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Starting an Employment Discrimination Claim Means Navigating A Sea of Deadlines

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NH Employment Discrimination – If there is any area of the law where a person needs the guidance of an experienced lawyer in determining when and where to file a claim, it is in the area of employment discrimination.

Statutory Discrimination Claim Deadlines

For statutory discrimination claims arising under State and Federal law, there are administrative exhaustion requirements and short time periods within which employees must file claims.  A claimant alleging that an employer discriminated against her because of age, sex, race, color, disability, religious creed or national origin who wishes to seek redress under the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination must file a Charge of Discrimination with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights (the State agency tasked with investigating employment discrimination claims) within 180 days of the last discriminatory act.  After the Charge has been pending in the Commission for at least 180 days, the claimant may (but need not) remove the case from the Commission to Superior Court.  If the claimant wishes to have the claim adjudicated in Court rather than at the Commission, the claimant must remove the case from the Commission within three (3) years under Title of the last discriminatory act.

Title VII Claims

Employees who have suffered discrimination remediable under the New Hampshire law can generally file claims under Title VII as well—the Federal law against employment discrimination.  The claimant must file a Charge of Discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the last discriminatory act.  The claimant may remove the case from the EEOC and file it in Federal Court if the Charge has been pending in the EEOC for six (6) months with no findings.  Under such circumstances, the claimant may request from the EEOC a Notice of Right to Sue.  Once the claimant receives the Notice, the claimant has 90 days to file a lawsuit.

Fair Labor Standards Act Violations

Other Federal law claims involving wage violations have two-tiered statutes of limitations.  Employees claiming violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Equal Pay Act must generally file suit within two (2) years of the alleged violation, but the claimant can prove that the employer willfully violated statutory rights, the claimant can obtain an extended 3-year statute of limitations.

Family and Medical Leave Act

An employee alleging that an employer interfered with Family and Medical Leave Act rights, or retaliated against the employee for exercising Family and Medical Leave Act rights, must file suit within two (2) years of the illegal act.

Common-Law Claims

Common law claims for wrongful discharge, and statutory claims protecting whistleblowers from retaliatory discharge, are also available under New Hampshire law.  The statute of limitations for each of these claims is 3 years.

New Hampshire Employment Law Attorneys

If you believe you have suffered employment discrimination, you should consult with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer such as Benjamin T. King at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey for advice on what claims you may have and when you must file them.  Attorney King can be reached at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.