Statute of Limitations to File a Disability Discrimination Claim in California

When it comes to applicants and employees, employers must only look at their qualifications and ability to perform the essential job functions when they determine whether or not to either bring that person to the team or keep them on, respectively. That means if an employee needs a wheelchair to move around, but can still qualified for the occupation and can perform all of the necessary job functions, the employer cannot choose a fully-able person over the disabled one, simply because of the disability and potential changes to the work environment that person may bring. Employers cannot look at someone’s disability and make employment-based decisions on that person’s disability – whether it exists or not.

There are federal and state laws in place to help protect disabled employees from employer and employee discrimination. The workplace has to be a safe place for every employee; if employers do not provide a safe space for employees, then it opens them up to potential lawsuits which will end up hurting them even more.

Employees may feel scared to file a claim of discrimination against their employers for fears of retaliation from their employer, and so they wait for the “right time.” The right time to file a charge is as soon as possible because time is ticking! You may not have as much time as you think because there is a window through which you must file your suit that closes a little bit with each passing day.

In the court of law, there is a strict time which all must follow if they want to file a lawsuit against an offense that was committed against them. This is a law which forbids prosecutors from filing a charge against a company or individual that was committed more than X years ago. It is called the statute of limitations and changes from offense to offense.

We at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group are here to help you get the protection you need before this window closes and you lose your opportunity to get the damages you to which you may be entitled. We help people who are discriminated for their disability and answer any questions they may have regarding their rights. Examples of such questions include:

  • What’s the statute of limitations to file a disability discrimination lawsuit in California?
  • When is the deadline to sue an employer for disability discrimination?
  • I was discriminated against for my disability. How much time to I have to sue? Is there a time limit?
  • What’s the statute of limitations in California to sue for disability discrimination?
  • What are the time limits for filing a charge of discrimination?
  • What is the ADA failure to accommodate statute of limitations in California?

What Is a Statute of Limitation?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time a prosecutor has to file a charge against another party before the lawsuit become null. There exists a statute of limitations for every kind of crime, which varies from intensity to intensity. Some crimes, however, are so terrible, like murder, that a statute of limitations does not exist and a charge can be brought at any time.

Disability discrimination does have a statute limitations, and that is either 180 days, or 300 days – depending on whether or not your state offers certain protections.

What Laws Protect Me From Disability Discrimination?
At the federal level, there exists the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants with disabilities in every facet of the employment process which includes things like terminating, hiring, pay, promotion, bonuses, benefits, and any other terms of employment which are available to all other employees. This means that if the employee is the most qualified for a promotion, the employer cannot assume they will not be able to do the full spectrum of the occupation, and overlook that disabled employee and hire or promote someone else. Should employees feel like they’ve been discriminated against, it protects employees from any employer retaliation if they file a claim against their employer. For example, if a disabled employee believes that they have been a victim of disability discrimination and file a charge against their employer, that employer cannot retaliate against the worker. This means employers cannot terminate nor discipline the employee in any way that affects their position or employment.

Employers in the private sector are also encompassed by this law, but only if they have at least 15 workers under their employment. Each state has its own law by which employers must abide.

Furthermore, employers cannot look beyond an employee’s ability to perform the essential job functions. This means that an employer must provide reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee as long as the reasonable accommodation won’t cause the employer any undue hardships. For example, if an employee rolls around in a wheelchair and employer must provide a ramp, accessible bathrooms, and make the office more mobile-friendly in order to provide the necessary reasonable accommodation that the employee needs. Generally, small businesses which do not have many resources are exempt from providing these accommodations, but only if they can prove it will cost financial hardship.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal employment agency which enforces the ADA and assures that employers follow the laws to the letter. Under the EEOC, employees have 180 calendar days to file their charge with the agency. After 180 calendar day, the lawsuit is no longer valid, and the employee loses all hope in recovering any damages to which they may have been entitled within the deadline. If, however, the state’s anti-discrimination cover the same discrimination as the federal, then that deadline is extended to 300 days.

In the state of California, the law which protects against employer discrimination is called the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). It, too, protects against California employees from receiving unfair treatment or harassment for their disability from their employers and other employees. Because employees who work in California are protected by both state and federal law, the deadline is extended to 300 calendar days.

How to File a Lawsuit Against My Employer
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by your employer for your disability, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. You must first file a charge with either the EEOC or the DFEH first. Upon filing a charge, an identical copy of your charge will be made and sent to the other agency. Dual filing ensures that your rights are protected under both state and federal laws. Once the employment government agency investigates, you can request a right-to-sue letter to officially sue your employer. It is recommended that you only do this once you are fully ready to go to court as you will only have ninety days to file suit from when you receive this letter.

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The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to help you get the damages to which you are entitled if your employer discriminated against you. We offer a free consultation and the zero-fee guarantee, which is our promise to all clients that we will use every available resource on your case.