Employment Statute of Limitations by State

Understanding the Statute of Limitations will help you gain clarity on your particular State’s Employment Statute of Limitations. So let’s begin by defining the terminology, because it will be the foundation of our entire article here.

 What is the definition of Statute of Limitations?

 Defined simply, the Statutes of Limitations is the legal time limit you have for filing a lawsuit based upon a very specific and particular claim. When you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, it is most likely that your case will be thrown out of court. Also, the Statute of Limitations can be established by either the State or Federal law. Ultimately, your personal Statutes of Limitations for your case will depend on the legal claims underlying your lawsuit. And these will most likely be as unique to your case as you are to your particular situation.

 What about cases on discrimination?

 If you so choose to file a lawsuit for discrimination under federal law, the time frame you will have to operate in is 180 days for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is possible to have this time limit extended to 300 days, if your particular state or local government has a law prohibiting the same type of discrimination you are filing a case for. When your state issues a right to sue letter, you will then have 90 days to file your lawsuit. It is important to note, that if you are filing under a state law that forbids discrimination, their statute of limitations could very well be different.

 What about contract claims lawsuits?

 Let’s say your lawsuit is founded upon a breach of employment contract, then your state will be establishing the laws of the Statute of Limitations. Many states have different time limits for both oral and written contracts. The limits for a written contract is generally longer because the case does not completely rely on a person’s memories. On average, the statutes of limitations overall for bringing a contract case will fluctuate between 2 to 15 years.

 Is this different for personal injury claims?

 When you are suing for defamation, any other claim categorized as a personal injury lawsuit, or wrongful termination in violation of public policy, the individual state will establish the statutes of limitations. The majority of the individual states carry the time limit of 2 or 3 years.


 When filing an employment lawsuit for any reason, it is important to know from your specific state laws what the statute of limitations is for your individual case. Most of the United States carries the same laws as we explained above. But because each person is unique, this also establishes that each case will be unique. Your local state laws will help to clarify which details are specific to your particular case.

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