United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
E.K. PRATTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
deputy sheriff alleges that his former employer discriminated
against him because he is a man. Title VII requires
plaintiffs like the deputy sheriff to commence suit in
federal court within 90 days of receiving a right-to-sue
letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Because the complaint was filed 91 days after the deputy
sheriff received the right-to-sue letter, the Court dismisses
Bridges and Andrea Sovari worked together as Montgomery
County deputy sheriffs. Mr. Bridges alleges that their
relationship was friendly and flirtatious. He admits that he
sent Ms. Sovari pictures and a video of himself that were
sexual in nature.
receiving the sexual pictures and video, Ms. Sovari
complained to the Montgomery County human resources
department. An investigation ensued, and the H.R. officials
concluded that Mr. Bridges violated the county's sexual
harassment policy. The Sheriff's Office, led by Sheriff
Sean Kilkenny, offered Mr. Bridges the opportunity to resign.
Bridges then complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission that he was being discriminated against on the
basis of his gender. The EEOC sent him a right-to-sue letter
on March 21, 2017. Armed with the letter, he filed this suit
against Ms. Sovari, Sheriff Kilkenny, Montgomery County, and
unnamed county employees on June 20, 2017.
defendants have filed a motion to dismiss. Because the
complaint is time-barred, the Court grants the
Complaint is Time-Barred
Title VII cases, a plaintiff must file a complaint within 90
days of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.
See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1) (“[W]ithin
ninety days after the giving of such notice [by the EEOC, ] a
civil action may be brought against the respondent named in
the charge . . . by the person claiming to be
Bridges received the right-to-sue letter from the EEOC on
March 21, 2017, and he filed his complaint on June 20 - 91
days later. See Compl. ¶ 33. In Mosel v.
Hills Dep't Store, 789 F.2d 251 (3d Cir. 1986) (per
curiam), the plaintiff received a right-to-sue letter on
January 2, 1985, and filed his complaint on April 3 - also 91
days later. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals unequivocally
held that the claim was time-barred. Id. at 253. Mr.
Bridges's complaint is similarly time-barred.
is not alone among the published opinions of the Third
Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing a Title VII complaint for
being a mere one day late. See, e.g., Seitzinger
v. Reading Hosp. & Med. Ctr., 165 F.3d 236, 239 (3d
Cir. 1999) (“[The plaintiff] had until September 18 to
file her complaint. Because she, through her attorney, did
not file the complaint until September 19, she failed to meet
the EEOC's ninety-day filing period.”).
Bridges seeks to excuse his lateness in two ways. Neither is
he explains that although he received the EEOC letter on
March 21, he did not show it to his counsel until one day
later on March 22. In other words, the complaint was filed 90
day after Mr. Bridges's counsel received the
letter. But “[t]he on-set of the 90-day period is
generally considered to be the date on which the
complainant receives the right-to-sue letter.”
Burgh v. Borough Council of Montrose, 251 F.3d 465,
470 (3d Cir. 2001) (emphasis added); see also
Seitzinger, 165 F.3d at 239 (“[T]he time for the
filing of a complaint begins to run when the plaintiff has
notice of the EEOC's decision, which usually occurs on
the date ...