Appealed from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (June 4, 2008)
Oral argument: Feb. 22, 2010
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT, EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION, TIMELY FILING OF CLAIM
Petitioners, Arthur L. Lewis, Jr., et al. (“Lewis”), a group of African Americans who applied to become firefighters in Chicago sued the city under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming Chicago’s use of an eligibility test had a disparate racial impact on African Americans, effectively resulting in employment discrimination. The plaintiffs won their discrimination lawsuit in the federal district court, but the Seventh Circuit reversed on the basis that the claim had not been filed within the 300-day filing period for employment discrimination claims. The Court held that the filing period began at the time that the applicants were informed of the results of the test. This case presents the Court with the opportunity to determine whether the subsequent use of the results of an eligibility test with disparate racial impact qualifies as a discretely new violation of the Civil Rights Act that would begin anew another 300-day filing period.