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What Happens If I Don't Report Workplace Harassment in Time?

by Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP
April 21, 2023
Employment Law

What You Need to Know If You Have Been Harassed at Work in California

Workplace harassment is a widespread problem in California. State and federal law protects workers from harassment at work, enabling an aggrieved worker to file a complaint against their employer. It is important to know that you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim based on workplace harassment. Failure to file within the statutory limit could result in your case being denied.

At Levin & Nalbandyan, we provide focused representation for individuals who have suffered harassment while at work in Los Angeles. We have decades of experience helping achieve justice for harmed employees. If you were harassed in your workplace, contact our office as soon as possible. Call (213) 232-4848 to schedule a free consultation. 

What Is Workplace Harassment?

California recognizes both sexual harassment and non-sexual harassment as unlawful. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) protects individuals from quid pro quo harassment where sexual favors are expected in exchange for a workplace benefit and hostile work environment harassment

A hostile work environment is created when the harassment is severe and pervasive. It does not have to be sexual in nature. It can be any form of harassment related to a protected class such as your sex, national origin, race, color, age, or disability. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Workplace Harassment?

In California, you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim based on workplace harassment. It is important to act quickly as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) investigates and enforces laws related to workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the state. 

Under the DFEH you may only have one (1) year to file a claim based on workplace harassment. The claim must be filed within one year of the last act of harassment. Failure to file within the statute of limitations can result in your claim being denied or dismissed. If the harassment violates federal law you may have as little as 180 days to file a claim in federal court.

What If I Do Not File a Claim in Time?

If you do not file a workplace harassment claim in time, you could lose your right to pursue compensation against your employer. The statutory limitations are put in place to ensure that claims are brought in a timely manner. Reporting the harassment as early as possible can help ensure that your case is heard. 

An annual report released by the DFEH shows that thousands of employment-related claims are filed each year. In 2020 alone there were 4,422 employment complaint cases. These claims did not include the over 13,000 requests for the right to sue immediately.

Harassed While at Work? Contact Our Office. 

Were you harassed while at work in California? You might be able to file a lawsuit against your employer, but you must act quickly. You only have a limited amount of time to file. Contact our office at (213) 232-4848 to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win.

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