Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., Civ. No. 72 S 243.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
Writing for the CourtGRANT
PartiesAlta CHRAPLIWY et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNIROYAL, INC., et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCiv. No. 72 S 243.
Decision Date31 May 1977

458 F. Supp. 252

Alta CHRAPLIWY et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNIROYAL, INC., et al., Defendants.

Civ. No. 72 S 243.

United States District Court, N. D. Indiana, South Bend Division.

May 31, 1977.


458 F. Supp. 253
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Thomas R. Ewald, Washington, D.C., Thomas R. Fette, St. Joseph, Mich., R. Wyatt Mick, Jr., Mishawaka, Ind., James F. Groves, South Bend, Ind., for plaintiffs

Don G. Blackmond and Timothy W. Woods, Jones, Obenchain, Johnson, Ford, Pankow & Lewis, South Bend, Ind., Harry N. Turk, Arthur, Dry & Kalish, New York City, Rody P. Biggert and Gerald D. Skoning, Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson,

458 F. Supp. 258
Chicago, Ill., Harley M. Kastner and Charles R. Armstrong, Akron, Ohio, James J. Olson, Mishawaka, Ind., for defendants

MEMORANDUM

GRANT, District Judge.

I — INTRODUCTION

On 28 November 1972, twenty-six named plaintiffs brought this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, the "Act",1 individually and on behalf of other female employees, against the Uniroyal Corporation and their collective bargaining representative, Local Union No. 65, alleging various discriminatory employment practices on the basis of sex. Jurisdiction is founded upon 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1).

On 4 September 1974, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on all issues of class liability and a motion for a preliminary injunction. Approximately two years later, Uniroyal filed a cross-motion seeking summary judgment with respect to four specific matters at issue. All motions and supporting briefs have been timely filed with the court.

1. Motions for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment should only be entered when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits, and admissions filed in the case "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law". Rule 56 F.R.C.P. Under this rule the movant bears the heavy burden of demonstrating the absence of all material factual issues; furthermore, all factual uncertainties shall be resolved in favor of the non-moving party. Rose v. Bridgeport Brass Co., 487 F.2d 804, 808 (7th Cir. 1973); Albert Dickinson Co. v. Mellos Peanut Co., 179 F.2d 265, 268 (7th Cir. 1950). As for cross-motions for summary judgment, see 10 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, § 2720 p. 459 (1973).

This court, however, does not begin with a clean slate. On 5 July 1973, the late Judge Beamer2 entered partial summary judgment against Uniroyal on the following matters:

(1) The company has conducted layoffs in the Mishawaka plant on a segregated basis according to sex;
(2) At all times up to and including 1970, defendant company paid new employees at the plant according to discriminatory starting pay rates on the basis of sex, and
(3) Defendant company refuses to consider female employees for assignment, transfer, or promotion to jobs which were restricted to male employees only, regardless of the seniority or qualifications of the female employees. Those jobs are listed in plaintiffs' requests to admit facts filed 2 March 1973.3

This order was based upon the Company's failure to respond to plaintiffs' requests for admissions in accordance with Rule 36, F.R.C.P. There has been much discussion by the parties concerning the significance of this order. Having considered the respective arguments, the court concludes that Judge Beamer's findings merely establish in plaintiffs' favor a prima facie case of sex discrimination which defendant may seek to now justify. The 5 July 1973 order, therefore, will not be considered dispositive of the above issues unless no viable defense is presented by the Company. See,

458 F. Supp. 259
Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 91 S.Ct. 849, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971)

This being a motion for summary judgment with respect to the issue of class liability, the court's inquiry must be limited to a comparison between the disparate effects, if any, that a particular employment practice has upon two groups or classes of individuals. The focus during the first stage of this bifurcated class action is "inter-class" as opposed to "intra-class" which, of course, is the proper inquiry during the second, or individual relief stage. The distinction must be clearly drawn at the outset since Uniroyal has, in many instances, raised arguments that would have the court examine the merits of individual claims. See, Baxter v. Savannah Sugar Refining Corp., 495 F.2d 437, 443-44 (5th Cir. 1974). Before examining plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, the court shall first examine several preliminary issues raised by Defendant Uniroyal and Defendant Local No. 65.

II — UNIROYAL'S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

1. Alleged Discriminatory Layoffs

The Company first seeks a ruling that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction with respect to claims of discriminatory layoffs occurring more than ninety days prior4 to the filing of charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Beginning in November 1968, the Company began laying off several hundred employees over a two-year period as the plant's footwear divisions (which employed approximately 42% of the work force at the Mishawaka facility) were being closed and transferred to locations in the East. On 13 January 1970 plaintiffs filed charges with the EEOC specifically complaining that the layoffs were conducted in a discriminatory fashion to the detriment of female employees; therefore, the applicable cut-off date is 15 October 1969 (ninety days prior to the filing of charges with the EEOC).

Generally, Title VII provides that to present a cognizable claim in federal court, an aggrieved party must first file a complaint with the EEOC within ninety days after the alleged unlawful employment practice has occurred. This basic limitation, however, may be extended (or tolled) in those instances where the alleged discriminatory conduct is considered to be a "continuing violation" of the Act. Robinson v. Lorillard Corp., 444 F.2d 791 (4th Cir. 1971); Cox v. United States Gypsum Co., 409 F.2d 289 (7th Cir. 1969).

Here, Uniroyal contends that individual claims which allege discriminatory layoffs prior to 15 October 1969 should now be dismissed. It is defendant's contention that such layoffs are not "continuing violations" of Title VII.

This is the second time Uniroyal has advanced this argument before the court. On 23 March 1973 Judge Beamer, in an order denying Uniroyal's motion to dismiss and/or strike portions of plaintiffs' complaint, rejected the Company's position:

Finally, defendant contends that the claims of discriminatory layoffs . . . are not continuing violations and, therefore, only eleven of the plaintiffs have made a timely presentation of this claim to the EEOC. As noted above . . . the court must assume that this is a proper class action and, accordingly, all of the plaintiffs need not have made a timely presentation of this charge. Oatis v. Crown Fellerback Corp., 398 F.2d 496 (5th Cir. 1968); Bowe v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 416 F.2d 711 (7th Cir. 1969). Therefore, we need not reach the question of whether such charges constitute continuing violations.5

The court refuses to set aside Judge Beamer's earlier determination. However, the court is unable to agree with plaintiffs that the issue raised by the Company is wholly immaterial to this case. Whether or not the tardy claims are barred by the statutory limitation is a question which the

458 F. Supp. 260
March 23rd order, and cases cited therein, did not reach. Consequently, the court must reserve judgment on this matter until the individual relief stage of this case when it shall be appropriate for the court to conduct an "intra-class" examination of individual claims

2. Duty of Affirmative Action

Uniroyal next asks for a ruling that it did not violate Title VII with respect to plaintiffs' allegations that subsequent to November 1971 the Company failed to adopt a credible policy of equal employment opportunity.

The Company maintains that an employer has no obligation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fashion and implement an affirmative action program unless so ordered by a judicial decree. Defendant's claim has no merit. See, Local 189, United Papermakers & Paperworkers, A.F. L.-C.I.O., C.L.C. v. United States, 416 F.2d 980, 987-91 (5th Cir. 1969); Myers v. Gilmore Paper Co., 392 F.Supp. 413, 420 (S.D. Ga.1975); Stevenson v. International Paper Co., 352 F.Supp. 230 (S.D.Ala.1972); United States v. Central Motor Lines, Inc., 338 F.Supp. 532 (W.D.N.C.1971); United States v. Virginia Electric & Power Co., 327 F.Supp. 1034 (E.D.Va.1971); and Irvin v. Mohawk Rubber Co., 308 F.Supp. 152 (E.D. Ark.1970). The more difficult question now facing the court is whether Uniroyal breached its duty of affirmative action. As a practical matter, that issue cannot be determined until the full extent of Uniroyal's discriminatory practices before November 1971, if any, is established. The matter shall be examined with respect to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

III — UNION'S BRIEF IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Apart from alleging the existence of factual issues requiring trial, the Union has set forth various reasons why plaintiffs, as a matter of law, cannot succeed in their effort. Plaintiffs' motion states that:

Contrary to its duty the defendant Local No. 65, United Rubber Workers, in its agreements with Uniroyal has discriminated against the female members of its collective bargaining unit, including all of the dues-paying female members of the Local, by negotiating pay rates for the Mishawaka plant which discriminate against female workers as a class and by agreeing to discriminatory bidding, bumping, and disqualification rules that perpetuate segregation and
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14 practice notes
  • West Virginia Human Rights Commission v. United Transp. Union, Local No. 655, Nos. 14212
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 2, 1981
    ...S.Ct. 1891, 52 L.Ed.2d 453 (1977); Macklin v. Spector Freight Systems, Inc., 478 F.2d 979 (D.C.Cir.1973); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 (N.D.Ind.1977); United States v. City of Buffalo, 457 F.Supp. 612 (W.D.N.Y.1978); Dickerson v. U. S. Steel Corp., 439 F.Supp. 55 (E.D.Pa.197......
  • Firefighters Inc. for Racial Equality v. Bach, No. 78-K-119.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • June 11, 1985
    ...F.2d 96 (4th Cir. 1980) (per curiam); Trent v. Allegheny Airlines, Inc., 471 F.Supp. 448 (W.D.Pa. 1979); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 Other courts, however, have viewed § 703(h) as an affirmative defense, with the defendant having the burden of proof. See, e.g., American Tob......
  • Arnold v. Postmaster General, Civ. A. No. 85-2571
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 10, 1987
    ...i.e., a random method of selection), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 861, 97 S.Ct. 163, 50 L.Ed.2d 139 (1976); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 (N.D. Ind.1977) (business necessity should be narrowly construed and absolutely essential). Furthermore, defendant must show that the senior-fir......
  • Del Casal v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., No. 77-2279 CIV-JAG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • March 1, 1979
    ...Cir. 1975). Although Congress has given unions broad discretion to select their own policies and rules, Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252, 282 (N.D.Ind.1977), it did not "`authorize a tyranny of the majority over minority interests'." Emporium Capwell v. Western Addition Communit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • West Virginia Human Rights Commission v. United Transp. Union, Local No. 655, Nos. 14212
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 2, 1981
    ...S.Ct. 1891, 52 L.Ed.2d 453 (1977); Macklin v. Spector Freight Systems, Inc., 478 F.2d 979 (D.C.Cir.1973); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 (N.D.Ind.1977); United States v. City of Buffalo, 457 F.Supp. 612 (W.D.N.Y.1978); Dickerson v. U. S. Steel Corp., 439 F.Supp. 55 (E.D.Pa.197......
  • Firefighters Inc. for Racial Equality v. Bach, No. 78-K-119.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • June 11, 1985
    ...F.2d 96 (4th Cir. 1980) (per curiam); Trent v. Allegheny Airlines, Inc., 471 F.Supp. 448 (W.D.Pa. 1979); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 Other courts, however, have viewed § 703(h) as an affirmative defense, with the defendant having the burden of proof. See, e.g., American Tob......
  • Arnold v. Postmaster General, Civ. A. No. 85-2571
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 10, 1987
    ...i.e., a random method of selection), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 861, 97 S.Ct. 163, 50 L.Ed.2d 139 (1976); Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252 (N.D. Ind.1977) (business necessity should be narrowly construed and absolutely essential). Furthermore, defendant must show that the senior-fir......
  • Del Casal v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., No. 77-2279 CIV-JAG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • March 1, 1979
    ...Cir. 1975). Although Congress has given unions broad discretion to select their own policies and rules, Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc., 458 F.Supp. 252, 282 (N.D.Ind.1977), it did not "`authorize a tyranny of the majority over minority interests'." Emporium Capwell v. Western Addition Communit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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