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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
April 27, 2004, Argued ; November 19, 2004, Decided ; November 19, 2004, Filed 1
File Name: 05a0032p.06
[*353] [**639] BELL, District Judge. The issue before the Court is whether an employee effectively waived the statutory limitations period for a civil lawsuit by signing an employment application that provided for an abbreviated period of limitations. This action arises from the employment [*354] relationship between Plaintiff-Appellant [**640] Connie Thurman and Defendant-Appellee DaimlerChrysler, Inc. ("DaimlerChrysler"). Connie and John Thurman (collectively "the Thurmans") assert claims of sex discrimination under Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MICH. COMP. LAWS § 37.2101, et seq., race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and negligent hiring/retention, negligent supervision, assault and battery, negligence and gross negligence, as well as loss of consortium. The claims arise from two separate incidents in which Defendant James Stanford Pittman ("Pittman") sexually harassed Ms. Thurman while in the workplace. The Thurmans appeal the district court's order granting DaimlerChrysler's motion for summary judgment. The Thurmans contend that the district court erred in holding that their claims were time barred by the abbreviated statute of limitations [***3] contained in the DaimlerChrysler employment application.
For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court's order granting DaimlerChrysler's motion for summary judgment on all claims against DaimlerChrysler and we remand the remaining claims against Defendant Pittman to the district court with instructions to remand the case to the Circuit Court for the County of Oakland, State of Michigan.
Ms. Thurman is an employee of DaimlerChrysler and a former co-worker of Pittman. Prior to beginning her employment with DaimlerChrysler, Ms. Thurman completed an employment application for DaimlerChrysler (then Chrysler Corporation). Among other provisions, the application contained a clause waiving any statute of limitation and agreeing to an abbreviated limitations period in which to file suit against the employer. Specifically, the clause stated:
(8) I agree that any claim or lawsuit relating to my service with Chrysler Corporation or any of its subsidiaries must be filed no more than six (6) months after the date of the employment action that is the subject of the claim or lawsuit. I waive any statute of limitations to the contrary.
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397 F.3d 352 *; 116 Fed. Appx. 638 **; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 24306 ***; 2005 FED App. 0032P (6th Cir.)
CONNIE THURMAN; JOHN THURMAN, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. DAIMLERCHRYSLER, INC.; JAMES STANFORD PITTMAN, jointly and severally, Defendants-Appellees.
Subsequent History: [***1] The Publication Status of this Document has been Changed by the Court from Unpublished to Published January 20, 2005.
Prior History: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 01-73446. Arthur J. Tarnow, District Judge.
Disposition: Affirmed, remanded with instructions.
statute of limitations, limitations period, abbreviated, district court, collective bargaining agreement, employment application, six-month, hired, lawsuit, time barred, summary judgment motion, employment contract, employment record, cause of action, remaining claim, investigate, limitations, provisions, assault, expired
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