When an individual in Missouri files a complaint of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the timelines are relatively straightforward: the complaint must be filed within 180 days of the last discriminatory event and then a lawsuit must be filed within 90 days of receiving the right-to-sue letter from the EEOC. Unfortunately, Missouri law contains an extra caveat, one that almost brought a recent litigant’s claim to an early end. See Plengemeier v. Thermadyne Indus. Inc., No. ED99193 (Mo. App. E.D. June 4, 2013).
Hit the jump for the Show-Me state quirk… Continue reading
When talking with individuals concerned about potential discrimination in their workplace, I often find that they are surprised by just how short a time they have to file their claims. In Missouri, employees only have 180 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Missouri Human Rights Commission (or both!). In some circumstances, where the alleged discrimination went on for years, the individual learns that they can’t challenge any of the potentially discriminatory behavior because the most recent incident occurred more than 180 days ago. However, if there has been at least one incident in the last 180 days, the entire course of conduct can be actionable according to the “continuing violation” theory. A recent case from the 3d Circuit Court of Appeals (DE, NJ, PA, Virgin Islands) analyzes just such a situation, and also provides some guidance on sexual harassment retaliation as a bonus. See Mandel v. M&Q Packaging Corp., No. 11-3193 (3d Cir. Jan. 14, 2013). Hat Tip to the Lawffice Space for pointing this case out.
For all the details and some timely advice, hit the jump…