Los Angeles, CA asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California

Q: Quit on 2/19/18 because of retaliation (whistleblowing & workers comp) and gender discrimination. Is it too late to sue

3 Lawyer Answers

Ronald Mahurin

  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Point Arena, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is too late to proceed with a discrimination claim before the WCAB, However, you can still file a claim for WC benefits. The civil statute is longer, so you should be able to proceed with a claim in the civil courts.

Nancy J. Wallace

  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Grand Terrace, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I don't know the statute of limitations on gender discrimination complaints. I do know that you need to file the Workers Compensation action while you are actively employed or it is considered a post-termination claim, difficult to prove. IF YOU DID submit the claim while you were still employed and you were demoted or lost hours in retaliation (and you can prove it was the comp claim that resulted in the demotion and lost hours), then you have one year from the discrimination to file a 132a Petition with the WCAB and serve your former employer.

Neil Pedersen

  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes and no.

You had one year from the act about which you wished to complain to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to preserve your right to sue under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act claiming gender discrimination or retaliation based on the filing of a workers compensation claim, i.e., disability discrimination. You are literally a couple of days late to do that. it would be very wise for you to immediately locate and consult with an employment law attorney who can review your facts to see if there are any ways around this deadline problem.

If you can prove you were constructively discharged, i.e., you quit because no reasonable employee under the circumstances could stay, because of this unlawful harassment and retaliation, you still have a potential claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. That has a two year statute of limitations. The remedies are not as optimal as a FEHA claim, but they can still be substantial.

It would therefore be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

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