Ellis v. U.S. Sec. Assocs., 224 Cal. App. 4th 1213 (2014)

When Ashley Ellis applied to work as a security guard for U.S. Security Associates, she signed an employment application that purported to limit the statute of limitations to six months for any employment-related claims. Later, Ellis claimed to have been sexually harassed by her supervisor and filed a lawsuit within 12 months of receipt of a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The employer filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asserting that the lawsuit was barred by the six-month statute of limitations contained in the employment application. The trial court granted the employer’s motion without leave to amend, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the shortened statute of limitations is “unreasonable and against public policy.” Cf. Hopkins v. Kedzierski, 2014 WL 1466282 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) (case remanded to trial court for factual findings as to whether employee demonstrated the elements of equitable tolling of two-year tort statute of limitations).