How long do I have to file an age discrimination claim?

There are strict time limits in place for filing an age discrimination claim in California. This timeframe is known as the statute of limitations.

Employees are required to obtain a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before they can file an age discrimination lawsuit. In general, you have one year from the date of the discriminatory incident in which to file a complaint with the DFEH. Effective January 1, 2020, the California State Legislature extended the time to file a complaint to 3 years. However, it is unclear whether the new 3-year time limit applies to discriminatory actions that occurred before January 1, 2020 or not. It is always a good idea to act quickly if you feel your employer discriminated, harassed or retaliated against you.

Your employment lawyer will usually help you obtain the right-to-sue letter. Once the DFEH issues the letter, you have one year to file a lawsuit.

If you suspect you have experienced unlawful age discrimination in the workplace, it is important to discuss your situation with a California employment law attorney as soon as possible. If you fail to meet the specified deadlines, you may lose your right to sue.

Other Age Discrimination FAQs:


My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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