Sexual harassment and race at the center of California lawsuit

The news recently reported on a sexual harassment and racial discrimination case involving the California trucking company Tri-Modal.

Two women filed lawsuits stating that the company had denied them promotions because of racial discrimination. One of the women went on to allege that sexual harassment had also taken place on the job. She had once dated the company’s vice president, but she broke off that relationship.

What prompted the lawsuit?

Both women claim that the company stopped their promotions because of racial discrimination. One claims that she was not promoted because she broke up with the executive vice president of the company after dating for around two years.  She believes that she was blocked from promotions. She also claims that five others, all less-qualified individuals, were promoted over her. This case will now go to the state Supreme Court.

What has happened since?

Initially, the case was dismissed because the court ruled that the statute of limitations had run out in March of 2018. The women argue that their case should still be heard because the alleged offenses happened within the statute of limitations based on the date of the last act of harassment. They allege that the last offense happened in May 2017, and the sexual harassment complaint was made in April 2018. This is within the one-year statute of limitations. 

Situations like this are a reminder that a good case — even a great one — can encounter serious hurdles when the statute of limitations runs out. By law, once the specific time limit to file is exceeded, no claim can be made. Anyone who deals with harassment and discrimination on the job should have an opportunity to make a claim against their company and to hold their employers liable. It’s better, however, to contact an attorney as soon as you believe you have a problem — waiting too long can be fatal to your pursuit of justice.

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