Days-Late Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissed

In Legrá v. Bd. of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of N.Y., No. 14-CV-9245 (JGK), 2016 WL 6102369 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2016), the court dismissed plaintiff’s employment discrimination complaint – alleging employment discrimination, retaliation, and harassment – on statute of limitations and other grounds.

Here’s the law:

An action alleging an employer’s violations of Title VII, ADEA, or the ADA must be commenced within ninety days of the plaintiff’s receipt of a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, if such a letter is issued. 29 U.S.C. § 626(e) (ADEA); 42 U.S.C. § 2000e–5(f)(1) (Title VII); id. § 12117(a)(ADA); Tiberio v. Allergy Asthma Immunology of Rochester, 664 F.3d 35, 37 (2d Cir. 2011) (Title VII and ADA); Francis v. Elmsford Sch. Dist., 442 F.3d 123, 127 (2d Cir. 2006) (ADEA). Absent substantiated challenges, courts generally presume that a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC is received three days after it is mailed. See, e.g., Baldwin Cty. Welcome Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 148 & 148 n. 1 (1984) (per curiam); Johnson v. St. Barnabas Nursing Home, 368 Fed.Appx. 246, 248 (2d Cir. 2010) (summary order); Webster v. Potter, 746 F. Supp. 2d 635, 639–40 (S.D.N.Y. 2010); Molnar v. Legal Sea Foods, Inc., 473 F. Supp. 2d 428, 430 (S.D.N.Y. 2007); see also Yajaira Bezares C., 2014 WL 2134600, at *2-3.“[I]n the absence of a recognized equitable consideration, the court cannot extend the limitations period by even one day.” (Emphasis added.)

Applying the law, the court held that plaintiff’s commencement of her action 95 days after she received the EEOC Notice barred her claim: “In this case, the EEOC mailed the right-to-sue letter on August 6, 2014. Compl. at 4. The plaintiff does not claim that she did not receive the letter, which is included in her complaint and contains a clear notice that she must bring suit within ninety days of receipt of the letter. Id. The plaintiff also does not dispute that she received the letter promptly after it was mailed. Thus, it is presumed that the plaintiff received the letter on August 9, 2014. The plaintiff commenced her action ninety-five days later, on November 12, 2014. See id. at 1. Therefore, the plaintiff’s Title VII, ADA, and ADEA claims are barred by the ninety-day statute of limitations.”

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