Oyelola v. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
African-American Did Not Promptly File Claims With EEOC
Labor and Employment | Discrimination | Race Discrimination | Age Discrimination | Civil Procedure | Statute of Limitations
- U.S. District Court
- Feb 05 2014 (Date Decided)
- Hall, J.
Title VII race discrimination claims must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days. The defendant hired the plaintiff African American as a financial analyst at the defendant’s Simsbury office. Allegedly, the plaintiff’s salary was lower than that of his predecessor, who was Caucasian. The plaintiff filed a complaint with human resources and was re-assigned to work with William Grzesiak after Timothy Yi, a supervisor allegedly yelled at and pushed the plaintiff. After a complaint to human resources about Grzesiak’s alleged threat, the complexity of the plaintiff’s work was reduced and he was threatened with discharge, unless he worked occasional 32-hour shifts. In 2011, the plaintiff transferred to a Windsor facility, and on his first day of work a Caucasian co-worker allegedly said, "We don’t want any Nigerians." The defendant discharged the plaintiff, allegedly because he failed to pass a nonessential exam, for which he lacked adequate time to prepare. On Dec. 19, 2011, the plaintiff filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The defendant moved to dismiss allegations that took place prior to Dec. 28, 2009. A "continuing violation" may apply, if discriminatory acts were part of a continuing policy and practice of prohibited discrimination, provided that one act of discrimination takes place during the limitations period. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s allegations of decreased pay, excessive hours, retaliation and demotion, because they took place before the 300-day limitations period. The plaintiff failed to state "continuing violation" claims, as a result of allegations that at the Simsbury office he suffered from harassment from Yi, a threat from Grzesiak, and the circulation of articles that discussed Nigerian scams. Title VII claims that relied on conduct prior to Feb. 22, 2011 and §1981 claims that relied on conduct prior to Nov. 28, 2009 were dismissed. The plaintiff also failed to state a claim for discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, because the plaintiff’s complaint failed to discuss age as a motivator of prejudicial treatment. The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, without prejudice to filing an amended complaint, on or before Feb. 23, 2014.