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Wrongful termination charges must be filed quickly

Most people in California are not very excited when they get terminated from a job. This is true whether people are terminated due to their own actions or inactions or whether it is completely out of their control such as a downturn in the company's business. Usually there is not much the person can do afterward except try to find a new job. However, in certain situations the reason for firing the person may be discriminatory and the person may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful termination claim.

Many times these claims start by filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After the charge is filed, the EEOC will investigate the charge and determine if the employee was fired for discriminatory reasons. However, the employee must act relatively quickly to preserve their right to file the charge and ultimately their ability to file a lawsuit if they choose to do that.

For the most part a person only has 180 days after the termination to file a charge. This deadline can be extended to 300 days if there is a state law that also prohibits discrimination in the workplace. These time limits include both weekends and holidays. However, if the deadline falls on a weekend the deadline will be the following day. These deadlines are also not extended while the employee attempts to resolve the matter through internal processes or other forms of dispute resolution.

Despite long-standing laws, there are still many employees in California who are fired for discriminatory reasons. If an employee is fired for discriminatory reasons, the company may be required to compensate the employee for back pay, future pay, reinstate the person to their former position or other forms of compensation. However, if the employee files a charge with the EEOC and they must do so within the strict time limits to preserve their rights. These are very fact-specific and complicated matters and consulting an experienced attorney may be useful.

Source: www.eeoc.gov, "Time Limits for Filing a Charge" accessed on April 18, 2018

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