How long can you wait to sue for wrongful termination after your employer fired you? Is it too late to file your employment lawsuit? Is there a statute of limitations on wrongful termination? These are common questions that arise if someone was wrongfully terminated in the past and have not yet taken legal action against the previous employer. Keep in mind, each state may have different criteria for filling this kind of lawsuit. If you have specific questions, you should speak directly with an attorney regarding your case. Here, we can go over the most basic principles of time limits on wrongful termination lawsuits. 

Many people may not realize right away that their employer fired them for an unlawful reason. Often, those who are most vulnerable are people belonging to groups that may most often face discrimination. These groups include women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other protected groups. Perhaps the job was your first job, and you did not know any better or understand yet that the way your employer had treated you was unlawful. In other cases, some may be afraid to come forward right away as it could have been a traumatizing experience. Remember, the best advice is to act as quickly as possible when bringing a case forward, but what can you do if some time has already passed? 

Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitations is a legal term meaning the amount of time someone has to bring forward a legal case after an employer commits the alleged offenses. So, the primary purpose of a statute of limitation is to ensure the information surrounding the case does not deteriorate over time so that people are rightfully convicted. These timelines are predetermined based on the time of the crime in question. Some crimes have very short statutes of limitations, and some can be many years or decades. 

Whether or not the statute of limitations has passed on your case should always be determined by an attorney. These are only general guidelines. If you have been a victim of an employment law crime, reach out to an attorney for specific advice. There could be special circumstances in your case or other state and local laws to consider. 

How Long Can You Wait to Sue For Wrongful Termination? 

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal body that handles employment law. They state that the employee can open an investigation up to 180 days after the termination occurred or 300 days after the illegal act. Keep in mind; many lawyers can help people with charges up to three years old and beyond. For example, the court may also hold businesses with more than 25 employees and those with more than 50 employees to different standards. Also, the state in which the unlawful activity took place could offer extensions. The courts and attorneys need to make these decisions on a case by case basis. Employees in California, for example, may have more coverage under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

Finally, when asking, “how long can I wait to file my wrongful termination lawsuit,” the answer is: don’t wait. Speak to an attorney as soon as you think you have a case, even if you have not been fired yet but are experiencing discrimination or other unlawful behavior in the workplace.