What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Termination?
As discussed in more detail on our wrongful termination page, since at-will employees may be terminated for any reason, even a wrongful or unproven one, a wrongful termination claim must generally be based on a violation of some employee-rights law or a breach of contract.
The most common legal claim associated with a wrongful termination is a violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit terminating an employee based on his/her age, race/color, gender, disability, national origin, religion, pregnancy, genetic information or veteran status, or retaliating against an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. In Georgia, most of these laws have a 180-day statute of limitations, which means you have 180 days from when you first learned of the unlawful act to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
There are other employee-rights laws which have longer statutes of limitations in Georgia, such as 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Section 1981), which prohibits discrimination against employees or job applicants based on race and has a statute of limitations of up to four years, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows certain employees to take a job-protected leave of absence from work for their own medical condition or that of an immediate family member, for the birth or adoption of a child, or when an immediate family member serving in the military is called to service or injured in the line of duty, and has a statute of limitations of up to three years, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires than non-exempt employees receive overtime pay and are paid at least minimum wage, and has a statute of limitations of up to three years.
A breach of contract claim in Georgia has a statute of limitations of four years for an oral agreement and six years for a written one.
For the best results, the Atlanta wrongful termination lawyers at Fidlon Legal believe it is critical to retain an attorney to represent you promptly after the wrongful discharge has occurred. In other words, you should not wait until after you have filed with the EEOC or when your statute of limitations is about to expire. If you believe you may have a wrongful termination claim, please contact us as soon as possible for an initial case evaluation.