Pursing Sexual Harassment Damages
Speaking up against someone sexually harassing you can be intimidating. Retaliation is illegal, but many have reprisal concerns. Unfortunately, there is only a certain time window available to file a claim. The state you live in along with federal law has specific time limits.
Statute of Limitations
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and is prohibited under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Government agencies are in charge of enforcing discrimination. These agencies are the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the federal law along with individual Human Rights divisions. A victim of sexual harassment has the option of filing an administrative claim with one of these agencies, depending on where the harassment occurred, but must be aware of time limits in place with each agency.
This deadline applies to each episode of sexual harassment. The EEOC will look at all of the incidents of harassment during its investigation. However, even if they occurred more than 180 days or 300 days earlier.
Sexual harassment victims can pursue a Title VII claim by filing a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC within 300 calendar days of the date the harassment occurred. The 300 days is calculated to include weekend and holidays. Unfortunately, the EEOC won’t extend the deadline. This is why it is important that even if your employer is already investigating your complaint to reach out to an attorney.
Victims of sexual harassment can also pursue their claims in federal or state court, where another set of deadlines applies depending on whether you’re pursuing your claim under federal or state law.
In order to bring a lawsuit for violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you must first file a charge with the EEOC. As long as the statute of limitation is still available, the EEOC will investigate your claim. The agency will also attempt to mediate a resolution in some instances. Then, they will issue a Notice of Right to Sue. There are only 90 days after receiving this notification that you must file.