Jenkins v. City of San Antonio Fire Dep't

Jenkins v. City of San Antonio Fire Dep't, No. 14-50483, 2015 WL 1802133 (5th Cir. Apr. 20, 2015)

Randy Jenkins brought suit against the City of San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) alleging discrimination on the basis of race and age as well as retaliation in violation of Title VII. The Fifth Circuit ultimately affirmed the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the SAFD on the basis that Jenkins's Complaint was untimely and failed to establish a prima facie case discrimination and retaliation.  

Jenkins filed an EEOC charge alleging that his realignment within the SAFD was discriminatory based on his race, color, or age, as well as retaliatory for giving a statement in support of an EEOC charge against his superior. The EEOC issued a right-to-sue letter related to this charge on May 16, 2012. Subsequently, when Jenkins was not selected for the position of District Chief of Inspections, he filed a second EEOC charge on August 17, 2012, complaining that he was not selected for discriminatory and retaliatory reasons. On August 20, 2012, Jenkins filed suit based on complaints made in his first EEOC charge, and later amended his complaint to include claims raised in the second charge, namely that the SAFD refused to appoint him to the position for which he applied in retaliation for filing the first EEOC charge.

Jenkin's right-to-sue letter was issued on May 16, 2012. He had ninety (90) days from the date of receipt to file suit, however, Jenkins was unsure about when he received the notice. The district court applied a "three-day presumption" of receipt and found that Jenkins received the notice on May 19, 2012, requiring him to file his complaint by August 17, 2012. Because Jenkins did not file until August 20, 2012, the district court held it untimely. The Fifth Circuit acknowledged that different length presumptions have been applied in different contexts, yet noted that the majority of other circuits apply a three-day presumption of receipt and concluded that "where the date of receipt is not known, courts should apply a presumption that the plaintiff received the notice in three days."

Regarding Jenkins's claims pertaining to his second EEOC charge, the Fifth Circuit determined Jenkins failed to establish that his non-selection for the District Chief of Inspections position was an adverse employment action, affirming the district court's findings.