What is the statute of limitations on sexual harassment in the workplace?

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What is the statute of limitations on sexual harassment in the workplace?

I have a 5 year-old son and his father is an ex-manager of mine. We are going through a custody battle right now and I have been advised through family members that I could possibly file a lawsuit against him for the fact that he was a manager when I was an employee at the time I got pregnant. It was a one night stand, he did get me drunk and seduced me. I didn’t say no so it’s not rape but I was just wondering if there was a lawsuit I could file?

Asked on July 22, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to bear in mind, the fact that the father was an ex-manager of yours does not automatically make it sexual harassment--not every affairs between supervisor and supervised is harassment. That's not to say that it wasn't, but unless there was some element of power, intimidation, ongoing harassment or unwanted attention, etc.--i.e. more than you have written--it is doubtful that a consensual one-night stand is harassment.

Second, the statute of limitations for workplace sexual harassment is typically one of the shorter  ones--usually 180 days to one year. After more than 5 years (assuming that the alleged harassment was the one-night stand resulting in your son), it would be too late to bring this action. Therefore, unfortunately, you probably cannot bring and win a lawsuit on this basis.


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