Desyatnik v. Atlantic Casting & Engineering Corp., Civ. No. 03-5441 (D.N.J., October 24, 2008) – Plaintiff was terminated from his position as a toolmaker in Defendant’s machine shop on July 9, 2002.  On November 11, 2002, Plaintiff filed a Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging religious discrimination based on anti-Semitic comments allegedly made to him beginning in October 2001, and filed suit in the District Court.

Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds, arguing that the alleged anti-Semitic remarks were made prior to January 14, 2002, and thus more than 300 days prior to the November 11, 2002 date that Plaintiff filed his Charge with the EEOC.

The court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that although the alleged anti-Semitic remarks were made outside the 300-day statute of limitations, Plaintiff also presented additional evidence that he was subjected to acts of discrimination within the 300-day period prior to his Charge filing (i.e., denial of overtime, outsourcing of his tool working responsibilities and being told to perform custodial work) that a reasonable trier of fact could find were related to the alleged religious discrimination.

This case instructs that unlike claims involving discrete discriminatory acts, which are not actionable if time barred, claims involving a pattern of discriminatory conduct will survive the applicable limitations period so long as Plaintiff can show a continuation of that conduct within the limitations period.

Note: This article was published in the December 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

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