Should I Delay My Employment Lawsuit Due to COVID?
By Gregory Thyberg on January 30, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has had more of an impact than most people probably imagined it would when it first emerged. With stay-at-home orders and forced business closures, people have had to cancel or postpone all kinds of events. Given the many restrictions in place, it is natural for people to wonder, “should I delay my employment lawsuit due to COVID?”
When a worker’s rights have been violated, it is important that their employers are held accountable. Despite the continuing pandemic, employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg urges employees in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas to act quickly if they have been victims of illegal employment practices. Our law firm is prepared to help clients safely pursue financial compensation for related damages.
Employment Law Violations and COVID
There are several laws in place - at both the state and federal level - to protect an employee’s right to a safe and fair work environment. These laws make it illegal to harass or discriminate against employees on the basis of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, while also protecting workers from wrongful termination and ensuring they receive fair wages.
In response to COVID-19, even more protection measures have been put in place. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19, or to expand family and medical leave for their employees.
Regardless of how a business has been impacted by COVID, they do not have the right to ignore employment laws. If violations have been made, employees need to report them as soon as possible, and take legal action to pursue financial compensation for resulting losses.
Why It’s Important to File a Lawsuit Quickly
Any time that an employee’s rights have been violated, it is important that they act quickly. With the exception of the Equal Pay Act, all laws that are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, require that a claim is filed with them before a lawsuit can be filed against the employer. Alternatively, some employment discrimination claims can be filed at the state level, with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In either case, employees have a limited amount of time to file these claims. Deadlines generally range from six months to one year.
In addition to the deadlines enforced by employment agencies, the state has their own statute of limitations for civil lawsuits. In California, the statutes of limitations for employment lawsuits vary by the type of claim being filed. For discrimination claims, Sacramento employees have one year from the time they receive a Right to Sue Notice from the department with which their complaint was filed. For cases of wrongful termination or retaliation the statute of limitations is two years, and wage disputes must be filed within three years. If any of these deadlines are missed, the right to take legal action is forfeited.
Increased Safety Measures
COVID-19 certainly poses a risk, and while we do not want any of our Sacramento clients to feel unsafe, we also do not want them to miss out on holding their employers accountable for employment law violations.
To protect our clients so that they feel safe filing a lawsuit during the pandemic, we have adopted increased safety measures at our law firm. This includes extra cleaning and disinfecting practices, enforcing the use of face masks, maintaining social distancing guidelines, and conducting meetings virtually when necessary.
If you have faced workplace discrimination, or believe that your rights as an employee have been violated, attorney Gregory Thyberg can assist you with filing a claim so that legal action can be taken. To get the process started, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call (916) 204-9173 to schedule a personal consultation.