New York employment laws provide a variety of protections and legal remedies for both employers and their workers. However, things can get complicated due to the broad nature of such laws. After all, anything from a breach of contract to racial discrimination could land a company and employees in court. One of the most complicated areas of this legal spectrum is New York’s statutes of limitations on employment laws.
Fortunately, this matter is fairly straightforward in many cases. New York clearly lists its statute of limitations, and in many cases, they extend further than even federal statutes. This means employees will often have much longer to file a complaint with state agencies or courts rather than federal agencies. Still, understanding all relevant options is important. Our law firm can help in this manner and many other employment law issues. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is New York’s Statute of Limitations on Employment Claims?
Statutes of limitations are one of the most important concepts in the legal world. In criminal courts, they dictate how long prosecutors have to file a case. When it comes to employment law, however, they specify the deadline for seeking benefits, filing a claim, or initiating litigation. There is no single answer to “What’s the statute of limitations for New York employment law,” because these statutes can vary significantly based on circumstances.
For instance, workers who are injured on the job only have 30 days to report their injuries for workers’ comp. However, an individual who was fired due to a breach of contract by their employer may have up to six years to access legal remedies. It’s also worth noting that some employment issues may fall into multiple categories, so you should never assume you don’t have options. Contact our law firm today for a solid understanding of the deadlines you’re facing.
How Do Federal and New York Employment Laws Differ?
The federal government has passed many employment laws over the years. They focus on everything from workers’ comp and workplace safety to discrimination and medical leave. All qualifying employees in America are entitled to the rights provided by these laws, but in many cases, New York employment law goes even further than federal statutes. This means workers in The Empire State have more safeguards than many throughout the country.
For instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sets a deadline of 180 days to file a claim based on workplace discrimination. If a local or state agency has its own law preventing such discrimination, the EEOC extends its deadline to 300 days. This may seem like a lengthy statute of limitations to some, but our state actually allows discrimination lawsuits for up to three years, thanks to the New York State Human Rights Law.
Clearly, these issues can get complicated due to varying federal and state laws — along with varying statutes of limitations in New York itself. Contact our law firm today if you’ve found yourself in an issue involving employment law. We’re here to help.
Important Employment Law Statutes of Limitations to Know
Whether you’re an employer trying to follow the law or a worker who’s been wrongfully terminated, it’s important to know the statutes of limitations for employment law in New York and the U.S. Failing to file a claim, complaint, or lawsuit before the deadline expires could result in forfeiture of your rights. Of course, there are many of these laws on both state and federal levels. Here are the ones that most commonly apply to New York businesses and employees:
- Workers’ compensation: While employees must report an injury within 30 days of discovery, they have up to two years to file a workers’ comp claim.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act: This federal law gives employees 180 days to file a complaint alleging fraud by a company.
- Americans With Disabilities Act: Individuals who were discriminated against due to a mental or physical disability have between 180 and 300 days to file an EEOC claim.
- Civil Rights Act of 1964: Individuals discriminated against due to membership in a federally protected class have between 180 and 300 days to file a claim with the EEOC.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act: People discriminated against for being over the age of 40 have between 180 and 300 days to file a claim with the EEOC.
- New York State Human Rights Law: Discrimination victims have three years to file a case under this statute. NYC has a similar law with a three-year statute of limitations.
- Family Medical Leave Act: If you face negative consequences for FMLA-protected activities, you have two years to file a federal claim.
- Breach of contract: When fired in violation of an employment contract, workers can seek legal remedies for up to six years.
While failing to act before these deadlines often means you have no recourse, this isn’t always the case. There are some exceptions to even the most stringent statutes of limitations in New York, and even if you miss the deadline for a specific claim, you may still have legal recourse under other laws. This is why it’s so important to speak with a New York employment law attorney before making any big decisions. Our law firm can help.
What if You’re Wrongfully Terminated?
If you’ve been wrongfully terminated from a job — or faced punitive actions for legally-protected actions — it’s important that you take action. These situations can have long-term consequences, and in many cases, an employer can be held liable for their illegal behaviors. It’s imperative that you start documenting as much evidence as possible early on, but the most important decision you might make is to contact a New York employment law attorney.
That’s because these legal professionals will be able to help you better understand your rights. For instance, imagine you do your own research after discrimination in the workplace and discover that the EEOC has a filing deadline of just 180 days. You might move on with your life without realizing that similar New York employment law statutes of limitations give you about 2.5 years longer to file a case.
You need someone on your side who understands relevant state and federal law. Contact our law firm today to learn more.