Employment discrimination claims, like most other claims, are subject to a statute of limitations. In other words, they must be filed within the time prescribed under the law, or a person risks waiving the right to recover damages. There are some exceptions that will allow a plaintiff to file a lawsuit outside of the strict time constraints, though, such as in cases involving continuing violations. Recently, a New York court discussed what behavior may constitute a continuing violation in an employment discrimination case, thereby allowing a plaintiff to pursue claims at a later date. If you were subject to discrimination in the workplace, you may be owed damages, and it is important to seek the counsel of a trusted New York employment discrimination attorney promptly to avoid losing the right to pursue compensation.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff was employed as a correctional officer for the defendant city. He alleges that during his employment, he was targeted and singled out because of his race, and ultimately terminated. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant city and several of its employees, asserting claims of discrimination based on race in violation of Title VII and the New York State and City Human Rights laws, as well as claims of a hostile work environment and wrongful termination. The defendants filed motions to dismiss, arguing in part that some of the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff objected to the motions, arguing that the harm alleged constituted continuing violations.
Claims of Continuing Employment Discrimination
Plaintiff’s complaint alleged retaliation and discrimination in violation of Title VII. Pursuant to the existing law, such claims must be filed within three hundred days of the alleged unlawful behavior. An exception exists, however, for acts that constitute a continuing violation. In other words, for claims arising out of behavior that was part of a continued practice and policy of engaging in discriminatory behavior, which may be present in cases involving discriminatory mechanisms or specific practices.