Employees who use a post-termination appeal process don’t have a pass to miss EEOC filing deadlines. The clock doesn’t wait to start ticking until the appeal process is finished. They still have to file their agency complaints within 300 days of discharge.
Recent case: Darlene worked for a grocery store chain for many years before being fired for breaking a rule on cashing checks. She filed a post-termination grievance with her union, which processed the grievance through the company’s system. By the time the grievance was denied and Darlene was not reinstated, more than 600 days had passed.
Darlene then filed her EEOC complaint and sued. The court quickly dismissed her case. It reasoned that once an employee is terminated, the clock starts ticking and an internal appeal doesn’t stop it. (Cook v. Acme Markets, No. 14-CV-4958, ED PA, 2015)