Legal Alert

Failure to Post May Lead to Lost Defense
by Joseph "Trey" L. Wood, III
October 13, 2010

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to post a notice describing the law's provisions in an accessible format. The posting must be conspicuously posted in the same place where other employee notices are customarily kept. The notice must also be prepared by or approved by the EEOC.

Failing to post such a notice may be mean that employers could lose a defense that untimely claims should fail. In a recent New York federal district court case, an employee of a hotel-casino in Atlantic City filed a complaint alleging that she had been discriminated against and fired because of her race, sex and/or national origin. The statute of limitations for filing such complaints is 300 days from the discriminatory act. The employee did not file her claim until 364 days following her termination. The employer, understandably, filed a motion to dismiss the claim as being barred by the statute of limitations. However, the employee countered this argument by stating that her claims were saved because the employer failed to post the required Title VII notices and that, therefore, she was unaware of her rights and responsibilities under the law. The Court found that the employer's failure to post the notice excused the two month delay.

The moral of the story: You can save your statute of limitations defense every easily and cheaply by complying with the mandatory notice requirements. You can go to http://www.eeoc.gov/posterform.html and order up to 10 posters in four different languages from the EEOC.

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