The Statute of Limitations for Filing an Age Discrimination Lawsuit | Mann & Elias

How Much Time Can Pass Before I Can No Longer Sue my Employer for Discrimination?

When you’re fired from a job and you have to pack up your personal items and leave, you may want to leave the negative experience behind you altogether. However, it’s possible that your employer fired you for illegal purposes, such as your age. Ageism in the workplace is very common nowadays, especially as technology rapidly advances.

You may not want to admit that your older age was a factor in your workplace’s decision, but any Los Angeles workplace lawyer can tell you that 2 out of 3 workers have experienced age discrimination on the job.

If you have experienced any of the below age-related aggressions, it’s possible that you have a case to get compensation for age discrimination:

  • Jokes about your age, retirement plan, slow typing speed, or slow pace
  • Pressure to retire
  • Exclusion in meeting or company activities
  • Exclusion from difficult assignments, or rather, receiving an unfair share of tedious work
  • Being passed over for a promotion 
  • An assumption that you do not need time off because you do not have young children
  • Being let go on the basis that the company needs “new blood”

If any of the above examples apply to your situation, then you should contact an age discrimination attorney right away before the statute of limitations expires.

What is a Statute of Limitations?


A statute of limitations is defined as the length of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. This is the maximum amount of time that someone can wait before starting legal proceedings. This period of time varies from state to state and depends on the type of lawsuit.

These laws are in place to ensure that the victim does not delay in their claim for damages. If a long period of time passes before the lawsuit is filed, then it’s possible that the witness’s memories will face and the defendant will not have a fair fight in gathering the evidence necessary to fight the claim.

Statutes of Limitations for Ageism Lawsuits


Starting on January 1, 2020, the state of California’s Assembly Bill 9 gave victims of age discrimination in the workplace three years to file a lawsuit with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The bill specifies that the date the complaint is filed is defined as the day that the intake form was filed with the Labor Commissioner, meaning that this filing with the Labor Commissioner must be within three years of the unlawful firing. 

This bill is not retroactive, so your unfair dismissal must have occurred after the date of January 1, 2020.

This significant expansion of employee rights can also apply to claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The new bill also includes four expansions of the three-year filing deadline for cases for FEHA. 

  1. The victim’s statute of limitations is temporarily paused for up to 90 days following a person’s discovery or realization of their employer’s age discrimination. 
  2. The statute of limitations is paused for up to one year in situations where the actual employer is disguised under different companies. For example, if the victim of ageism tries to file their lawsuit against one company but realizes they technically should have filed it against a company with a different name, then they have one extra year to file.
  3. The statute is tolled for up to one year in cases brought under Civil Code § 51.7 (Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976) from the date the employee learns which supervisor was responsible for the age discrimination.
  4. A one-year statute of limitations from the date that a person allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice attains the age of majority.

How to File an Age Discrimination Lawsuit


The process of suing for ageism can be lengthy and complicated, so it’s essential to hire an attorney for age discrimination right away. You must first file your lawsuit with the EEOC, who will then investigate your complaint, typically by contacting your employer, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing other evidence. 

When the EEOC has completed its investigation, you will be given a right-to-sue notice, but you do not have to wait for this notice in order to file an age discrimination lawsuit. You and your workplace lawyer can file your lawsuit as soon as 60 days after your filing with the EEOC. 

Once you complete this part of the claims process, you can file your age discrimination lawsuit in court. This is only the beginning of your battle for compensation. You will need experienced age discrimination attorneys for the workplace like the Law Offices of Mann & Elias to endure the heavy legal workload that is a discrimination case. Mann & Elias will review your case and ensure that you have a strong claim before your case goes to trial.

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