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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Statute Of Limitations For Wrongful Termination: All You Need To Know

Wrongful termination is a distressing experience that can leave individuals grappling with the consequences of unfair employment decisions. One crucial aspect of pursuing legal action in such cases is understanding the statute of limitations. The wrongful termination statute of limitations sets a specific time frame within which an individual must file a legal claim for wrongful termination. This guide aims to shed light on the statute of limitations for wrongful termination, providing individuals with essential information to make informed decisions.

 Image by Ray Shrewsberry from Pixabay

Explaining the Statute of Limitations:

The statute of limitations for wrongful termination refers to the timeframe during which an aggrieved employee can file a lawsuit against their former employer. This time limit varies depending on the jurisdiction. It also involves the nature of the claim, and the specific circumstances surrounding the termination. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of these limitations. This helps to protect their rights and pursue legal action if necessary.

Factors Influencing the Statute of Limitations:

Understanding the factors influencing the statute of limitations is essential for navigating the legal landscape. They range from the type of offense committed, the jurisdiction in which it occurred, the age of the victim and the discovery of the wrongdoing.

Jurisdictional Variances: Different states have different statutes of limitations for employment-related claims, including wrongful termination. It is imperative for individuals to research and understand the specific timeframe applicable to their location.

Nature of the Claim: The type of wrongful termination claim can impact the statute of limitations. Claims may include discrimination, retaliation, breach of employment contract, or violations of public policy. Each category might have its own timeframe for filing.

Employment Agreements: Employment contracts or agreements may specify a particular time limit for filing a claim. Individuals should review their employment contracts to determine if any such provisions exist. 

Governmental Agencies: Some claims may require individuals to file a complaint with a government agency before pursuing legal action. The deadline for filing with these agencies can affect the overall timeframe for a lawsuit.

Common Statutes of Limitations:

While statutes of limitations vary, some general guidelines can be outlined:

Discrimination Claims: Typically, individuals have 180 to 300 days to file a discrimination claim. It has to be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency.

Retaliation Claims: Similar to discrimination claims, the timeframe for retaliation claims often ranges from 180 to 300 days.

Breach of Contract: The statute of limitations for breach of employment contract claims may vary but is generally between two to six years.

Violations of Public Policy: These claims may have a statute of limitations aligned with other wrongful termination claims, ranging from 180 to 300 days.


Navigating the aftermath of wrongful termination can be challenging. Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for those seeking legal recourse. Individuals should consult with an employment attorney. This will help them get precise information about their specific circumstances and jurisdiction. By being aware of the applicable timeframe, individuals can make informed decisions about pursuing legal action to address the injustices they have faced in the workplace.

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