Hannah v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act provides that plaintiffs must file suit within 90 days of the receipt of release of jurisdiction by an administrative agency such as the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. On Aug. 27, 2010, the plaintiffs filed complaints with the CHRO and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging discrimination on the basis of race and retaliation. The plaintiffs' amended complaint alleged that after the CHRO released its jurisdiction on Aug. 24, 2012, the EEOC proceeded to release its jurisdiction. The defendant, Wal-Mart, moved for partial summary judgment and claimed that the CHRO released its jurisdiction on April 10, 2012 and the EEOC released its jurisdiction on June 19, 2012. The court assumed that the plaintiffs received the release of jurisdiction within three days of the date of mailing. The plaintiffs were required to file Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act claims in court within 90 days, which was on or before July 12, 2012. The plaintiffs' Sept. 21, 2012, CFEPA claims were not filed timely. The plaintiffs did not prove they were entitled to equitable tolling, because they were waiting for a release of jurisdiction from the EEOC, prior to filing suit. The plaintiffs were represented by experienced counsel who should have been aware of the filing deadline. The court granted the defendant's motion for partial summary judgment on Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act claims. The plaintiffs also had 90 days after a final administrative decision in which to file claims pursuant to C.G.S. §31-51m. The final administrative decision was on June 19. The plaintiffs were required to file §31-51m claims, on or before September 17. The plaintiffs' §31-51m claims were not filed timely, and they were not entitled to equitable tolling. The court granted judgment to the defendant on §31-51m claims.