Green v. Donahoe

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: April 27, 2015
  • Case #: 14-613
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 760 F.3d 1135 (10th Cir. 2014)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether, in an employment discrimination claim brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run (1) when an employee resigns or (2) at the time of the employer’s act that gave rise to the employee’s resignation.

Plaintiff claims that the defendant employer retaliated against him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act after he made certain employment discrimination claims. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant employer (1) sent him a notice to attend an investigative interview, (2) held an investigative interview, (3) threatened criminal charges, (4) placed him on unpaid leave, and (5) forced his constructive discharge.

The lower court entered summary judgment for the defendant on all claims. On appeal, the 10th Circuit held that the plaintiff did not exhaust his administrative remedies regarding the first two claims, that the third claim was untimely, that his unpaid leave status was a sufficiently adverse employment action to support the plaintiff’s Title VII claim, and that the filing period for the constructive discharge claim started on the date of the alleged misconduct of the defendant.

Five circuits have held that the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when the employee resigns; three have held that the period begins at the time of the employer’s last allegedly discriminatory act. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the circuit split.

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