Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc., 68 C 2311.

Citation308 F. Supp. 959
Decision Date21 January 1970
Docket NumberNo. 68 C 2311.,68 C 2311.
PartiesMary Burke SPROGIS, Plaintiff, v. UNITED AIR LINES, INC., a Corporation, Defendant.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)

Richard F. Watt, Irving M. King and Sheli Z. Rosenberg, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff.

Stuart Bernstein, Mayer, Friedlich, Spiess, Tierney, Brown & Platt, Chicago, Ill., for defendant.

PERRY, District Judge.


This action, having been considered on the motion of the Plaintiff for summary judgment in her behalf and the cross-motion for summary judgment filed by the Defendant, and the Court being fully advised in the premises, makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

Findings of Fact

1. This action arises under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

2. Plaintiff is a female who was employed by Defendant as an airline stewardess until discharged by Defendant from that position on or about June 19, 1966.

3. Defendant is a Delaware Corporation, having its principal office in Elk Grove Village, Cook County, Illinois, which is within the Northern District of Illinois.

4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, among other practices, to fail or refuse to hire any individual or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of sex, except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.

5. Defendant maintained a policy applying solely to females employed as stewardesses, requiring that they be unmarried when first employed and that they thereafter remain unmarried while so employed. The policy of Defendant, as in effect at the time of Plaintiff's discharge, called for the discharge of any stewardess who married.

6. Defendant employs both male and female employees; there is no policy, as described in Paragraph 5 above, which has been maintained or enforced against male employees, including male flight cabin attendants or stewards. Under the policy described in Paragraph 5, Defendant has dismissed from their positions females employed as stewardesses immediately upon notification of the marriage of such employees, but no action is or has been taken against male employees upon marriage, and male employees have been permitted to continue employment without regard to marital status.

7. Pursuant to the above policy Defendant discharged Plaintiff as a stewardess on or about June 19, 1966, for the sole reason that she is a female and became married while in the employ of Defendant in the capacity as stewardess.

8. On August 9, 1966, which was less than ninety days after her discharge by the Defendant on June 19, 1966, Plaintiff filed a formal charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., alleging that her discharge by Defendant constituted unlawful discrimination because of sex.

9. On August 30, 1968, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its Decision finding there is reasonable cause to believe that the Defendant had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, by maintaining a policy of terminating female flight cabin attendants upon marriage, and, specifically, by terminating Plaintiff as alleged in the charge described in Paragraph 8 above while permitting male employees, including stewards performing similar duties for Defendant, to continue their employment after becoming married.

10. The charge of Plaintiff was not settled or adjusted. Under date of October 31, 1968, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued to Plaintiff its Notice of Right to Sue Within 30 Days, advising Plaintiff that she could, within thirty days of her receipt of the Notice, file suit in an appropriate United States District Court. This action was commenced on November 27, 1968.

11. Plaintiff has filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Defendant has filed a counter-motion for summary judgment.

12. The Court has reviewed all the matters of record and has had the benefit of briefs filed by the parties.

Conclusions of Law

1. This Court has jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter hereof.

2. On the basis of the foregoing facts, as to which there is no dispute, Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

3. The rule, regulation or policy of Defendant, United Airlines, Inc., pursuant to which it discharged Plaintiff, is unlawful as in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. The discharge of the Plaintiff by the Defendant pursuant to such policy was an unfair employment practice in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

4. Plaintiff is entitled to reinstatement in her position as a Stewardess in the employ of Defendant United Air Lines, with all her rights of seniority and longevity restored.

5. Plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for her loss of earnings from the time of her illegal discharge on June 19, 1966 until the date of her reinstatement.

6. An order of injunction should issue restraining the Defendant from discriminating against Plaintiff because of her sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and specifically from refusing to continue Plaintiff in Defendant's employ by reason of her marriage and requiring Defendant, in connection with the restoration of Plaintiff to employment, to recognize all of the Plaintiff's rights of seniority and longevity of employment which would have accrued to Plaintiff but for her unlawful discharge, and requiring Defendant to pay to Plaintiff all compensation lost by her from the time of her illegal discharge to the date of her reinstatement.

7. Defendant is not entitled to any relief as prayed for in its counter-motion for summary judgment, and said motion should be and hereby is denied.

8. The matters asserted by Defendant by way of defense are not sufficient to show (a) that sex or single status is a bona fide...

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7 cases
  • United Airlines, Inc v. Donald
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 20, 1977
    ...filed a timely individual action in a Federal District Court, and the court agreed that the no-marriage rule violated Title VII. 308 F.Supp. 959 (N.D.Ill.). United took an interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) on the issue of liability, and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circ......
  • Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • July 16, 1971
    ...employer in the district court, and this action was commenced a month later. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court, 308 F.Supp. 959, found that plaintiff was discharged about June 19, 1966, because of her marriage. Although United then employed only unmarried stewardesse......
  • Romasanta v. United Air Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • November 18, 1983
    ...42 U.S.C. Secs. 2000e--2000e-17 (Title VII). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Sprogis. Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc., 308 F.Supp. 959 (N.D.Ill.1970). That result was affirmed by a majority of this court in June, 1971. Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc., 444 F.2d 11......
  • Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • June 4, 1975
    ...or otherwise affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin."3 308 F.Supp. 959 (N.D.Ill.1970), aff'd 444 F.2d 1194 (7th Cir. 1971), cert. denied 404 U.S. 991, 92 S.Ct. 536, 30 L.Ed.2d 543 (1971).4 The authority to allow attorneys......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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