Nevada Supreme Court Issues Decision On Wrongful Termination Claims
October 17, 2019
In Nevada, a wrongful termination claim provides a former employee with a legal remedy if she is terminated because she engaged in behavior that is protected by public policy, such as seeking workers’ compensation benefits, performing jury duty, or refusing to violate the law. This type of claim was asserted by Antonette Patush against the Las Vegas Bistro, LLC in a case that was recently decided by the Nevada Supreme Court. Ms. Patush alleged that she was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Although she was discharged in 2014, she did not file her lawsuit until 2018.
The employer argued that Ms. Patush’s wrongful termination claim was filed too late. The employer asked the trial court to apply a two-year statute of limitations to the wrongful termination claim – meaning that Ms. Patush should have filed her lawsuit within two years of her discharge. The trial court agreed and dismissed Ms. Patush’s claim.
Ms. Patush appealed the dismissal to the Nevada Supreme Court, arguing that a four-year statute of limitations should apply to wrongful termination claims. The Nevada Supreme Court disagreed and held that in Nevada, wrongful termination claims must be filed within two years of discharge. The Court explained that a wrongful termination claim involves an injury to a former employee’s personal rights from a wrongful act of another; as such, it is analogous to a personal injury and should fall under the Nevada statute of limitations for personal injury claims – NRS 11.190(4)(e). The Court’s decision in this case can be located here.
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