Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

6th Circuit Upholds "Contractual" Statute of Limitations of 6 Months


When I am scanning circuit court decisions for this blog, I don't generally read the unpublished decisions. However, the good folks at the Daily Labor Report do, and so a tip of the hat to them for their reference to Thurman v. DaimlerChrysler Inc. (6th Cir. 11/19/04) (unpublished)[pdf], where the Court dismissed the plaintiff's claims against the employer as untimely based on the following clause contained in the DaimlerChrysler employment application:
I agree that any claim or lawsuit relating to my service with Chrysler Corporation or any of its subsidiaries must be filed no more than six (6) months after the date of the employment action that is the subject of the claim or lawsuit. I waive any statute of limitations to the contrary.
Relying on apparently well established Michigan law, the court rejected Thurman's argument that the agreement should not be enforced because it was a contract of adhesion and also found that even under the heightened scrutiny for waiver of a civil right, the application in this case passed muster. It also rejected an argument that the application was superseded by the collective bargaining agreement which covered Thurman after she was employed.

Another example of the importance of that sometimes overlooked and under appreciated piece of paper otherwise known as the employment application.


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