The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that employers cannot contractually shorten the statute of limitations for filing suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The court’s January 15 holding in Thompson v. Fresh Products, LLC, extended a prior ruling from 2019 that prohibited enforcement of abbreviated claims period provisions on Title VII claims (outside of maybe arbitration agreements). The upshot? The Thompson decision has further blunted Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee employers’ ability to reduce employment discrimination liability exposure through abbreviated claims period provisions. This article addresses the court’s logic in Thompson, what the decision means for employers in the 6th Circuit’s jurisdiction, and what those employers can do in response to this ruling.

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