Sunday, January 08, 2006

employment - ADEA - FRCivP 6(e) - applic. to EEOC right-to-sue letters

DeFrancesco v. Weir Hazleton - ED Pa. - December 20, 2005

Plaintiff filed an age discrimination complaint in court on the 92nd day after his EEOC right-to-sue letter was mailed to him. The lower court initially applied FRCivP 6(e), which provides for an extra 3 days to file when a document is mailed.

On a motion for reconsideration by the defendant-employer, however, the district court noted that a 2001 amendment to Rule 6(e) made it applicable only to pleadings, motions, and other court papers, i.e., not a document such as an EEOC right-to-sue letter.

The court held that the weight of judicial authority would justify continued application of the 3-day mailing to EEOC right-so-sue letters, given its consistent continued application even after the amendment to Rule 6(e), but pointed out a "tension...between Rule 6(e)'s amendment...and its continued application to EEOC right-to-sue letters....[W]e are presented with a jurisprudential Mobius strip.

The district court certified the case for interlocutory appeal to the 3d Circuit to answer the question: "Does Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(e), as amended effective December 1, 2001, continue to apply to EEOC right-to-sue letters?"

Donald Marritz
MidPenn Legal Services