May 26, 2020

Timing Is Everything: Federal Judge Permits Suit to Continue Despite Time-Barred Allegations

A federal magistrate in New York has recommended that an employment discrimination case survive a dismissal motion even though some of the claims relied on facts that occurred outside the statute of limitation. Grimes-Jenkins v. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., 16-cv-4897.  In Grimes, the Plaintiff alleged claims of discrimination and retaliation under various federal, state, and local laws.  In doing so, plaintiff alleged a course of conduct dating back to 1990.

The Court recommended that the bulk of Plaintiff’s claims be dismissed. However, the Judge ruled that any claim based on a supervisor’s alleged racist statements that Black employees were “going to the fields” should survive the motion to dismiss even though they were made more than three years before the filing of the complaint.  The Court determined that such allegations were relevant to Plaintiff’s claims of discrimination which allegedly lasted throughout the length of her employment.  The allegations also were considered because of the employer’s alleged refusal to address Plaintiff’s complaints.  Accordingly, the Court found that allegations regarding such conduct could be used to support her claims, regardless of when the conduct allegedly occurred.

Cases such as this illustrate an often overlooked factor that employers should consider in evaluating possible claims. Simply stated, employers cannot ignore comments that may have been made (or actions that were taken) even if they took place a long time ago.  When confronting situations that involve a long history of alleged harassment or discrimination, employers are advised to consult with counsel before taking adverse action.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020


About this Author

Timothy J. Domanick, Jackson Lewis, career counseling management attorney, human resources lawyer

Timothy Domanick is an Associate in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on employment litigation.

Mr. Domanick has spent the duration of his career counseling management and human resources professionals on many employment law issues. Throughout his career, he has been involved in numerous proceedings before federal and state courts and various administrative agencies.

(631) 247-0404
Jeffrey M. Schlossberg, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Law firm

Jeffrey M. Schlossberg is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, Office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Schlossberg has devoted his entire career to the employment law field.

Mr. Schlossberg has extensive experience in handling all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Areas of concentration include: employment discrimination prevention and litigation; workplace harassment policy development and compliance; social media and information privacy in the workplace; family and medical leave; disability matters; wage and hour investigations and litigation; non-competition agreements; and corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Schlossberg has defended against claims such as sexual harassment, age, race, national origin and disability discrimination for public and private companies in industries such as media, technology, airline, aircraft components, restaurants, supermarkets, securities, medical, manufacturing, cosmetics, food processing, software, clothing, vitamins and nutritional products, and many other employers of varying size throughout the metropolitan area and across the country.

Mr. Schlossberg lectures frequently about various topics to trade and professional associations, such as the Hauppauge Industrial Association. Mr. Schlossberg is also an active member of the Nassau County Bar Association and is a Past Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Committee.