New Law Extends Time to File Discrimination Suit

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AB 9 Triples Time for Employees to File a Discrimination Charge

What is AB 9 and Why it Matters to Employers and the Future of Disability Discrimination Suits

Beginning January 1, 2020, employees in California will have three years to file a charge of discrimination with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).  This extends the time two additional years from the previous limit, tripling current state law.  When implemented, it will be six times longer than the federal requirement.

AB 9 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Purportedly, the change has been enacted to protect #MeToo litigants, who may be slower to make claims related to sexual harassment.  However and notably, AB 9 covers more than just sexual harassment claims.  The new law extends to all forms of discrimination, harassment and retaliation prohibited by FEHA.  This includes disability discrimination.

Before an employee can file a lawsuit alleging claims of discrimination under FEHA, he or she must first file a charge with the DFEH within three years of termination (or the alleged event).  If the DFEH provides a right-to-sue letter, the employee then has one additional year to file a lawsuit.

For more information see the California Legislation Information site.

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