Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, No. 83-1378

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore LIVELY, Chief Judge, WELLFORD, Circuit Judge, and GIBBONS; LIVELY
Citation749 F.2d 1199
Parties36 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 743, 35 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 34,816, 53 USLW 2310 James M. DAY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF AUDITORS, Wayne County Civil Service Commission, County of Wayne, and Wayne County Board of Commissioners, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date06 December 1984
Docket NumberNo. 83-1378

Page 1199

749 F.2d 1199
36 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 743,
35 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 34,816, 53 USLW 2310
James M. DAY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF AUDITORS, Wayne County Civil Service
Commission, County of Wayne, and Wayne County
Board of Commissioners, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 83-1378.
United States Court of Appeals,
Sixth Circuit.
Argued Aug. 29, 1984.
Decided Dec. 6, 1984.

Page 1200

Eleanor Cattron Smith, argued, Detroit, Mich., for plaintiff-appellant.

W.B. McIntyre, Jr., Bob Anderson, argued, Detroit, Mich., for defendants-appellees.

Before LIVELY, Chief Judge, WELLFORD, Circuit Judge, and GIBBONS, District Judge. *

LIVELY, Chief Judge.

This is an appeal by the plaintiff who is dissatisfied with the relief granted to him by the district court. The district court referred plaintiff's employment discrimination claim to a master who found that the defendant, Wayne County Board of Auditors, a state agency, discriminated against plaintiff in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the Act) by retaliating against him for filing a claim of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, the master also held that the plaintiff did not prove racial or age discrimination and that the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case for recovery of monetary damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1981 or Sec. 1983. The district court affirmed these holdings. The important question presented by this appeal is whether, upon finding a violation of Title VII, the district court erred in holding the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of violation of Sec. 1983.

I.

The plaintiff, a white male, was hired by the Wayne County Board of Auditors in 1970. Over the next eight years the plaintiff sought and was denied several promotions and was twice demoted. On these occasions he filed charges with various state agencies and the EEOC which were largely unproductive. In 1978, after the plaintiff objected to the reclassification of another employee, the defendant demoted him. The plaintiff then filed yet another complaint with the EEOC which led to the present action. After receiving a right to sue letter the plaintiff filed suit in the district court charging violation of Title VII

Page 1201

of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e, et seq. (1976), and the Civil Rights Acts of 1870 and 1871, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 1981 and 1983 (1976). In his complaint the plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief as well as compensatory and punitive damages and reinstatement to the position he held before his most recent demotion.

Upon determining that the case had not been scheduled for trial within 120 days after the issues were joined, the district judge referred the matter to a magistrate "as Master pursuant to Rule 53 ...." The order of reference was made "[o]n the authority of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e-5(f)(5)" which provides:

It shall be the duty of the judge designated pursuant to this subsection to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date and to cause the case to be in every way expedited. If such judge has not scheduled the case for trial within one hundred and twenty days after issue has been joined, that judge may appoint a master pursuant to rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The magistrate conducted a trial and issued his "Master's Report and Recommendations" in which he found that the plaintiff's employer had demoted him in retaliation for filing discrimination charges. Such retaliation is specifically prohibited by Sec. 704 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e-3(a). The master found, however, that the plaintiff had failed to establish discrimination on the basis of age or race. In his report the master recommended an award of back pay and compensatory damages to the plaintiff for violation of Title VII and an injunction requiring the defendants to permit Day to sit for future competitive or promotional examinations. The master found that the plaintiff had not proven a violation of Sec. 1981 or Sec. 1983 and denied punitive damages as relief sought only in connection with the Sec. 1981 claim.

The plaintiff filed objections to the master's report and the district court held a hearing. Thereafter the district judge filed a memorandum opinion in which he agreed with the master's findings with respect to violations, but ordered different relief. The district court allowed back pay representing the difference between the plaintiff's actual earnings and the amount he would have earned except for the defendants' discrimination by retaliation. The district court also awarded "front pay" by requiring the defendants to pay the plaintiff at the rate of the position from which he was demoted until his retirement date or until he is promoted to a position which pays an amount equal to or greater than that of the position he held before demotion. The district court denied compensatory and punitive damages, finding that such damages are not permitted for Title VII violations, and accepting the master's conclusion that the plaintiff had failed to establish a violation of Sec. 1981 or Sec. 1983. The district court enjoined the defendants from retaliating against the plaintiff for this litigation and denying him the opportunity to take any examination for promotions "for which he is otherwise entitled to sit." The plaintiff appealed from the district court judgment.

II.

The plaintiff's first contention on appeal requires little discussion. In accepting the master's findings of fact, the district court stated that they were not "clearly erroneous." The plaintiff argues that the district court should have reviewed the master's findings under a de novo standard as required by 28 U.S.C. Sec. 636(b)(1), which relates to findings and recommendations of magistrates. The problem with this argument is that Day's case was not referred to the magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 636. The order of reference was made "[o]n the authority of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e-5(f)(5)" and stated that the magistrate was appointed "as Master pursuant to Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ...." Rule 53(e)(2) provides, "In an action to be tried without a jury the court shall accept the master's findings of fact unless clearly erroneous." The plaintiff did not object to the order of reference and recognized

Page 1202

throughout the proceedings that the magistrate was appointed as, and was acting as, a master in this case. The district court correctly reviewed the findings of fact under the clearly erroneous standard. None of the arguments of the plaintiff on this issue recognizes the fact that the district judge followed the procedures of Sec. 2000e-5(f)(5) with exactitude and reviewed the master's findings in precisely the manner provided for when an order of reference is made pursuant to that provision of Title VII. 1

III.

The district court accepted, without discussion, the master's holding that the plaintiff failed to make a prima facie case for relief under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1981 or Sec. 1983. In arguing her objections to the master's report before the district court, counsel for the plaintiff stated: "We have not waived our right to damages under 1983 and it's my understanding of the law that the Master was correct in finding since it is a state agency there would be no liability under...

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204 practice notes
  • Hamilton v. Dist. Of D.C., Civil Action No. 09-0892 (JDB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 6, 2010
    ...(same); Carpenter v. Stephen F. Austin State Univ., 706 F.2d 608, 612 (5th Cir.1983) (same); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1205 (6th Cir.1984) (same); Trigg v. Fort Wayne Cmty. Sch., 766 F.2d 299, 302 (7th Cir.1985) (same); Hervey v. Little Rock, 787 F.2d 1223, 1233 (8......
  • O'Hara v. Mt. Vernon Bd. of Educ., No. C2-95-554.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • August 26, 1998
    ...created by federal statutes. Maine v. Thiboutot, 448 U.S. 1, 100 S.Ct. 2502, 65 L.Ed.2d 555 (1980); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1202 (6th Cir.1984). It is undisputed that an employee has a civil right of action under FMLA. 29 U.S.C. § 2617(a)(1). The question is whet......
  • Bradley v. Arwood, Case No. 14-cv-12303
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • October 20, 2014
    ...a remedy for the violation of rights created elsewhere; it does not create substantive rights. See Day v. Wayne Cnty. Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1202 (6th Cir. 1984) (citing Chapman v. Houston Welfare Rights Organization, 441 U.S. 600, 616-18, 99 S.Ct. 1905, 1915-16, 60 L.Ed.2d 508 (19......
  • Dudley v. Singleton, Case No. 3:20-cv-00626-HNJ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • December 17, 2020
    ...ADA." Id. at 1531 (citing Johnson v. Ballard, 644 F. Supp. 333, 337 (N.D. Ga. 1986) (in turn citing Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1204 (6th Cir. 1984) )).Congress enacted the ADA "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discriminati......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
204 cases
  • Hamilton v. Dist. Of D.C., Civil Action No. 09-0892 (JDB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 6, 2010
    ...(same); Carpenter v. Stephen F. Austin State Univ., 706 F.2d 608, 612 (5th Cir.1983) (same); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1205 (6th Cir.1984) (same); Trigg v. Fort Wayne Cmty. Sch., 766 F.2d 299, 302 (7th Cir.1985) (same); Hervey v. Little Rock, 787 F.2d 1223, 1233 (8......
  • O'Hara v. Mt. Vernon Bd. of Educ., No. C2-95-554.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • August 26, 1998
    ...created by federal statutes. Maine v. Thiboutot, 448 U.S. 1, 100 S.Ct. 2502, 65 L.Ed.2d 555 (1980); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1202 (6th Cir.1984). It is undisputed that an employee has a civil right of action under FMLA. 29 U.S.C. § 2617(a)(1). The question is whet......
  • Bradley v. Arwood, Case No. 14-cv-12303
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • October 20, 2014
    ...a remedy for the violation of rights created elsewhere; it does not create substantive rights. See Day v. Wayne Cnty. Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1202 (6th Cir. 1984) (citing Chapman v. Houston Welfare Rights Organization, 441 U.S. 600, 616-18, 99 S.Ct. 1905, 1915-16, 60 L.Ed.2d 508 (19......
  • Dudley v. Singleton, Case No. 3:20-cv-00626-HNJ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • December 17, 2020
    ...ADA." Id. at 1531 (citing Johnson v. Ballard, 644 F. Supp. 333, 337 (N.D. Ga. 1986) (in turn citing Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1204 (6th Cir. 1984) )).Congress enacted the ADA "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discriminati......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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