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West Coast Employment Lawyers is open 24/7 and fully operational during the COVID-19 quarantine. We are available to serve all of our personal injury clients, as well as potential new clients. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Top Ranked

Employment Law Firm in California

Top Ranked

Employment Law Firm in California

Sexual Harassment Statute Of Limitations


A statute of limitations is the deadline for when you are expected to file a lawsuit. In some instances, lawsuits are required to be filed within a specific time period. If an individual case exceeds the statute of limitations, then the legal claim is not considered valid anymore. Each legal dispute has a different time frame of the most appropriate times where you are expected to file a lawsuit. 

  • Personal injury. Within two years from the date the individual suffered an injury. If the injury is not noticed immediately, then the time period shortens to one year from its discovery. 
  • Breach of an oral contract. Two years from the initial date the contract was broken.
  • Property Damage. Three years from the initial date the damage happened.
  • Breach of a written contract. Four years from the initial date the contract was broken.
  • Claims against government agencies. Depending on the case, you must either file a claim with the agency within 6 months or 1 year. If the claim is rejected, you are permitted to file your lawsuit in court. However, strict limits are applied. 

Statute Of Limitations For Sexual Harassment In California

  • Federal Law. If your employer has 15 or more employees, it is considered illegal for them to engage in actions of discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals in the workplace from facing unfairness or inequity based on their sex, color, race, religion, and national origin. Generally, if the employer has less than 15 employees, then no discrimination protection is applied to them. To file a claim, you must reach out to the federal agency which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The deadline to file with the EEOC is 180 days from the date the incident took place. 
  • State Law. In California, if your employer has 5 or more employees, you are covered by anti-discrimination laws. Companies that have 1 or more employees have access to this protection for harassment claims. To file a claim, you must reach out to the state agency which is the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The deadline to file with the DFEH is 365 days from the date the incident took place. 

Filing A Complaint With EEOC & DFEH

Both EEOC and DFEH have a “work-sharing agreement” that allows you to cross-file. This means that if you file with the EEOC, then you are also permitted to cross-file with DFEH. The same applies if it was the other way around. 

EEOC. There are different types of ways to reach out to the EEOC to file a charge for employment discrimination. 

  • Online. Utilize the EEOC’s Public Portal site where it will direct you to answer a few questions that will help them figure out if the EEOC is the appropriate fit to deal with your complaint regards to employment discrimination.
  • In Person. The EEOC holds office appointments where you may schedule an appointment through the Public Portal. Walk-in appointments are also allowed. It is best to bring information or documents that will make it easier to understand what is going on with the case. 
  • Telephone. Charges are not approved through the phone. However, you may initiate the process this way. Basic information will be requested to ensure your issue will be covered by the laws the EEOC enforces. Afterwards, you will be walked through on how to file a charge by the representative you speak with. 
  • Mail. Provide all basic information including your name, email, address, and phone number along with the employer/information that you want to file a charge against. Include descriptions of what you experienced with your employer that led you to believe their actions were discriminatory. Make sure the information listed is specific and thorough enough to understand what exactly happened. Conclude the letter with your signature. If not signed, the EEOC will refuse to investigate the situation. 

DFEH. There are a few actions to look into before filing a complaint with the DFEH. If your situation took place outside of California, you are required to contact the DFEH before going through with the intake form. They normally have authority for acts that relate to discrimination, retaliation, or harassment that are committed within California. Information must be sent to the department for them to review the case to make a decision on what their response may be. 

If you’ve filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you are not required to file a separate claim with DFEH. Not only does DFEH have a cross-file with the EEOC, but it does with HUD as well. If you are a federal employee, the DFEH does not have authority to handle your employment complaint. 

After confirming that your situation is applicable, you may begin the process of filing a DFEH claim. The first step for filing a complaint with DFEH is to complete an intake form. You will then have an intake interview with a department representative to figure out if the formal complaint will be approved to start a formal investigation. 

If you are not intrested in the DFEH Investigation, then you may file your own lawsuit for employment discrimination in court by getting a Right-To-Sue notice. There are various ways to fill out an intake form such as completing it online in the Cal Civil Rights System (CCRS), mail, phone, fax, or email. 

What Can West Coast Employment Lawyers Do For You?

If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The sexual harassment lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling sexual harassment cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.

We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a sexual harassment attorney in California, contact our office at (213) 927-3700


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