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Court: 180-day deadline to file state bias claims is firm

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The Court of Appeals of Texas has ruled that the 180-day deadline for filing state discrimination charges should be strictly enforced. Em­­ployees who file late are out of luck.

Recent case: Wesley Landsfeld had already worked 10 hours without a break when his boss told him he had to stay longer. He refused. The boss said he could retire or be fired for insubordination. He chose retirement and then filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission, alleging age discrimination.

However, Landsfeld waited more than 180 days to file. The court tossed out his case. It reasoned that the deadline was absolute and had to be followed. (Texas v. Landsfeld, No. 02-10-00271, Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, 2011)

Final note: In this case, the employer didn’t raise the deadline issue until it was time for trial. That was an expensive mistake.

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