National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101, 8 (2002)

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Opinion of the Court

of Title VII claims, namely, discrimination, hostile environment, and retaliation, the Court of Appeals considered the allegations with respect to each category of claim separately and found that the prelimitations conduct was sufficiently related to the postlimitations conduct to invoke the continuing violation doctrine for all three. Therefore, "[i]n light of the relatedness of the incidents, [the Court of Appeals found] that Morgan ha[d] sufficiently presented a genuine issue of disputed fact as to whether a continuing violation existed." Id., at 1017. Because the District Court should have allowed events occurring in the prelimitations period to be "presented to the jury not merely as background information, but also for purposes of liability," id., at 1017-1018, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial.

We granted certiorari, 533 U. S. 927 (2001), and now reverse in part and affirm in part.


The Courts of Appeals have taken various approaches to the question whether acts that fall outside of the statutory time period for filing charges set forth in 42 U. S. C. 2000e- 5(e) are actionable under Title VII. See n. 3, supra. While the lower courts have offered reasonable, albeit divergent, solutions, none are compelled by the text of the statute. In the context of a request to alter the timely filing requirements of Title VII, this Court has stated that "strict adherence to the procedural requirements specified by the legislature is the best guarantee of evenhanded administration of the law." Mohasco Corp. v. Silver, 447 U. S. 807, 826 (1980). In Mohasco, the Court rejected arguments that strict adherence to a similar statutory time restriction 4 for filing a

4 The Court there considered both the 300-day time limit of 42 U. S. C. 2000e-5(e) and the requirement of 2000e-5(c) that, in the case of an unlawful employment practice that occurs in a State that prohibits such practices, no charge may be filed with the EEOC before the expiration of 60 days after proceedings have been commenced in the appropriate state agency unless such proceedings have been earlier terminated.

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