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Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.
United States Supreme Court
421 U.S. 454 (1975)
Willie Johnson, Jr. (plaintiff) worked for Railway Express Agency, Inc. (REA) (defendant) as a driver. Johnson filed an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 alleging racial discrimination in the workplace. Three weeks later, REA fired Johnson, and Johnson amended his EEOC complaint to include this fact. The EEOC waited two years to issue a final decision finding reasonable cause to believe Johnson’s complaint. The EEOC waited an additional nine months to give Johnson notice of his right to file a 42 U.S.C. § 1981 action against REA within 30 days. Johnson filed the lawsuit in federal court, and the district court dismissed the § 1981 claims because they were barred by the state’s one-year statute of limitations. Johnson appealed, arguing that the statute of limitations was tolled while Johnson’s case was being decided before the EEOC. The court of appeals dismissed Johnson’s complaint, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the statute of limitations had lapsed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Marshall, J.)
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