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 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?

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. 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
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)2 years
Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)1 year
Breach of employment contract6 years
New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA)2 or 6 years1
New Jersey Civil Rights Act (CRA)2 years
Overtime/Minimum wage claims2 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 years2

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 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

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The two-year statute of limitations under the FMLA and the FLSA can be extended to three years if the violation was “willful.”

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