Wrongful Termination and Statutes of Limitations
By Gregory Thyberg on May 16, 2019
When someone is fired without cause but for discriminatory reasons, like pregnancy or sexual orientation, there may be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. There is a certain amount of time, called the statute of limitations, in which a wrongful termination lawsuit must be filed. In California, the amount of time depends on the circumstances surrounding the wrongful termination claim.
Attorney Gregory A. Thyberg understands the different types of circumstances that affect wrongful termination statutes of limitations in Sacramento, CA. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated and would like to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination occurs when someone was fired in breach of a contract, a state or federal law, or other unlawful reasons.
The most common types of wrongful termination include those who are fired because of race, national origin, age, pregnancy, taking medical leave, reporting harassment, or whistleblowing.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination?
Statute of limitations is a legal term that refers to the maximum length of time allowed after an event to begin legal proceedings. The statute of limitations can vary by state and by crime or event.
For wrongful termination lawsuits in Sacramento and throughout California, the statute of limitations is typically one year after the termination. This means a lawsuit must be filed within a year of the date a person was fired.
There are circumstances around the type of termination that can change the length of the statute of limitations for a wrongful termination claim in California. The following are a rough time frame for the common types of wrongful termination and the statute of limitations associated with them.
Violation of State and Federal Law
The California Fair Employment Housing Act and federal law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from being fired due to their gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, taking medical leave, and other circumstances. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful termination claim for violation of these laws is typically one year.
Violation of Public Policy
Wrongful termination in violation of public policy can include firing someone in retaliation, breach of contract, or firing someone for taking time off to vote. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful termination claim for violation of public policy starts at one year but some situations allow for two years.
Breach of Contract
Sometimes employees have signed a contract or have an implied oral contract stipulating the terms of employment and termination. Employees who are fired in violation of the terms of their contract may have a wrongful termination case. The statute of limitations for breach of contract may last as long as two years.
Wrongful Termination for Whistleblowing
Whistleblowing in the workplace is when an employee reports or opposes an activity that is in violation of federal law or public policy. The amount time allotted by the statute of limitations for wrongful termination of whistleblowers is usually one year but certain circumstances can extend the statute of limitations to three years.
What Damages Can a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Recover?
If you live in Sacramento and believe you've been wrongfully terminated, it's important to consult with employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline for filing before the statute of limitations runs out on your particular circumstances.
Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit can help those who have been wrongfully let go from their job recover damages, including lost wages and punitive damages.
Schedule a Consultation
To find out if the circumstances of your discharge from work are grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit, you are encouraged to call Thyberg Law at (916) 204-9173 to schedule a consultation.