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JONES et al. on behalf of herself and a class of others similarly situated v. R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS CO., 541 U.S. 369

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JONES et al. on behalf of herself and a class of others similarly situated v. R. R. DONNELLEY
& SONS CO.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

No. 02-1205. Argued February 24, 2004--Decided May 3, 2004

After this Court held that federal courts should apply the most appropriate state statute of limitations to claims arising under 42 U. S. C. §1981, which contains no statute of limitations, see Goodman v. Lukens Steel Co., 482 U. S. 656, 660, Congress enacted a 4-year statute of limitations for causes of action "arising under an Act of Congress enacted after [December 1, 1990]," 28 U. S. C. §1658(a). Petitioners, African-American former employees of respondent, filed a class action alleging violations of §1981, as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Respondent sought summary judgment, claiming that the applicable state 2-year statute of limitations barred their claims, but the District Court held that petitioners' wrongful discharge, refusal to transfer, and hostile work environment claims arose under the 1991 Act and therefore are governed by §1658. The Seventh Circuit reversed, concluding that §1658 does not apply to a cause of action based on a post-1990 amendment to a pre-existing statute.

Held: Petitioners' causes of action are governed by §1658. Pp. 5-15.


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