Court holds firm on 180-day deadline for filing discrimination complaints with TCHR — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Court holds firm on 180-day deadline for filing discrimination complaints with TCHR

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A Texas court has refused to give workers additional time to file discrimination lawsuits based on a so-called “discovery” rule.

The case involved an employee who argued he had more time to sue because he did not realize he had been discriminated against during the 180 days immediately following the alleged discrimination. He said it took longer than that for it to become obvious that bias had occurred.

Recent case: Andrew, who is black, was a principal at an Austin public school when he decided to enroll in a doctoral program for education professionals. Because some classes were taught during the day, he asked for time off from his administrative duties to attend class. His request was denied and he took a demotion to an evening teaching spot at an alternative school. Then the school closed and Andrew was out of a job.

That’s when he learned that other principals who were not black had taken the doctoral program without having to resign and take a teaching position at night. He sued, alleging race discrimination.

But the school district argued that Andrew missed his 180-day deadline for filing a complaint with the Texas Commission on Human Rights. The court sided with the district, noting that Andrew could have discovered the alleged discrimination sooner, since the other principals’ treatment was not hidden. It dismissed the case. (Austin Independent School District v. Lofters, No. 03-14-00071, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2015)

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