Employment Law Statutes 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 or administrative agency claim 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?
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. For example, in a wrongful termination case it normally begins on the day on which you were first notified that you were being fired.
However, certain claims are calculated differently. For example, in harassment cases 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.What is the Statute of Limitations on My Claim?
Different statute 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") and the United States Department of Labor ("DOL").
*This is for information purposes only. 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 Law Against Discrimination (LAD)||2 years|
|Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)||1 year|
|Breach of employment contract||6 years|
|New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA)||2 or 6 years1|
|New Jersey Civil Rights Act (CRA)||2 years|
|Overtime/Minimum wage claims||2 years|
|Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy||2 years|
|New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL)||3 years|
|Overtime/Minimum wage claims||6 years|
|Retaliation claims under Wage & Hour Law||2 years|
|Breach of employment contract||6 years|
|New York Whistleblower Law (Labor Law §740)||1 or 2 years2|
|New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL)||3 years|
|Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964||300 days3|
|Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)||300 days3|
|Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)||2 or 3 years4|
|Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)||2 or 3 years4|
- The New Jersey Family Leave Act does not mention a statute of limitations but either a 2- or 6-year statute of limitations seems to apply.
- 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.
- 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.
- The two-year statute of limitations under the FMLA and the FLSA can be extended to three years if the violation was “willful.”
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:
- New Jersey Court Upholds Contract Shortening Deadline to File Discrimination lawsuit
- “Discovery Rule” Can Extend Statute of Limitations Under New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
- Each Discriminatory Paycheck is Separate Violation of New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
- Supreme Court Clarifies Filing Deadline for Disparate Impact Cases