In May of 2013, the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case involving a woman who had a contract of employment with her former employer and the timing of when she could bring her discrimination claims. (See Shupe v. Asplundh Corp., 2013 WL 1864394 (E.D. KY 2013)). In the case at hand, the plaintiff was an employee of the defendant from 2008 to 2011 in their Lexington office. She was hired on August 15, 2008 as a permission taker/pre-planner under the supervision of her former husband. At the time of hire, she signed a document titled “Limitation on Time to File Claims or Lawsuits” in exchange for her at-will employment and as a condition of her employment. Id. It stated in part that she had no more than six (6) months after the date of the employment action that is the subject of the claim or lawsuit to file said claim or lawsuit. Plaintiff was fired on August 17, 2011.
On August 10, 2012, plaintiff filed in state court a Kentucky Civil Rights Act lawsuit based upon her sex and age. Plaintiff claimed she was subjected to daily sexual harassment from her supervisor and that said reports were not addressed by her employer. The defendant’s Kentucky contractual employment discrimination lawyer removed the case to federal court. The defendant then filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the claims. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s claims were time barred because she did not file within the 6 months as required per the document she signed. Plaintiff in response argued that she did not recall signing this waiver and that she never received notice of its effects. Id. Plaintiff’s Kentucky contractual employment discrimination lawyer tried to argue that the 6 month period was not long enough, but the court disagreed stating that it finds that the six-month limitation period on the employment agreement is reasonable. (cites omitted).
“Under Kentucky law, a contractual limitation period in an employment agreement generally is enforceable. In Kentucky, it is well settled that “Parties, dealing at arm’s length, may contract for a limitation shorter than that provided by statue, so long as the period provided for is a reasonable one.”” (cites omitted).
The court looked at many factors to see if the plaintiff had knowingly and voluntarily executed it. The court will look at the plaintiff’s experience and background/education, the amount of time plaintiff had to consider whether to sign the waiver, the clarity of the waiver, consideration for the wavier, and the totality of the circumstances. The court looking at all of these factors found that the plaintiff’s waiver was valid. “One who signs a contract cannot seek to avoid it on the basis that he did not read it or that he supposed it was different in its terms.” (cites omitted). If plaintiff wants to argue that she did not understand the waiver then she had an obligation to find a Kentucky contractual employment discrimination lawyer before signing it to review it and go over it with her.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky contractual employment discrimination case, please call and speak to a Kentucky contractual employment discrimination lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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