What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit?

Have you been discriminated against at work for your disability? Are you unaware of what the statute of limitations are, and how they influence your case? Don’t worry, our workplace discrimination attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group are here to help. Being discriminated against at work can be a truly devastating experience. From being refused adequate pay for your work, to being harassed on a regular basis, many who experience workplace disability discrimination often feel pressured to quit their job or endure continued mistreatment without any hope of resolution. Fortunately, our workplace disability discrimination attorneys are well-versed in the California statute of limitations for disability discrimination cases and are committed to ensuring all of our clients receive the resources they need to earn the compensation they deserve for their damages. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to reach out to our law offices for a free consultation from one of our many skilled legal advisors.

 Disability Discrimination in the Workplace


Being discriminated against for your potential disabilities is effectively illegal under state and federal law. If you can perform the requirements of your job, an employer, or boss cannot dock pay or refuse work to a disabled worker. While physical disabilities can hinder the mobility and ability of a worker, they don’t always make a person incapable. Unfortunately, some employers fail to realize this and mistreat disabled employees when compared to others. Victims of disability discrimination in the workplace are also subject to hostile work environments, as being abused by an employer for a disability can lead to things like day-to-day harassment and a refusal of payment. This further mistreatment can lead to emotional distress and monetary damages that can truly devastate those who are forced to experience workplace disability discrimination.

Fortunately, victims of workplace disability discrimination have every right to sue their employer for their actions and behavior.  State and Federal laws strictly prohibit discrimination of any kind in the workplace. If an employer discriminates against you through their actions or behavior, they are subject to the legal consequences. Discrimination is often defined as the improper treatment of an individual based on their race, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious background, personal characteristics, or in this case, physical disability.

When filing a lawsuit for disability discrimination in the workplace, one of the following elements must be present in your case:

  • The actions of your employer must show, in some way, that they are discriminating against you based on your religion, disability, race, color, or age.
  • Your employer’s behavior and actions must last for an extended period. As such you cannot sue your employer for one off-handed comment. Any and all incidents where your employer abused you and bullied you should be recorded and filed with your company’s HR department.
  • If your company does nothing or little to nothing to remedy the issue after repeated reports of harassment, you can move forward with legal action against your employer.
  • The actions of your employer must be severe and consistent enough to disrupt your ability to fulfill the requirements of the job, by hindering your day-to-day work.

When filing a disability discrimination lawsuit against your employer, it is critical that you follow certain steps to ensure better that you reach a satisfactory outcome for your case. These steps in filing a disability discrimination lawsuit are listed as follows:

  • Contact an HR Representative: The first thing you should do is report every incident of abuse to your company’s Human Resources department. These departments are put in place to fight for the rights of their employees and resolve issues of this nature. Often, cases will be resolved at this point as a result of the actions of an HR representative. By reporting your incidents, you not only document the harassment, but you can also show a jury that you exhausted all options of solution before relying on legal action.
  • Collect any and All Evidence: If your HR department fails to remedy the issue, you may need to file a report with either a state or federal anti-discrimination agency. Before you do so, you should gather any and all evidence you need to support your claims. This evidence can include things like photographs, video footage, or audio recordings of incidents of harassment; text messages, phone calls, emails, or other points of contact shared between you and your employer or; eyewitness testimonies from co-workers, customers, or even family members that back up your claims. At this point, you should consult a workplace bullying and abuse attorney in Modesto if you haven’t already.
  • File a Report With an Anti-Discrimination Agency: Before you can file a lawsuit against your employer, you must file a report with either the federally run Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state-run agency. These agencies will review your case, and either give you the approval to sue or reject your right to sue an employer. During this period, it is highly recommended that you keep a low-profile at work as you do not want to give your employer any evidence to later dispute your claims in court.
  • Move To Court Or Resolve: If the anti-discrimination agency approved your case, you and your attorney would receive a ‘right-to-sue,’ letter, giving you the go-ahead to take your case to court. However, at this point, many cases settle as companies would rather settle a case than expend the exuberant legal fees to fight the case in court. It is up to you whether you want to take your case to court or not, and before making a choice, it is highly recommended that you reach out to your Spanish speaking lawyer for advice on the best course of action.

When victims of disability discrimination at the workplace come to our legal team for representation, they are often left in the dark with regards to the statute of limitations for a disabled employee discrimination lawsuit. Fortunately, our attorneys experienced in fighting for the rights of workers, are well versed how the statute of limitations influences disability discrimination cases and can guide you in the right direction.

What is the Time Limit In California to File A Lawsuit Against Your Employer For Disability Discrimination?


For starters, the statute of limitations is the period in which an individual has to bring their case to court. The statute of limitations can vary depending on what state the incident occurred, and the specific characteristics involved in the case. There are also some exceptions to the statute of limitations that may or may come into play when filing a lawsuit in the state of California. Some common exceptions to the statute of limitations are bulleted below:

  • The Defendant was out of state for a period: If a defendant was absent from the state, the statute of limitations pauses until the defendant returns.
  • The plaintiff is a minor: If the injured party is a minor, meaning below the age of 18, the statute of limitations does not run until the said minor turns 18.
  • Mental incompetence of the plaintiff: If a plaintiff is judged as mentally incompetent during their injuries or the actions of the defendant, then the statute of limitations are paused throughout this incompetence.
  • Death of the plaintiff: If a plaintiff dies before the statute of limitations runs its course, then a lawsuit can still be filed in the statute of limitations period. However, if six or fewer months remaining on the statute of limitations at the time of the plaintiff’s death, then the suit must be filed within six months of the plaintiff’s death.
  • Plaintiff’s prison sentence: If a plaintiff is imprisoned, California law dictates that the statute of limitations is tolled until the plaintiff is released, or for two years whichever comes first.
  • Plaintiff’s Military Service: If a plaintiff is serving in the military the statute of limitations is automatically tolled for the entire duration of the plaintiff’s service.

The deadline to sue in California for disability discrimination lawsuits can vary depending on what anti-discrimination agency you filed a report with. As mentioned before, to sue your employer for disability discrimination you must have your case approved by a state or federal anti-discrimination agency. A state or federal agency will send out a ‘right-to-sue’ letter, which gives you and your attorney the right to take more formal legal action.

Typically, in disability discrimination lawsuits, the statute of limitations will begin when you receive this letter. For state-run anti-discriminatory agencies, victims have 300 days to bring their case to court. If you filed a report with the federal, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have 180 days to bring your case to court. If you fail to follow either of these strictly enforced timelines, you will more than likely find your case dismissed from court entirely. For this reason, it is, in your best interest to seek legal representation from an attorney experienced in handling cases of this nature. Having the right attorney by your side can better guarantee that you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages. 

About California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group


If you or a loved one has experienced workplace disability discrimination, you may be eligible to file a claim for monetary compensation. Victims of disability discrimination often feel trapped, and as such may be unaware of their options of resolution. With the help of a law firm experienced in fighting workplace discrimination cases, victims can receive the positive resolution that they hoped for. If you or a loved one has experienced disability discrimination at work, and are unaware of how the statute of limitations influence your case our attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can help you. Our well-versed workplace discrimination attorneys can guide you every step of the way from filing a report with the right anti-discrimination agency and follow the statute of limitations. Victims of workplace disability discrimination can contact our law offices to learn more about how we can assist. While our law firm is based in Los Angeles, our attorneys also practice in Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, Tulare County, Visalia, Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Pomona, Fontana, Orange County, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, San Diego, and throughout the state of California.

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