Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Timing Is Everything - New Statute of Limitations Saves Corporate Plaintiff Under § 1981

A case from the 9th Circuit reflects the benefit of timing as well as addressing the question of whether a corporation with a distinct racial identity can bring a claim under §1981. The district court had dismissed a number of §1981 claims as time barred by a one year statute of limitations. It was a correct decision at the time, but had been overtaken by the Supreme Court's decision earlier this month finding a federal four year statute of limitations. Thinket Ink Information Resources, Inc. v. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (9th Cir. 5/17/04) [pdf]. The Court also aligned itself with other circuit courts in finding that a corporation which has acquired a racial identity, done here because the plaintiff had been certified by the SBA as a minority owned business, has standing to bring a §1981 claim.

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