To understand how the statute of limitations protects workers, you must first familiarize yourself with what it is and how it can add value to your case. In a nutshell, the statute of limitations can be defined as the time limit or deadline for filing a civil case. Civil cases may include certain disputes between persons/employees and organizations. The five common types of civil cases include:
- Property disputes
- Contract disputes
- Torts – Personal injury cases
- Class action cases
- Complaints against the federal government
With this in mind, it’s imperative for employees to know how the statutes of limitations can apply to individual or corporate cases. For employees, personal injury cases are the most common of all the five. After sustaining an injury at work, knowing the right time to report an injury as an employee is essential as far as compensation is concerned.
According to the statute of limitations, workplace injuries should be reported to the employee and their insurer as early as possible, even though different states may have different time limits when it comes to filing your worker’s comp claim. One thing to note is that once the set time limits set lapses, you can longer file your case in court, which is the last thing you want considering how financially and emotionally straining workplace injuries can be, not forgetting the physical pain you might be going through. That having been said, below are pointers on how the statute of limitations protects workers.
Discrimination claims are cases involving employees who believe that they were wrongfully discriminated against because of their immigration status, race, citizenship status, and so forth. As an employee, you are within your rights to file a discrimination claim if you believe that you a victim of such.
Now, according to the statute of limitations in most states, employees must file the claim within the first 180 days from the day the action or crime was committed. Fortunately, unlike most legal disputes involving employees and organizations, discrimination claims are among the few cases that carry a longer time limit. The filing deadline for discrimination cases is 300 calendar days. This will allow you more time to prepare your case, find an attorney, and gather all the evidence you might need.
The statute of limitations also helps to protect employees from wrongful termination of employment. However, before you file a wrongful termination claim, you must have enough proof showing that the termination process was biased or illegal.
This is because most employment terms are under an “at-will” basis where your employer may fire you at any given time as long as the reasons for terminating your employment are not illegal. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this “at-will” rule that helps workers to keep their jobs. This way you can sue your employer for wrongful termination.
As an employee, the statute of limitations protects you from any form of harm as a result of reporting unlawful activities of your employees. If you, therefore, have any proof that your employer is violating certain laws such as environmental or labor laws, you have no reason to suffer in silence.
More often than not, employees who file claims against their employers can face some forms of retaliation from their employers. This may come in the form of wrongful termination, negative performance review, or denied promotion. Employers are forbidden from such acts of workplace retaliation and if you are a victim of such acts, it’s important that file for a workplace retaliation claim. Under the statute of limitations, filing a wrongful termination claim will partially depend on an individual jurisdiction and the underlying cause of action. For instance, most wrongful termination claims will be classified under discrimination claim cases, especially when the plaintiff believes that they were wrongfully fired because of some protected traits. In such a claim, you’ll have 180 days to file your wrongful termination claim.
The Importance of the Statute Of Limitations in your case
As earlier mentioned, the statute of limitations clock starts ticking at the time of the alleged event or incident. While certain lawsuits may carry more time, you’ll need to be more expedient of lawsuits that carry a minimum time limit. Fortunately, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, the statutory deadline may be tolled or extended. As an employee, it’s crucial that you protect your rights. This means understanding the impact of the statute of limitations and how it applies to your case. If you’re therefore thinking of filing a case, doing it earlier will help to save you a lot of trouble.
Why you need an attorney
The most common of workplace-related lawsuits fall under premises liability laws. Now, you’ll need to hire an attorney to help you out with your case, especially considering the complex nature of such cases. This is because they are more experienced and they also understand the statute of limitations, better. You’ll need them to investigate your case, deal with insurance companies, defend you in a court of law, and ultimately win your case.
Finally, it’s very important to know the laws that apply to your case. Additionally, you’ll need to hire an experienced attorney in the legal field related to your case. All the same, the above are just a few ways the statute of limitations protects you as a worker.