Wyatt Employment Law Report

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U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Statute of Limitations in Constructive Discharge Case

By Courtney Ross Samford

Supreme Court 2On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the limitations period for a constructive discharge claim under Title VII runs from the date the employee gives notice of his resignation, as opposed to the employer’s alleged discriminatory behavior, in Green v. Brennan, Postmaster General, No. 14-613, 2016 WL 2945236 (U.S. May 23, 2016).  The case involves Marvin Green, who worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 35 years.  He applied for a promotion in a nearby post office, but was not selected for the position.  As an African American male, Mr. Green complained that he was passed over because of his race.

Mr. Green began experiencing problems with his supervisors shortly after filing his complaint, which culminated in two supervisors accusing him of committing a federal crime.  Following an investigation, Mr. Green and the Postal Service entered into a settlement agreement on December 16, 2009, whereby the Postal Service agreed not to pursue any criminal charges against Mr. Green in exchange for his agreement to leave his current position.  The settlement agreement allowed Mr. Green to retire or accept a position for a considerably lower salary in a different location.  Mr. Green submitted his resignation on February 9, 2010.

Forty-one days after submitting his resignation (and 96 days after signing the settlement agreement with the Postal Service), Mr. Green contacted an Continue reading