404 U.S. 522 (1972), 70-5033, Love v. Pullman Co.

Docket Nº:No. 70-5033
Citation:404 U.S. 522, 92 S.Ct. 616, 30 L.Ed.2d 679
Party Name:Love v. Pullman Co.
Case Date:January 17, 1972
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 522

404 U.S. 522 (1972)

92 S.Ct. 616, 30 L.Ed.2d 679



Pullman Co.

No. 70-5033

United States Supreme Court

Jan. 17, 1972

Argued November 16, 1971




Procedure whereby the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after having received a written charge from a complainant of discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, orally referred it to the appropriate state agency, waited until that agency had terminated its jurisdiction, and then formally filed the charge on behalf of the complainant without having obtained an additional written charge within 30 days of the termination of the state proceedings held to satisfy the requirements of §§ 706(b) and (d) of the Act, which have the purpose of affording state agencies prior opportunity to consider discrimination complaints and ensuring their prompt filing and disposition by the EEOC on exhaustion of the state remedy. Pp. 523-527.

430 F.2d 49, reversed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all members joined except POWELL and REHNQUIST, JJ., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the cases.

Page 523

STEWART, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.

A person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253,1 may not maintain a suit for redress in federal district court until he has first unsuccessfully pursued certain avenues of potential administrative relief. In this litigation, the petitioner employee filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, alleging that his employer, the respondent Pullman Company, had engaged in employment practices violative of Title VII. The court dismissed the complaint, holding that the statutory prerequisites to the maintenance of the suit had not been met. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 430 F.2d 49, and we granted certiorari to consider the question of federal law presented. 401 U.S. 907.

The petitioner was employed by the Pullman Company as a "porter-in-charge." In 1963 and again in 1965, he complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, alleging that the porters-in-charge, most of whom, like the petitioner, were Negroes, performed the same functions as conductors, most of whom were white, yet at lower pay. The proceedings of the Colorado Commission terminated in 1965 without reaching a resolution of the controversy satisfactory to the petitioner. On May 23, 1966, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received from the petitioner a "letter of inquiry" which complained of this same alleged discrimination.

Page 524

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