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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Suing a Town for Discrimination? Case Says That You Better Notice Them Quickly or Your Case Will Be Dismissed

In a recent case of interest, Elco v. Aguiar (Supreme Court, Suffolk County), a town public safety dispatcher asserted that she was discriminated against by the town in her job when the town injected itself into her child custody dispute with another town police department employee. She alleged discrimination because of her gender/sex, disability, & familial status while also alleging that she was subject to a hostile work environment. 

Some specific factual allegations that she made of discrimination were as follows:
  1. Refusal to accept domestic incident reports concerning child custody or family court orders;
  2. Reassigned shifts; 
  3. Harassment or stalking campaign against her;
  4. Accusations levelled at her regarding her fitness as a mother;
  5. Denied opportunities of earning overtime;
  6. Denied an opportunity to participate in interviewing new hires & supervisees; &
  7. Failure to process her insurance buyback forms.
That being said, the town moved to dismiss on a technicality in arguing that its "municipal notice of claim requirement residing in Town Law §67, [requires] the filing of a notice of claim within three months after her claim arose []as a condition precedent to the maintenance of this action against the defendants."

The Court agreed and granted dismissal. 

Moving forward, town employees better file a notice of claim within three months of the alleged discrimination or they will be out of luck in bringing an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Do you think that it's fair that town employees have three months to file whereas private employees have three years to file the same employment discrimination lawsuits? 

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