Before: Alfred T. Goodwin, Robert Boochever, and A. Wallace Tashima, Circuit Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Goodwin, Circuit Judge
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California Linda H. McLaughlin, District Judge, Presiding
Argued and Submitted December 10, 1998--Pasadena, California
David Grant appeals the summary judgment granted to Defendant McDonnell Douglas Corporation on the ground that his wrongful termination claim was time-barred. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. S 1291, and we affirm.
Grant was employed by McDonnell Douglas from 1979 to 1995. During the latter part of his employment, Grant suffered from chronic attendance problems, and his employment was terminated in 1992 for being absent without official leave. After this termination, Grant's union successfully negotiated his reinstatement, without back pay. However, Grant's atten-dance problems persisted after his return to work, and he subsequently received several written warnings related to unexcused absences. Grant was again terminated in November, 1995, for excessive absenteeism.
Grant sued McDonnell Douglas in Orange County Superior Court, alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Because this action directly concerned the collective bargaining agreement applicable to his terms of employment, McDonnell Douglas removed the case to federal district court under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. S 185). See Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 394 (1987); Beals v. Keiwit Pacific Co., 114 F.3d 892, 894 (9th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 1036 (1998).
After removal, and early in the pleading stage, before substantial discovery could be accomplished, the district court ordered McDonnell Douglas to file its motion for summary judgment and for Grant to file his response, if any. McDonnell Douglas moved for summary judgment on several grounds, relying first upon the expiration of the statute of limitations applicable to a Section 301 claim. In response, Grant argued that the limitations period should be tolled because of his alleged mental incapacity. Grant did not, however, file a motion for additional time to conduct further discovery.
The district court granted McDonnell Douglas' summary judgment motion, citing two alternative grounds. First, the court found that Grant's case was time-barred by the sixmonth statute of limitations applicable to Section 301 claims. Unless equitable tolling is allowed to overcome the time bar, a matter that ...