Georgia Woman’s Employment Discrimination Case Against State Board of Regents and Former Supervisor Dismissed as Untimely

In an Atlanta employment discrimination case, there is a relatively short window for the filing of a complaint against the offending employer. If this requirement is not met, the plaintiff’s case will likely fail.

Thus, an important first step in holding an employer accountable under the law is to consult an attorney who can help you get started on your claim. An individual who is not represented by counsel is at a huge disadvantage in court, as it is almost guaranteed that the employer will be represented by legal counsel who is well-versed in the laws and procedures applicable in these types of cases.

Facts of the Case

In an employment discrimination case filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Savannah Division, the plaintiff averred that she had been discriminated against by the defendants (a state board of regents and her former supervisor), on account of her gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the plaintiff, she relocated from one campus to another but continued to experience discrimination in the terms and conditions of her employment. Consequently, the plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She received a right to sue notice on November 21, 2017. She then filed suit against the defendants in federal district court on February 20, 2018. Later, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal without prejudice, ending the plaintiff’s cause of action on July 29, 2019. Notably, the plaintiff was not represented by counsel at that time.

On December 11, 2019, the plaintiff again filed suit against the defendants, attempting to assert a claim under Title VII. The defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, alleging that the plaintiff’s case had not been timely filed under federal law, which allowed only 90 days for the filing of a complaint after the EEOC issued a right to sue notice.

Decision of the District Court

The federal district court granted the defendants’ motion. In doing so, the court stated that it agreed with the defendants’ assertions that the plaintiff’s complaint was filed after the running of the applicable statute of limitations and that Title VII did not provide a cause of action against a defendant named in his individual capacity (the plaintiff had styled her complaint against her former supervisor in his individual capacity). In so holding, the district court noted that, while the plaintiff’s first complaint against the defendants was timely filed, her second complaint (filed well over a year after she received a right to sue notice from the EEOC) was untimely under federal law. Although the plaintiff attempted to rely upon the “savings statute” set forth in Georgia state law, the court pointed out that, when Congress has provided a federal statute of limitations for a federal claim, state tolling and saving provisions did not apply.

As to the plaintiff’s claim against her former supervisor “in his individual capacity,” the court agreed with the defendants that claims against a defendant in his or her individual capacity were not appropriate under Title VII because the relief granted thereunder was against the employer, not an individual employee of the employer such as the supervisor named as a defendant in the case at bar.

Speak to an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in Atlanta

The lawyers of Parks, Chesin & Walbert are here to help those who have been treated unlawfully at work. Call us at 404-873-8048 or use this website to contact us regarding a consultation about your Atlanta employment discrimination case.

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