Under federal law, an employee has 45 days to initiate a complaint against their employer after experiencing a discriminatory act in the workplace, whether it be on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
In a Monday hearing, the Supreme Court faced arguments in the employment law case Green v. Brennan, where they will have to determine at what point federal workers may sue under federal civil rights law for “constructive discharge” when experiencing a discriminatory work environment.
“People are in jobs and they’re, you know, suffering this particular type of adverse work environment or discrimination,” stated Chief Justice John Roberts. “But quitting your job is a very big deal. I think you have to plan out when that’s going to be, and just because you can’t take it anymore doesn’t mean that you could quit work right away.”
As reported by The Huffington Post, “Courts across the nation are split on the issue: Some hold that the clock begins ticking with the ‘last discriminatory act’ leading to the resignation, while others that the actual date of resignation is the one that counts.”
“Isn’t a constructive discharge the moment that the environment has gotten so hostile that you feel overwhelmed and have to leave?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked. “Isn’t that the discriminatory act as well?”
Lieff Cabraser’s Work on Behalf of Employees Nationwide
Lieff Cabraser has a strong tradition of fighting for employee rights across America. Our employment law class action cases challenge discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; wage violations, including failure to pay overtime, break time, or vacation time; and the misuse of employees’ retirement benefits.