SCOTUS to Hear Dispute Over Claim Time Limits

     (CN) – The Supreme Court on Monday announced it will consider a dispute over the time limits for filing certain employment discrimination claims.
     Marvin Green, a former Colorado postmaster, claimed in a lawsuit filed in September 2010, that the U.S. Postal Service retaliated against him after he complained that he was passed over for a promotion because he is black.
     Green said after decades on the job, and after his participation in a postal service management training program, his application to fill the then-vacant position of postmaster in Boulder, Colo., was ignored, and the job given instead to a less qualified white employee who had not gone through the management training program.
     He filed a formal Equal Employment Opportunity complaint in August 2008, and thereafter, he said, his supervisors began bullying and harassing him. This behavior eventually escalated to what Green said was the postal service falsely accusing him of purposefully delaying mail, a felony.
     The investigation and back-and-forth over the matter continued for two years until he was presented with the choice of being demoted or retiring. Green says he signed a settlement agreement with the postal service, and then, weeks later, filed his retirement papers, immediately filing another EEO complaint, alleging he was forced to retire.
     Shortly thereafter, Green filed his federal lawsuit.
     U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock almost immediately dismissed a number of Green’s claims, holding the former postal worker had not exhausted his administrative remedies. Then, in February 2013, Babcock tossed Green’s constructive-discharge claim, ruling the action was time-barred because the plaintiff had not contacted an EEO counselor about it within 45 days of December 16, 2009 – when Green signed the settlement papers.
     Green appealed the ruling, and the 10th Circuit agreed with Babcock.
     But in seeking review by the Supreme Court, Green continues to insist that the 45-day time period began running not when he signed the settlement papers with the postal service, but rather when he resigned.
     As is their custom, the justices did not explain their reasoning for taking the case.

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