The First Circuit held that the 90 day period to file a suit under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f) (1) begins when either the claimant or the claimant’s attorney receives an EEOC right-to-sue letter. In this case, the right-to-sue letter was issued on May 8th, 2008 but the plaintiff claimed that she did not receive it until September 10th, after the 90 days had passed. The court applied the rule that notice to her attorney was notice to her. The First Circuit held that because the EEOC sent a letter to both the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney at the same time, and the plaintiff’s attorney was not claiming to have received the letter, that the plaintiff’s attorney’s notice, which the court assumed was timely, started the 90-day clock. The court’s ruling forces attorneys and clients to communicate much better because as soon as either receives a right-to-sue letter, the clock begins.
See Advilda Loubriel v. Fondo Del Seguro Del Estado No. 11-1555, 2012 1st Cir WL 4239812 (1st Cir. Sept. 21, 2012); see also Irwin v. Dep’t of Veteran’s Affairs, 498 U.S. 89, 92-93 (1990); 3 Emp. Discrim. Coord. Analysis of Federal Law § 111:2; 3 Emp. Discrim. Coord. Analysis of Federal Law § 111:29.
(Development authored by Ryan Hatley)