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FMLA claim may come separately from others

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Generally, employees have to file EEOC discrimination complaints if they want to go to federal court with their claims. The EEOC eventually will issue a right-to-sue letter, giving the employee 90 days to commence litigation. But that can take years.

If the employee waits to file a re­­lated FMLA lawsuit, she may be out of luck, since FMLA claims must be filed within two years of the alleged wrongful conduct.

Recent case: Karen went on FMLA leave shortly after accusing her supervisor of sexual harassment. She was fired the day she returned and immediately filed an EEOC complaint alleging sex and race discrimination.

Four years later, she got her right-to-sue letter and added an FMLA claim. It was too late. The judge said she missed the deadline. (Medlock v. Fred Finch Children’s Home, No. 14-CV-03000, ND CA, 2014)

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