National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. Morgan, 536 U.S. 101, 11 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 101 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

ment is unavailing, however, given that 42 U. S. C. 2000e-2 explains in great detail the sorts of actions that qualify as "[u]nlawful employment practices" and includes among such practices numerous discrete acts. See, e. g., 2000e-2(a) ("It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer— (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin . . ."). There is simply no indication that the term "practice" converts related discrete acts into a single unlawful practice for the purposes of timely filing. Cf. 2000e-6(a) (providing that the Attorney General may bring a civil action in "pattern or practice" cases).

We have repeatedly interpreted the term "practice" to apply to a discrete act or single "occurrence," even when it has a connection to other acts. For example, in Electrical Workers v. Robbins & Myers, Inc., 429 U. S. 229, 234 (1976), an employee asserted that his complaint was timely filed because the date "the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred" was the date after the conclusion of a grievance arbitration procedure, rather than the earlier date of his discharge. The discharge, he contended, was "tentative" and "nonfinal" until the grievance and arbitration procedure ended. Not so, the Court concluded, because the discriminatory act occurred on the date of discharge—the date that the parties understood the termination to be final. Id., at 234-235. Similarly, in Bazemore v. Friday, 478 U. S. 385

Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. S. 837 (1984). Brief for Respondent 26-32. But we have held that the EEOC's interpretive guidelines do not receive Chevron deference. See EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co., 499 U. S. 244, 257 (1991). Such interpretations are " 'entitled to respect' under our decision in Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U. S. 134, 140 (1944), but only to the extent that those interpretations have the 'power to persuade.' " Christensen v. Harris County, 529 U. S. 576, 587 (2000).


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