex and gender discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles all Title VII claims. The EEOC sets a statute of Limitations of 180 days for filing Title VII claims, including sexual harassment claims. If your state maintains separate sexual harassment laws protecting employees, the time limit to file an EEOC claim becomes 300 days.

Federal and state government employees also have the right to file charges of sexual harassment with the EEOC. However, they receive 180 days to file their claim, regardless of what state laws exist.

The EEOC investigates your claim to provide you with permission to file a lawsuit in federal court. This permission comes as a Right to Sue Letter. Once the EEOC investigates your claim and determines that you have a qualified sexual harassment claim, they will issue a Right to Sue Letter.

The EEOC has 180 days to complete its investigation and issue the Right to Sue Letter. The Right to Sue Letter gives you a 90-day time limit to file your complaint in federal court.

The dedicated and compassionate sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help clients in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City, Miami, and New Jersey file their claims with the EEOC. These states all have state-wide anti-sexual harassment laws. Therefore, the time limit in these states to file your EEOC claim is 300 days.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under New York State Sexual Harassment Laws?

The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) deals with sexual harassment in the workplace under the sex discrimination provision. Sexual harassment claims get filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

The time limit to file a claim with the NYS Division of Human Rights or New York State Court under the NYSHRL is three years. New York State has a work-sharing agreement with the EEOC. Under the agreement, claims get filed with both agencies when they are filed with one.

The NYSHRL deals with claims of sexual harassment. However, several laws deal with other forms of sexual assault in and out of the workplace.

  1. Physical Sexual Assault can result in a separate civil lawsuit. This lawsuit does not go through the NYS Division of Human Rights. It can get filed directly in state court. The statute of limitations for sexual assault claims is five years.
  2. The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act (VGMVPA) prohibits any form of gender-based sexual violence, including assault and domestic violence. The time limit to file a sexual assault or rape claim under the VGMVPA is seven years.
  3. The Child Victims Act (CVA) deals with child sexual assault. Under this law, victims have until age 55 to report a claim in state court. Statistics show that many child victims of sexual assault require more time to feel comfortable talking about their ordeal. Therefore, the law affords these victims enough time to be willing and able to come forward and face their abusers.

What Is the Statute of Limitations Under New York City Sexual Harassment Laws?

The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) mimics the NYSHRL. The statute of limitations to file a sexual harassment claim in New York City under the NYCHRL is three years.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under New Jersey Sexual Harassment Laws?

New Jersey sexual harassment claims get filed as sex discrimination claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). NJLAD provides a time limit of 2 years to file sexual harassment claims in state court.

Claims of child sexual abuse victims are filed under the New Jersey Child Victims Act. Victims can file claims through age 55 or 7 years after discovering the abuse, whichever is later.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under Pennsylvania State Sexual Harassment Laws?

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) oversees any sexual harassment claims in Pennsylvania. The statute of limitations to file your claim is 180 days. Once the PHRC receives your claim, they have up to a year to issue a Right to Sue Letter.

Sometimes the PHRC holds the claim longer than one year. In those cases, you may need to file a claim within two years to release your case and issue your Right to Sue Letter.

The PHRC and EEOC have a work-sharing agreement. This agreement allows cases to get filed with both agencies at the same time.

Any claims of child sexual abuse filed under the Pennsylvania Child Victims Act must get filed before the victim reaches age 55 if under 18 at the time of the assault. If the victim was between 18 and 23 at the time of the assault, the time limit to file a claim is age 30.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Laws?

The Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations (PCHR) gives a time limit of 300 days to file a sexual harassment claim.

If you file a claim with the PCHR, it automatically gets filed with the EEOC under the work-sharing agreement.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under Florida Sexual Harassment Laws?

The Florida Commission of Human Relations (FCHR) receives all sexual harassment claims relating to the Florida workplace. The statute of limitations to file your claim is one year from the date of the incident.

The FCHR typically has 180 days to review the claim and issue a Right to Sue Letter. If the organization sits on your claim, you have a 4-year time limit to file your state court complaint.

However, if the FCHR issues a Right to Sue Letter indicating probable cause, you have a time limit of 1 year to file your state court complaint.

As with other states, Florida and the federal EEOC have a work-sharing agreement. Anything filed with one agency gets filed with the other.

In 2010, Florida issued a ruling that any child sexual assault claims occurring after 2010 have no statute of limitations to file a lawsuit in civil court. Victims can file a claim at any time after experiencing child sexual assault. However, the law is not retroactive. Victims of assaults occurring before 2010 must adhere to the prior statute of limitations.

What is the Statute of Limitations Under California Sexual Harassment Laws?

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits any sexual harassment at work. All claims get filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Since January 1, 2019, employees have three years to file their sexual harassment claims. Sexual harassment claims resulting from places of public accommodations, as opposed to workplace events, must get filed with the DFEH within one year of the incident.

Sexual assault claims are handled differently. They are filed directly in state court within two years of the incident. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from workplace discrimination and harassment. Any violation of the law must be filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Once again, the DFEH and the EEOC have a work-sharing agreement. The claims are filed with both entities when filed with one.

The California Child Victims Act provides a statute of limitations for child victims to file claims up through age 40 or 5 years after discovering the assault, whichever is later. However, victims can file at any time through January 2023 if their cases had previously been dismissed for missing the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations Chart for Federal, State, and City Courts

Statutes of LimitationsJurisdiction
300 DaysEEOC Title VII Claims in States with separate state laws regarding sexual harassment.
180 DaysEEOC Title VII Claims in States without similar laws and for federal and state government employees
90 DaysThe time limit to file your claim in federal court after receipt of your Right to Sue Letter
3 YearsSexual harassment Lawsuit in New York State and New York City. No Right to Sue necessary.
7 YearsClaims under the NYS Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act.
Age 55Claims under the NYS Child Victims Act. The law allows extended time to file a lawsuit against your abuser. Under the law, victims have more time to file a claim in civil court. Now victims can file up until they reach age 55.
2 YearsClaims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

Age 55

or

7 Years from the Date You Discovered the Assault

Claims filed under the New Jersey Child Victims Act (NJCVA). Victims can file up through age 55 or 7 years after discovering the assault occurred, whichever occurs later.
180 DaysClaims under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
300 DaysClaims under the Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations

Age 55

or

Age 30

Claims filed under the Pennsylvania Child Victims Act by former child sex abuse victims under age 18 can get filed through the victim’s 55th birthday. Young adult victims of sex abuse aged 18 to 23 can file claims up through age 30.
1 YearClaims under the Florida Commission of Human Relations.
No Statute of LimitationsVictims of Child Sexual Abuse in Florida can file a claim against their abuser at any time. Florida eliminated the statute of limitations for any incidents that occurred after 2010. The law is not retroactive to cases occurring before 2010.
3 YearsClaims under the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in California for incidents occurring after January 1, 2019

10 Years from the date of the Incident

or

3 Years from the Date You Discovered the Assault

Claims under California sexual assault cases can be file directly with the court.

Age 40

or

5 Years from the Date You Discovered the Assault

Claims filed under the California Child Victims Act can be filed until a victim reaches age 40 or 5 years after discovering the assault, whichever is later. Furthermore, until January 2023, victims who were previously unable to file can file their claims regardless of age.

Contact Our Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today!

Anyone in the legal field can find the statute of limitations between federal and state governments difficult to navigate. Therefore, it makes sense that most people in any other field would find it almost impossible.

Therefore, you need the compassionate and experienced sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group. We help victims of sexual harassment sort through the legalese to navigate the justice system. Our team of sexual harassment lawyers and former sex-crimes prosecutors will help you file your claim in a timely manner to get the justice you deserve.

Were You Sexually Harassed at Work? Do You Need to Know How Much Time You Have to File Your Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment? Please Contact Us at 800.807.2209 or Email [email protected] to Learn More About Your Rights.

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