An administrative complaint must be filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within ONE YEAR of the date of the last incident of sexual harassment, although this period may be extended up to 90 days if the injured victim first obtained knowledge of the facts of the harassment after expiration of the one year period from the date of the occurrence (Cal. Gov. Code Section 12960).
After filing a complaint with the California DFEH, in order to protect a victim's right to sue in Federal Court, the victim has 300 days from the date of the last incident of harassment, or 30 days after receiving a notice of case closure from the DFEH , which is earlier, to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC (Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC Section 2000e-5 (e) (1)).
However, a victim of sexual harassment in California has only 180 days from the date of the last incident of harassment to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC to protect their Federal right to sue if they do not file a complaint with the California DFEH ( Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC Section 2000e-5 (e) (1)).
After a claimant files an administrative complaint with the DFEH and / or the EEOC, and after the claimant gets a right to sue letter, then the claimant must file a private civil law within the time specified in the right to sue letter, which is within one year of the date of a right to sue letter from the DFEH, or within 90 days of the date of a right to sue letter from the EEOC.
If an administrative claim to the DFEH or the EEOC is not filed within the time period provided by the applicable statute of limitations, then the case is subject to being forever barred by the courts. If a sexual harassment victim does not file an administrative complaint within the required amount of time, then that victim will not be able to move forward with a lawsuit.
Timing can be cruel when filming a sexual harassment lawsuit. It is important that victims of sexual harassment know that there is a time period or statute of limitations in which they must file a complaint with the DFEH or the EEOC. A common mistake of sexual harassment victims is to wait too long to contact an attorney. This can result in a missed opportunity to file a complaint and a lawsuit.