Day-Late Religious Discrimination Complaint Dismissed

In Feinstein v. Richard Carranza and the NYC Dept. of Education, 19-CV-3344, 2021 WL 722411 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2021), the court dismissed plaintiff’s religion-based discrimination claim as untimely, in that it was not filed within 90 days of the receipt of the right-to-sue letter from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

From the decision:

Michael Feinstein, a teacher employed by the New York City Department of Education, alleges that he was subject to a hostile work environment and otherwise subjected to discrimination based on his religion, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. The defendants move to dismiss on the ground that his complaint was not timely filed under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1).

The cited statute requires a plaintiff to file his or complaint within 90 days of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This time limit is treated “not as [a] jurisdictional predicate[ ], but as [a] limitations period[ ] subject to equitable tolling.” Johnson v. Al Tech Specialties Steel Corp., 731 F.2d 143, 146 (2d Cir. 1984). In the absence of tolling, “the court cannot extend the limitations period by even one day.” Id. (quoting Rice v. New England Coll., 676 F.2d 9, 11 (1st Cir. 1982)).

Feinstein’s complaint alleges that he received a right-to-sue letter on March 6, 2019. His complaint was due to be filed by June 4, 2019. It was not filed, however, until June 5, 2019. He has not offered any grounds for equitable tolling. Indeed, he has not responded to the defendants’ motion as all.

Based on this, the court held that plaintiff’s Title VII claim was untimely. Having dismissed plaintiff’s federal claim, the court dismissed plaintiff’s claims under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

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