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Court: ‘Depression’ no excuse for late filing

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A federal court recently decided to strictly enforce filing deadlines for employment discrimination claims in­­stead of extending them for employees electing to represent themselves. It’s a step toward limiting late claims.

Recent case: Wendell claimed he had been set up for discharge be­­cause of a speech disability. He said his supervisor told him he could leave the workplace with permission, but then fired him for doing so.

The trouble was Wendell waited almost four years to file his lawsuit. That’s far longer than the 300-day deadline for contacting the EEOC. His excuse was that he had been severely depressed and couldn’t function well enough to find an attorney or otherwise try to hold his old employer accountable.

That wasn’t a good enough excuse for the court, which tossed out Wen­­dell’s case. (Howard v. MTA Metro, No. 12-CIV-5055, SD NY, 2013)

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