In our last post, we asked the question of whether employees dealing with sexual harassment on a regular basis is the new normal. The question arose in the midst of the latest payout by Fox News to remove someone reportedly accused of harassing female employees. Indeed, the Bill O’Reilly situation is outside of the norm (with regards to payouts for problem employees). But we are concerned because there are potentially thousands of young women who are afraid to speak out against discrimination because they fear losing their jobs.
For those who muster the courage to expose illegal actions, they do so by seeking legal redress. It starts with filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is an important initial step, because it is required before filing a lawsuit. But with any type of lawsuit, there are time limits associated with pursuing a discrimination claim.
This post will explain a few.
Generally, you must file a complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of when the discriminatory event took place. This deadline can be extended to 300 days if a state or local agency, such as California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (or DFEH), is tasked with enforcing discrimination claims.
If you decide to bring an Equal Pay Act violation, the deadline is two years from the date of the last discriminatory paycheck. If there was willful discrimination in conjunction with the EPA act violation, the deadline is extended to three years. Additionally, these claims can be filed directly in state or federal court.
If you have further questions about filing deadlines, an experienced employment law attorney can help.