2d Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Employment Discrimination Claims as Untimely; Rejects “Motive Discovery” Rule

In Seck v. Information Management Network, 2017 WL 3879683 (2d Cir. Sept. 6, 2017) (Summary Order), the court reiterated the rule that “[a] cause of action for employment discrimination accrues from the moment of the discrete act constituting an unlawful employment practice, not from when the discriminatory motive is discovered.”

Applying the law, the court held:

[T]he district court properly dismissed the majority of Seck’s claims as time-barred. Seck’s claims accrued, at the latest, in July 2007, when he was terminated, and he did not file his complaint until 2015. And even though Seck alleged that he discovered the defendants’ alleged discriminatory intent in 2015, such discovery does not affect the accrual date of his cause of action. See Morse, 973 F.2d at 125 (noting that the Supreme Court has instructed that “the proper focus is on the time of the discriminatory act, not the point at which the consequences of the act become painful.”

In addition, “[e]quitable tolling did not apply because Seck did not act with reasonable diligence to discover the facts and protect his rights during the period he sought to have tolled,” and “[e]quitable estoppel did not apply because Seck did not allege facts showing that, while he was aware of his federal claims, the defendants prevented him from suing to assert them.”

Share This: