Race discrimination in the workplace is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Race discrimination claims, like other employment law claims, are subject to strict statute of limitations filing deadlines. Subject to certain very limited exceptions, the failure to file within the applicable deadline will forever bar a victim of employment discrimination from recovering damages – which can include financial loss, emotional distress, and punitives.
In Green v. Brennan, the United States Supreme Court decided when the filing period for a constructive discharge begins to run. There, the plaintiff, Marvin Green, worked for the Postal Service for 35 years. In 2008, he applied for a promotion and was passed over. Green alleged that he was denied the promotion because of his race and that he suffered retaliation thereafter. In 2011, two of Green’s supervisors accused him of delaying the mail; a criminal offense which prompted an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). During the investigation, the supervisors provided Green with a letter re-assigning him to off-duty status. Although the OIG ultimately concluded that no further investigation was required, the supervisors maintained to Green that “the OIG is all over this” and that the criminal charge “could be a life changer.”