As Long Island employment lawyers, we keep up to speed with developments in employment law. Equally important though, is staying updated with questions of procedure. On January 22, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision relating to the statue of limitations for state law claims which are initially filed in federal court, but later dismissed.
Supplemental Jurisdiction: State Law Claims Brought in Federal Court
Employment laws are created by federal, state, and sometimes local laws. In other words, when an employee faces sexual harassment in the workplace (for instance) the employee’s claim may be brought pursuant to Title VII which is the federal workplace anti-discrimination law. But, in New York, the employee may also bring the claim under the New York State Human Rights Law and if the employee worked in New York City, the claim may be brought under the New York City Human Rights Law. Since the employee is using a federal statute, as well, the entire case may be filed in a United States District Court. Generally (and without discussion of the exceptions which may apply) cases involving just claims arising under state law cannot be heard in a federal court because the federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. But if state and federal claims are related, a federal court can exercise supplemental jurisdiction and the court can hear all the claims at once.