Statute of Limitations

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    Many employers are aware that when an employee files a lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination, state tort (wrongful act) claims such as intentional infliction of emotional distress are usually tacked on. Although tort claims spring out of the same set of facts, the burden of proof may be different, and monetary penalties can vary greatly....
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    A participant in an employee benefits plan may contractually agree to a statute of limitations that begins to run before the employment claim accrues. The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that a long-term disability plan may enforce a provision that requires a participant to file suit within three years after the due date for proof of disability,...
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    You don't have to be a lawyer to know that the law gives employees only so much time to take legal action to enforce their rights. Under Chapter 151B, for example, employees who believe they have been victims of discrimination have 300 days to file charges with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and three years to bring...
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    The Florida Supreme Court recently clarified the time limits that govern arbitration proceedings. The ultimate question was whether Section 95.011 of the Florida Statutes, which contains Florida's statutes of limitations, applies to arbitration proceedings. The court held that arbitration proceedings are "actions" under Florida law. Thus, the laws...
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    Q How long do we have to retain employment applications for candidates who have been interviewed but weren't hired? Do we need to keep them at all? A The best practice is to retain applications, résumés, interview notes, and other hiring-related documents for six years, which is the longest period of time someone in...
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    Q One of our employees discovered that he incorrectly coded his overtime, which means he wasn't paid at the proper rate. Now he wants us to go back 10 years to see if he has been paid wrong. Is there a time limit for reimbursing him for mistakes in his pay? A It sounds like the employee is seeking back wages — i.e., money he believes he was...
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    A Montana jury recently awarded $532,000 to an employee who quit his job. In reviewing the jury verdict, the Montana Supreme Court threw out the former employee's three separate wage claims and capped punitive damages but upheld the jury's verdict on the constructive discharge claim. In doing so, the court clarified a number of fundamental Montana...
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    In our December issue, we discussed the need to make sure you have sufficient discretion in deciding whether your employees qualify for benefits under your company's benefits plan (see "Does your benefits plan give you sufficient discretion?" on pg. 1). This month, we address another issue: the amount of time your employees have to challenge a...
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    This month, we examine two lawsuits filed in Richmond federal district court. In one case, the employee claimed his employer engaged in age discrimination; the other case is a breach-of-contract action. Age discrimination claim moves forward Charles Wright began working as a car salesman for CARFAX, Inc., in 2008. Wright was 62 years old at...
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    Most employers are familiar with the antidiscrimination laws that protect certain classes of employees from being treated differently or harassed based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, or disability. But you may not know that Massachusetts law also prohibits harassment that isn't based on a protected characteristic and allows...
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