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New York Court Discusses Timeliness of Title VII Employment Discrimination Claims

March 19, 2021

People subjected to discrimination in the workplace are often able to recover significant damages. They must abide by the procedural requirements for pursuing employment discrimination claims; however, otherwise, they run the risk of waiving the right to recover compensation. For example, they must file their complaints within the time indicated by the applicable laws. Recently, a New York court addressed the issue of timeliness of Title VII discrimination claims in a ruling in which it ultimately found some of the plaintiff’s race discrimination claims were untimely. If you were treated unfairly due to your race, you might be owed compensation, and it is smart to meet with a skillful New York employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is African American, has worked for the defendant police department since 1992. In 2015, the defendant sergeant began supervising the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that starting in July 2015, the defendants created an environment where the plaintiff was treated differently than other employees because of his race. He experienced numerous instances of race-based disparate treatment over the next year until the defendant was replaced by another supervisor. The plaintiff ultimately filed an employment discrimination claim against the defendants alleging, in part, race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII. The defendants moved to dismiss some of the plaintiff’s Title VII claims on the grounds they were time-barred.

Timeliness of Title VII Claims

Pursuant to Title VII, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees with regard to the privileges, conditions, or terms of employment because of the employees’ race or any other protected characteristic. People who wish to pursue claims under Title VII must first exhaust the administrative remedies provided by the law. In other words, they must file discrimination charges with the EEOC within three hundred days of the date the alleged unlawful employment act occurred.

Then, they must file a lawsuit in federal court within ninety days of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC. The court explained that the statutory requirements established by the law are equivalent to a statute of limitations. In some instances, the time period may be enlarged by the continuing violations doctrine, which requires allegations of the existence of a policy of ongoing discrimination and acts that are not time-barred that were taken in furtherance of that policy.

In the subject case, the court found that only the allegations of discrimination that were within three hundred days of the complaint were actionable. Thus, the rest were dismissed.

Speak to an Experienced New York Employment Discrimination Attorney

If you were treated unfairly in the workplace because of your race, color, or membership in another protected class, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys of Gerstman Schwartz LLP are skilled at handling employment discrimination claims on behalf of aggrieved employees, and if we represent you, we will diligently pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us to schedule a meeting through our online form or by calling our Manhattan office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170.

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