Farris v. Shinseki, No. 11-1080 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, an employee of the VA, was accused of committing fraud with respect to a work-related injury. Her employment was terminated. When mediation failed, plaintiff was notified that she had 15 days to file a complaint with the EEOC. Her attorney failed to comply with the deadline and the EEOC dismissed her complaint. The district court dismissed a complaint of disability discrimination. The First Circuit affirmed. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12112(a) and the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, require exhaustion of administrative remedies. Plaintiff did not establish the factors required to toll the time limit: she and her attorney were aware of the limitation period; no motion for appointment of counsel was pending; the court did not lead plaintiff to believe she had done everything required; and no affirmative misconduct by the VA had lulled her into inaction.