Reiter v. CENTER CONSOL. SCHOOL DIST. NO. 26-JT., Civ. A. No. 85-K-975.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
Writing for the CourtWilliam J. McCarren, Peter M. Eggleston, Cogswell & Wehrle, Denver, Colo., for defendant
Citation618 F. Supp. 1458
PartiesSr. Barbara REITER, Plaintiff, v. CENTER CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 26-JT., Defendant.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 85-K-975.
Decision Date11 October 1985

618 F. Supp. 1458

Sr. Barbara REITER, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTER CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 26-JT., Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 85-K-975.

United States District Court, D. Colorado.

October 11, 1985.


618 F. Supp. 1459

Brian A. Jeffrey, Evergreen, Colo., for plaintiff.

William J. McCarren, Peter M. Eggleston, Cogswell & Wehrle, Denver, Colo., for defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KANE, District Judge.

This is a civil rights action under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. Plaintiff, Sister Barbara Reiter, alleges that defendant, Center Consolidated School District, refused to renew her employment contract because of her gender, religion, participation in another Title VII complaint, and association with the Hispanic community. Defendant has filed an answer denying liability and setting forth five defenses. In a minute order, I stated that the defenses raised jurisdictional questions, and defenses 1, 3, 4, and 5 would be treated as motions to dismiss. The school district has filed a memorandum stating that it is pursuing only two of the defenses at this time: (1) lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Title VII over plaintiff's claim of discrimination based on her association with the Hispanic community, and (2) plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985 fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons that follow, I decline to dismiss plaintiff's claim of employment discrimination based on her association with the Hispanic community. Plaintiff's §§ 1983 and 1985 claims, however, are dismissed.

I

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). The Act also prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's participation in another Title VII investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Id. § 2000e-3.

Plaintiff alleges discrimination in employment based on her "close association with the Spanish citizens of the district." Before I can entertain this claim, I must determine whether Title VII prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's association with people of a particular national origin.

618 F. Supp. 1460

I have not found any Tenth Circuit decisions that discuss whether Title VII prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's association with people of a particular race or national origin. Most courts in other jurisdictions that have considered the issue hold that Title VII prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's association with people of a different race. See Whitney v. Greater New York Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists, 401 F.Supp. 1363 (S.D.N.Y.1975); Gresham v. Waffle House Inc., 586 F.Supp. 1442 (N.D.Ga.1984); Clark v. Louisa County School Board, 472 F.Supp. 321 (E.D.Va.1979); Holiday v. Belle's Restaurant, 409 F.Supp. 904 (W.D. Pa.1976). The underlying rationale in these cases is that the plaintiff was discriminated against on the basis of his race because his race was different from the race of the people he associated with. For example, in Whitney, the court held that a white plaintiff who alleged that he was discriminated against because of his association with his Negro friends stated a cause of action under Title VII. Other examples include cases where courts hold that discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's interracial marriage are prohibited under Title VII. See Gresham, 586 F.Supp. 1442; Clark, 472 F.Supp. 321; Holiday, 409 F.Supp. 904.

In at least two decisions, the EEOC has found that reasonable cause existed to believe that an employer violated Title VII by discharging an employee because of his or her association with people of a different race. EEOC decision 71-1902, 3 Fair Empl. Prac.Cas. 1244 (1971); EEOC Decision 71-909, 3 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 269 (1970). These decisions indicate that the EEOC interprets Title VII as prohibiting discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's association with people of a particular race or national origin. I am required to give great deference to the EEOC's interpretations of Title VII. Trafficante v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 409 U.S. 205, 210, 93 S.Ct. 364, 367, 34 L.Ed.2d 415 (1972); Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 433, 91 S.Ct. 849, 854, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971). In light of these judicial and administrative decisions, I hold that discriminatory employment practices based on an individual's association with people of a particular race or national origin are prohibited under Title VII.1

II

Defendant contends that I lack subject matter jurisdiction over this claim because plaintiff did not allege national origin discrimination in her Charge of Discrimination filed with the EEOC and the EEOC did not investigate or conciliate plaintiff's charge of national origin discrimination.

Title VII establishes a detailed procedure to be followed by a person who feels that he has been the victim of an unlawful employment practice. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5. A charge of discrimination must first be filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC). Id. § 2000e-5(c). After a certain period of time, a charge must then be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Id. § 2000e-5(e). The EEOC must investigate the charge and determine whether reasonable cause exists to believe that the charge is true. Id. § 2000e-5(b). In determining whether reasonable cause exists, the EEOC must accord substantial weight to final findings and orders made

618 F. Supp. 1461
by state or local authorities. Id. If the EEOC determines that reasonable cause exists to believe that the charge is true, the EEOC must try to eliminate the alleged unlawful employment practice by conference, conciliation, and persuasion. Id.

When determining the proper scope of a Title VII complaint, a court must balance two competing values. On the one hand, the purpose of the detailed procedure is "to provide an opportunity for nonjudicial and nonadversary resolution of claims". Great American Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Novotny, 442 U.S. 366, 372-73, 99 S.Ct. 2345, 2349, 60 L.Ed.2d 957 (1979). On the other hand, the purpose of Title VII is to safeguard rights of...

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17 practice notes
  • Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., Docket No. 15-3775
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • 26 Febrero 2018
    ...Inc. , No. 04-CV-2869, 2006 WL 1983196, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. July 13, 2006) (sex and race); Reiter v. Ctr. Consol. Sch. Dist. No. 26-JT , 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D. Colo. 1985) (race and national origin).26 The only exception, not relevant here, is for a "bona fide occupational qualificatio......
  • Deffenbaugh-Williams v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., DEFFENBAUGH-WILLIAM
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 24 Septiembre 1998
    ...v. Greater N.Y. Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists, 401 F.Supp. 1363, 1366 (S.D.N.Y.1975); Reiter v. Center Consolidated Sch. Dist., 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D.Colo.1985); Gresham v. Waffle House, Inc., 586 F.Supp. 1442, 1445 (N.D.Ga.1984); cf. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc., --- U.S.......
  • Roybal v. City of Albuquerque, CV No. 85-1616 HB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • 1 Julio 1986
    ...October 21, 1985). But see Irby v. Sullivan, 737 F.2d 1418 (5th Cir.1984); Reiter v. Center Consolidated School District No. 26-JT, 618 F.Supp. 1458 (D.Colo.1985); Keller v. Prince George's County Department of Social Services, 616 F.Supp. 540 (D.Md. 1985); Tafoya v. Adams, 612 F.Supp. 1097......
  • LaRocca v. Precision Motorcars, Inc., No. 4:98CV3195.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • 26 Marzo 1999
    ...of a particular race or national origin are prohibited under Title VII." Reiter v. Center Consolidated School Dist., No. 26-JT, 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D.Colo.1985). "Where a plaintiff claims discrimination based upon an interracial [] association, he alleges, by definition, that ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., Docket No. 15-3775
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • 26 Febrero 2018
    ...Inc. , No. 04-CV-2869, 2006 WL 1983196, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. July 13, 2006) (sex and race); Reiter v. Ctr. Consol. Sch. Dist. No. 26-JT , 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D. Colo. 1985) (race and national origin).26 The only exception, not relevant here, is for a "bona fide occupational qualificatio......
  • Deffenbaugh-Williams v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., DEFFENBAUGH-WILLIAM
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 24 Septiembre 1998
    ...v. Greater N.Y. Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists, 401 F.Supp. 1363, 1366 (S.D.N.Y.1975); Reiter v. Center Consolidated Sch. Dist., 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D.Colo.1985); Gresham v. Waffle House, Inc., 586 F.Supp. 1442, 1445 (N.D.Ga.1984); cf. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc., --- U.S.......
  • Roybal v. City of Albuquerque, CV No. 85-1616 HB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • 1 Julio 1986
    ...October 21, 1985). But see Irby v. Sullivan, 737 F.2d 1418 (5th Cir.1984); Reiter v. Center Consolidated School District No. 26-JT, 618 F.Supp. 1458 (D.Colo.1985); Keller v. Prince George's County Department of Social Services, 616 F.Supp. 540 (D.Md. 1985); Tafoya v. Adams, 612 F.Supp. 1097......
  • LaRocca v. Precision Motorcars, Inc., No. 4:98CV3195.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • 26 Marzo 1999
    ...of a particular race or national origin are prohibited under Title VII." Reiter v. Center Consolidated School Dist., No. 26-JT, 618 F.Supp. 1458, 1460 (D.Colo.1985). "Where a plaintiff claims discrimination based upon an interracial [] association, he alleges, by definition, that ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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