Beginning January 1, 2020, an individual’s deadline to exhaust their administrative remedies through advancing a charge of unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation with the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) will be extended from one year to three years.
Assembly Bill 9, known as the Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act, is a significant departure from California’s long-standing one-year statute of limitations and from the six-month statute of limitations period under federal law for claims made to the Employee Equal Opportunity Commission. In California, employment claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act cannot be directly filed in court. Individuals must first exhaust their administrative remedies by filing a charge with the DFEH. Once the DFEH receives the charge, it can investigate the claim. If it determines that a violation of the FEHA has occurred, the DFEH may use its discretionary power to file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved individual. If the DFEH is unable to determine whether a violation took place, or if an individual asks for an immediate right-to-sue letter (which is commonly the case, especially if the individual is represented by counsel), the DFEH closes its investigation and the individual has one year from the date of receipt of the right-to-sue letter to file a civil action against the employer.
Continue Reading California extends deadline to file employment claims from one year to three years