For more information please call  800.727.2766


Employees Cannot Waive Statute of Limitations on EEOC Charges

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the statute of limitations set forth under Title VII may not be contractually shortened.

When the MGM Grand Casino hired Barbrie Logan, it required that she agree to a six month limitation period to file an employment-related lawsuit. When Logan left her employment, she waited more than six months to file an EEOC charge alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. After being issued her right-to-sue letter, Logan filed suit in federal court. MGM moved to dismiss the case based on Logan’s claims being time-barred. The district court dismissed Logan’s case.

However, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case of first impression. Title VII mandates that a charge of discrimination be filed with the EEOC “within 180 days of the occurrence of the alleged unlawful employment practice.” This statutory number is part of a pre-litigation process where the EEOC may investigate the charge, mediate between the parties, and promote an employer’s voluntary compliance. The court distinguished Title VII from other federal statutes because it seeks the employer’s cooperation and voluntary compliance and it is “self-contained; that is the applicable limitation period resides within Title VII itself.” Thus, the court concluded that the limitations period under Title VII is substantive, rather than a procedural rule which could be waived. In addition, permitting an abrogation of the time period would frustrate the “uniform national scope of the policies” that Congress intended in implementing the legislation.