Federal employees have just 45 days following an alleged discriminatory action to file complaints with their agency’s internal equal employment opportunity (EEO) office. Courts are increasingly holding employees to that deadline.
Recent case: Ramiro Molina worked as a supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During a meeting to discuss his supervisory skills, an HR officer allegedly told him that speaking Spanish in the office was unprofessional. His supervisor allegedly said Molina might be having trouble with his subordinates because of his cultural background.
Then Molina was transferred to a location where he had no one to supervise. He considered it a demotion and decided to complain the EEO office.
However, Molina waited more than 45 days to file. When he sued, the court tossed out his case, noting that Molina should have known better as a manager. (Molina v. Vilsack, No. C-09-354, SD TX, 2010)