Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Post Those EEOC Posters


That's the message sent by the 1st Circuit in Mercado v. The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel (1st Cir. 5/31/05) [pdf] as they revive, at least for a little while, discrimination claims of two employees whose EEOC claims were clearly not timely filed. The argument was that the hotel had not posted the EEOC posters advising them of their rights, so that the statute was "equitably tolled." The district court had dismissed that argument, holding equitable tolling required the employer to have "actively misled" the plaintiffs. According to the appellate court, that's too narrow a reading of their prior precedent which allows failure to post as an alternative way to establish equitable tolling.

Although the Court revived the claim, it remains barely beyond being on life support as the Court pointed out the number of ways that the hotel might still be entitled to prevail after more factual exploration. But it sure points out the importance of the little things.

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