Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.

RESPONDENT:Railway Express Agency, Inc.
LOCATION:Florida State Hospital

DOCKET NO.: 73-1543
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 421 US 454 (1975)
ARGUED: Dec 11, 1974
DECIDED: May 19, 1975

Arthur M. Wisehart – for respondent REA Express, Inc
Deborah M. Greenberg – for petitioner
James L. Highsaw, Jr. – for respondent Unions

Facts of the case


Media for Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – December 11, 1974 in Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – May 19, 1975 in Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.

Harry A. Blackmun:

The second case, No. 1543, Johnson against The Railway Express Agency comes to us from the Sixth Circuit.

It presents the issue whether the timely filing of a charge of employment discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act serves to toll or delay the running of the period of limitation applicable to an action on the same facts instituted under Section 1981 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, a statute which has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

We granted certiorari here because of apparent conflict on the issue among the Circuits.

We hold that the finding of a charge with the EEOC does not toll the limitation period applicable to 1981.

In this case, the petitioner waited three and a half years after his claim of employment discrimination accrued before he instituted his 1981 action.

His suit therefore is time barred by the one year limitation period imposed by the applicable state law, in this case, Tennessee.

Notwithstanding the fact that he had filed his Title VII charge before that limitation period had expired.

I’m authorized to say Mr. Justice Marshall has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part and that he has been joined in that opinion by Mr. Justice Douglas and Mr. Justice Brennan.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Blackmun.