A harassment claim is a type of employment law dispute where a worker experiences offensive or unwanted conduct from either an employer, supervisor, or other co-worker.

Harassment claims are subject to a variety of state and federal laws, and can often overlap with other legal issues, such as employment discrimination, sexual discrimination, or sexual assault. 

The legal remedies for harassment lawsuits typically include a monetary damages award. This award gets distributed to the plaintiff for the purpose of reimbursing them for any losses they suffered that were caused by the harassment conduct.

What are the Deadlines for Filing a Harassment Claim?

When an employee decides to file a claim for harassment, they generally are required to first file the claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).

An employee must file such a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged harassment or other type of violation they have experienced.

It is important to note that the EEOC guidelines may only apply to certain kinds of employers; specifically, those who have 15 or more employees working for them. 

The EEOC guidelines can also apply to both state and municipal government employers, as well as different labor organizations and employment agencies.

In some circumstances, the federal government can even be subject to particular EEOC rulings and specific deadlines.

For non-employment harassment claims, such as criminal stalking, the deadlines for a filing will usually vary from state to state. A typical state criminal statute may allow a time frame for filing a claim for up to four years after the incident occurred. 

To ensure that a claim has been timely filed and that all violating conduct has been accounted for, it may be helpful to speak with a harassment or employment attorney for further guidance. 

Are There Any Extensions Available for Filing a Harassment Claim?

In some jurisdictions, the EEOC may permit an extension for filing. If permitted, the extension can range anywhere from 180 days to 300 days after the alleged incident occurred. This extension may also be allowed if the claim is covered by either an existing state law or a local ordinance as well.

For cases where a state law or local ordinance applies, some additional research may be required to be conducted regarding the laws that apply in that specific jurisdiction. In such instances, a person may need to contact a local attorney to determine the proper procedures and date of the actual filing deadline.

What Other Things Should I Know About Time Limits for Filing a Harassment Claim?

Before or during the filing of a harassment claim, the individual should keep a personal record or diary account of the incident or incidents that have occurred. These logs should include vital information about the incident, such as the date, the time, the location, details about the incident itself, and the parties involved.

The purpose of keeping a log is so that the person who becomes the plaintiff may use it as supporting evidence when either filing their claim with the EEOC, or in a court of law if a trial becomes the necessary legal course to take. 

Other evidence the plaintiff should try to collect for their harassment claim include witnesses or emails describing the harassment, an employee policy handbook and the section regarding sexual harassment policies, and any other information that can help prove a harassment incident occurred.

These items should all be collected as soon as possible. The longer a person delays a filing for a harassment claim, the less likely it is that they will be successful, and they may even miss the deadline for filing, which can prevent a lawsuit from being brought altogether. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Time Limits for Filing a Harassment Claim?

As discussed above, it is important to remember that the time limits for filing a claim for harassment can vary according to the laws of each state. In contrast, EEOC filing deadlines are generally uniform procedures that are subject to only a few exceptions.

Therefore, if you are thinking about filing a workplace harassment lawsuit, then you should consider hiring an experienced employment lawyer located in your area. A local lawyer will know which laws are applicable to your matter and the corresponding proper procedures for the filing.

In addition, a lawyer can also assist you in preparing any necessary court documents, so that you do not miss any deadlines. This is important because it will give you a fair chance to recover damages for any losses that you suffered due to the harassment incident.   

Finally, a lawyer can help to determine whether or not you have a claim for court, and if so, can assist in preparing your case. They also will be able to provide representation on your behalf in court, as well as be able to predict what potential remedies you might receive if the case is successful.