When contesting timeliness of lawsuit filing, remember to factor in weekends, holidays

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees have just 90 days from the date they receive an EEOC right-to-sue letter to file a federal discrimination lawsuit. Otherwise, they lose the right to do so.

However, 90 days isn’t as straightforward a deadline as it might seem. Courts add three days for mailing and then allow the employee to file the complaint that day—or the next day the court is open for business if the 93rd day falls on a holiday or weekend.

Recent case: Roberto claimed that he was terminated from his job be­­cause of prejudice against him for having been born in the Philippines, holding dual U.S.-Philippines citizenship and speaking Tagalog at work sometimes.

He filed suit on March 18, 2013. His former employer claimed the filing was more than 90 days after he must have received the right-to-sue letter, dated Dec. 14, 2012.

The court said the presumption was that the letter was mailed on Dec. 14 and was received three days later on Dec. 17. Ninety days after Dec. 17 would have been March 17. However, because March 17 was a Sunday, the 90-day period was extended to Mon­­day, March 18. Therefore, the court said he filed on time and can proceed with his lawsuit. (Nepomuceno v. Cherokee Medical Services, No. 13-CV-633, SD CA, 2013)

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