Contractual limitations period for filing suit is valid in Tennessee

The parties to a  contract can shorten the statute of limitations, which is the time for filing suit, by specifically stating a shorter time period in the contract. Recently, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld a contractual limitations period in the case of Skaan v. Federal Express, a copy of which can be found here.

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/skaankopn.pdf

In Skaan the contract provided that the legal action had to be brought “within the time prescribed by law or 6 months from the date of the event forming the basis of my lawsuit, whichever expires first.”  As a result the employee’s retaliatory discharge suit, which has a 1 year statute of limitations, was dismissed as untimely when he filed it 8 months after his termination, 2 months after the contractual limitations period had expired.

If you are entering into a contract with an employee consider adding a contractual limitations period to it which will shorten the length of time the employee has to file suit against you.

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