Statute of Limitations for Discrimination Claims Begins to Run on Date Right-to-Sue Notice Is Issued

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The California Court of Appeal has clarified that the one-year limitations period for claims for wrongful termination and retaliation under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) begins to run on the date a right-to-sue notice is issued by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)—not the date the notice is received by the employee. See Hall v. Goodwill Industries of Southern California, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (March 16, 2011).

Before a complainant can bring a civil action against an employer for claims under FEHA (such as wrongful termination or retaliation), the complainant must obtain a “right-to-sue” notice from the DFEH. Once the right-to-sue notice is issued, the complainant “may bring a civil action . . . within one year from the date of that notice.” Cal. Gov’t. Code § 12965(b).

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