Goldberg Segalla LLP • May 25, 2016
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.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 25, 2016
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).
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 25, 2016
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) authorizes the award of attorneys’ fees to a party who prevails in a discrimination or retaliation claim brought under that statute. Although this fee shifting provision applies to both employee plaintiffs and employer defendants, courts routinely award fees to prevailing plaintiffs but have interpreted this provision to allow prevailing defendants to recover fees only in the rare case where the plaintiff’s claim was frivolous or unreasonable. Last week, in a helpful decision for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that a defendant-employer does not necessarily need to prevail “on the merits” of a discrimination lawsuit to be entitled to fees.
Ogletree Deakins • May 24, 2016
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).
FordHarrison LLP • May 24, 2016
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.
Fisher & Phillips LLP • May 23, 2016
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 23, 2016
In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that attorneys’ fees for successfully defending a Title VII action can be recovered by an employer even if the defendant’s victory is not based on the merits of the case. CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375 (May 19, 2016). The ruling overturned an earlier Eighth Circuit decision that had allowed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to escape payment of attorneys’ fees. The ruling is important because defendants sometimes prevail in frivolous lawsuits for procedural reasons that are not merits-based.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 22, 2016
On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in CRST, Inc. v. EEOC, which addressed the definition of a “prevailing party” who may be awarded attorneys’ fees in Title VII cases. Although the Court ultimately remanded the case to the Eighth Circuit on other grounds, it unanimously held that a favorable ruling on the merits of a Title VII case is “not a necessary predicate to find that a defendant has prevailed.” A boon to employers, this decision enables defendants to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under Title VII for frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless claims when such claims are disposed of on any grounds, regardless of whether those grounds are merit-based or procedural.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • April 21, 2016
Do employers possess the fundamental right to communicate with current or former employees to inform them about (1) a current or former employee’s filing of a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and (2) the EEOC’s subsequent request for information about those current or former employees as potential witnesses in the case?
Phelps Dunbar LLP • April 14, 2016
There is a uniform rule in the federal court system: an employer may not retaliate against an employee for reporting what the employee “reasonably believes” to be a violation of federal anti-discrimination law.