I was harassed a year ago. Do I still have a claim?
Understanding the Timeline of Sexual Harassment Claims
The general answer is NO because there is a one-year statute of limitation from the date of the last illegal act. However, as with most legal matters, it is not that clear cut. Under the “continuing legal doctoring” rule, it is possible, even if there is no discrete illegal act within the one-year period, that the liability continues. This is something that has to be discussed with a qualified California employment law attorney because the law is complicated in this area.
In order to sue someone in civil court for sexual harassment, a complaint must first be filed with at least one of these two state agencies: the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Once you’ve filed the complaint, either or both agencies will conduct an investigation of the situation and may grant you a “Right to Sue” notice, which serves as your legal permission to sue an entity in civil court.
Obviously, if the employee has not worked for the company for a year and has not filed a claim with either the Department of Fair Employment & Housing or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and has not received a “Right to Sue” letter within one year, the employee may have lost the claim.
Put a Qualified Attorney on Your Side Today
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you should plan to report it as soon as possible. Depending on your situation, you may be granted additional time past the one-year statute of limitations, but you should not assume the allowance will be granted.
To ensure that you’ve filed on time and that the circumstances of your case are best suited for success, contact Attorney Alan Burton Newman as soon as possible after the harassment.