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Employment Law Statutes of Limitations

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is the deadline to file a legal claim. With very limited exceptions, your claim will be dismissed if you do not file your lawsuit, arbitration, or claim in an administrative agency within the relevant deadline. As a result, it is critical to file your employment law claim within the statute of limitations.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?

Employment Law Statutes of Limitations Determining when the statute of limitations begins on a particular claim can be confusing. With most claims, it begins on the day on which your legal rights were violated. But exactly what that means varies depending on the specific law that your employer violated.

For example, for some wrongful termination claims, the statute of limitations begins on the day on which you were told you were being fired, or the day on which you tendered your resignation. But under other laws, the statute of limitations begins on your last day of employment, which sometimes can be days, weeks, or even months later.

The filing deadline for certain other claims is calculated differently. For example, for harassment claims the statute of limitations might not begin to run until the last act of the pattern of harassment, even if harassment spanned many months or even years. In contrast, there is a new statute of limitations for each day on which you were unlawfully denied overtime pay or minimum wage.

You should consult an experienced employment lawyer to confirm he specific statute of limitations that applies to each of your legal claims.

What is the Statute of Limitations on My Claim?

Different statutes of limitations periods apply to different legal claims. Below are some of the relevant filing deadlines for many of the most important employment law claims in New Jersey and New York.

The list does not include every filing deadline or every employment law claim. Many claims have much shorter filing deadlines than the ones listed below, including the deadlines to file certain administrative claims with state and federal agencies such as the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights ("DCR"), the New York Division on Human Rights ("DHR"), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), or the United States Department of Labor ("DOL").

*This is for information purposes only and may not be accurate for your claim(s).  If you believe your workplace rights have been violated, then you should contact an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you file your employment law claim within the statute of limitations*

New Jersey
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD")    
2 years1
Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA")1 year
Breach of employment contract6 years
New Jersey Family Leave Act ("NJFLA")2 or 6 years2
New Jersey Civil Rights Act ("NJCRA")2 years
Overtime/Minimum wage claims6 years
Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy2 years

New York
New York Human Rights Law ("NYHRL")3 years
Overtime/Minimum wage claims6 years
Retaliation claims under Wage & Hour Law2 years
Breach of employment contract6 years
New York Whistleblower Law (Labor Law §740)    
1 or 2 years3

New York City
New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL")    
3 years

Federal Claims in New York and New Jersey
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964300 days4
Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA")
300 days5
Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA")2 or 3 years5
Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA")2 or 3 years4


  1. Although most claims under the LAD have a two-year statute of limitations, claims for unequal pay have a six-year statute of limitations.
  2. The NJFLA does not mention a statute of limitations, but either a 2- or 6-year statute of limitations likely applies.
  3. While most claims under New York Labor Law § 740 have a one-year statute of limitations, claims brought by healthcare workers have a two-year statute of limitations.
  4. Before you can bring a lawsuit under Title VII, the ADA or the ADEA you first must file with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The 300 days is the deadline to file with the EEOC.
  5. The two-year statute of limitations under the FMLA and the FLSA can be extended to three years if the violation was “willful."
Related Articles

If you are looking for more information about employment law statute of limitations, you might be interested in one of these articles on our blog:

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