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Courts crack down on workers who wait years to sue

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in Human Resources

Courts are losing patience with employees who think they can sue their employers years after alleged discrimination or harassment.

Recent case: Almost nine years after the fact, Assem Abulkhair sued his former employer for alleged violations of the ADA and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The case was quickly dismissed and he appealed.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a blunt opinion saying courts can toss out cases filed too late, even if the employer doesn’t raise that objection. Abulkhair had at most three years to file a wage-and-hour claim under the FLSA and two years to file the disability claim. If he had attempted to make a contract claim, he could have waited up to six years—but nine years was far too long. (Abulkhair v. PPI, No. 10-2952, 3rd Cir., 2010)

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