Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, May 03, 2004

For Certain Texas Plaintiff's, Supreme Court's Action Gives Two More Years

Race and most national origin claims, can be brought under §1981 as well as Title VII or the TCHRA. Doing so avoids the administrative prerequisites, the salary caps and now thanks to today's Supreme Court decision, plaintiffs have two more years to bring such claims. Jones v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (U.S. 5/3/04). Although it had earlier held that the most applicable state statute of limitations should apply to §1981 claims, today's decision was to determine whether that had changed because of a Congressional statute which applies a four year catchall statute of limitations to all statutes passed since 1990. The question was whether the revisions to §1981 contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1991 were enough to bring it within that statute. The answer,unanimousous yes. And so in Texas where we have the two year tort statute of limitations, these claims will now live for another day, actually another 730 days.

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