Johnson v. Airway Cleaning at JFK Airport


New York Law Journal


Judge Brian Cogan

Johnson, who is black, was fired from Airway Cleaning on Jan. 2, 2008. District court dismissed her Title VII bias action. The State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) denied her claim that Airway favored West Indians over African-American workers, finding she was fired for cursing a supervisor and poor performance. The EEOC's February 2009 right-to-sue letter advised Johnson of the 90-day limit to judicial review of her Title VII claim. Not complying with state or federal requirements, she sued Airway in New York City Civil Court in May 2011. The suit was dismissed in February 2012 for failure to state a claim. District court held Johnson's August 2012 Title VII complaint untimely. Although unsophisticated, Johnson was on notice that Airway claimed her suit was filed more than three years too late. It was not too much to expect her to explain her failure to meet the EEOC's deadline. Johnson's reference to living in a homeless shelter was inadequate. She offered no dates as to her shelter residence, nor tied it to an inability to bring suit. Moreover, the court could not imagine how an "involuntary residence disruption" would impair Johnson's ability to file her complaint for more than three years past deadline.

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