Protecting Your Rights
We spend most of our lives working. Our jobs put food in our mouths, pay the rent, support our families, and give us a sense of self-worth. Attorneys in this office will do our best to listen to you with compassion, and explain the law to you. We will give you advice on what to do and how to do it. We will explain the importance of facts – both good and bad. And we will fight, aggressively, to represent your interests.
If you are having a problem at work, it is important that you talk to an employment attorney in our office as soon as possible, even though you might not want to. A lawyer can give you good advice about what the law says the employer has to do, and how to request that the employer follow the law. Sometimes, we might advise you that the best thing to do is to document your requests – by sending an email or a letter to the proper person. Before you put those requests in writing, you should talk to an attorney in this office about what to write.
Whether or not you end up filing a lawsuit, you should know some of the basic timelines which apply. The timelines below are general timelines. The time for your case depends on the specific facts. You should consult with an attorney to determine the amount of time you have to file suit.
Time to file a lawsuit
- Six Months If you have been harmed by the improper act of the state, a city, a county or other governmental entity, the law requires that you file a special type of written claim within six months in order to preserve your right to sue. This requirement applies to many types of workplace claims. You may also be required to pursue certain internal procedures. Therefore, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve all of your rights.
- One Year If you have been denied a job, denied a promotion, or discriminated against in some other way, you have one year from the last wrongful act to sue. Sometimes, the law recognizes a “continuing violation,” which would extend your time to sue. It is important that you contact a lawyer to discuss all of the facts, as soon as possible.
- Two Years
In general, you have two years to sue for wrongful termination. If you can show that there were policies that the employer used to terminate people which required that the employer only fire for cause or only after progressive discipline was used — and the employer did not do so — you may have a claim for breach of contract. You may also have other claims such as defamation of character — if there was defamation which continued after you were fired (those claims are subject to a one year statute of limitations. . .) Finally, if you sue for discrimination based on your race, you may have up to four years to file suit in federal court.
If you claim that a written agreement was broken by your employer, you have four years to sue for breach of contract. You also have four years to sue for violation of labor laws – e.g., payment of wages owed to you.