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Fifth Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict in Constructive Discharge Case due to Employer’s “Shifting Reasons” for Its Personnel Decisions

In Delaronde v. Legend Classic Homes, Ltd., No. 17-20027 (January 18, 2018), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of an employer’s post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law, finding that the jury had been presented with sufficient evidence to conclude that sex discrimination had motivated the transfer of a female sales associate for a Houston-area home builder from a successful community where she had achieved more than $3 million in sales to a very challenging community where the home prices were the lowest of any of the builder’s properties.

Resignation Date Starts the Statute of Limitations Clock In Constructive Discharge Cases, Supreme Court Holds

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations for purposes of filing a claim alleging constructive discharge begins to run on the date that the employee resigns, as opposed to the last discriminatory act that prompts the resignation, resolving a circuit split.

Supreme Court Clarifies the Time Period for Initiating Constructive Discharge Claims

On May 23, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Green v. Brennan, holding that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge claim begins to run at the time the employee resigns. While the Court’s 7-1 decision was unsurprising and does not change the substantive law of constructive discharge, it provides employers and employees alike with the benefit of a clear rule for assessing the timeliness of charges alleging constructive discharge.

Supreme Court: Constructive Discharge Limitations Period Begins with Notice of Resignation

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the statute of limitations for an employee’s Title VII constructive discharge claim begins on the date of the employee’s notice of resignation. Green v. Brennan, No. 14-613 (May 23, 2016).

SCOTUS Rules Resignation Triggers Statute of Limitations in Constructive Discharge Cases

Federal and private-sector employers alike should take note of yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Green v. Brennan. The issue in Green was whether a federal employee’s claim of discrimination in a constructive discharge case was triggered by the last act of alleged discrimination by the employer or by the date on which the employee resigned. The Supreme Court reversed the Tenth Circuit decision and held that the statute of limitations in a constructive discharge case begins to run on the date the employee resigns because that is the date when the employee has a “complete and present cause of action.”

Supreme Court Rules that Statute of Limitations Period for Constructive Discharge Claims Begins to Run from Date of Notice of Resignation

Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the statute of limitations period for constructive discharge claims under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII) begins to run from the date that the employee gives the employer notice that the employee is resigning. Reversing the Tenth Circuit's decision in favor of the employer, in Green v. Brennan, the Supreme Court held that "the matter alleged to be discriminatory includes the employee's resignation," and that the limitation period for filing a claim for a constructive discharge begins running only after the employee resigns.

SCOTUS Rules Notice of Resignation Starts the Clock in a Federal Employee’s Constructive Discharge Case

On May 23, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided when the limitations period for filing a lawsuit begins to run for a federal employee claiming he or she resigned—or was “constructively discharged”—due to discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the Court, a federal civil servant must “initiate contact” with an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor at his or her agency “within 45 days of the date of the matter alleged to be discriminatory” before he or she may file suit under Title VII. In a constructive discharge case, the Court further held, the “matter alleged to be discriminatory” includes the employee’s resignation. Thus, “the 45-day clock for a constructive discharge begins running only after the employee resigns.” Green v. Brennan, No. 14–613, Supreme Court of the United States (May 23, 2016).

SCOTUS Gives Boost To Employee Constructive Discharge Claims

In a 7 to 1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found today that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge claim under Title VII begins on the date of the employee’s notice of resignation, not on the date of the last alleged discriminatory act by the employer. This is a bad decision for employers and will likely lead to an uptick in legal claims filed by disgruntled former workers. It opens the door for former employees to file constructive discharge claims long after the alleged discriminatory conduct occurred by simply delaying their resignation indefinitely. Green v. Brennan.

Constructive Discharge in the Federal Sector: When Does the Clock Start Ticking?

For private-sector employees filing discrimination charges, claims must be made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident, although the time can be extended to as many as 300 days if the claim is pursued initially with a state or local agency. Federal employees, however, must begin the process within 45 days by contacting an EEOC counselor in the employee's agency. The issue in Green v. Brennan, argued last Monday before the United States Supreme Court, revolves around whether that 45-day period begins in a constructive discharge case at the time of the employee’s resignation (as five circuits have held), or at the time of the employer’s last allegedly discriminatory acts giving rise to the resignation (as three circuits have held).

Constructive discharge claim requires "intolerable" conditions.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld summary judgment against a bank teller who claimed that she was constructively discharged when she left her job on the last day of her pregnancy-related medical leave. Trierweiler v. Wells Fargo bank, 8th Cir., No. 10-1343, April 8, 2011.
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