Willis v. Chicago Extruded Metals Company

Decision Date01 May 1974
Docket NumberNo. 72 C 1400.,72 C 1400.
Citation375 F. Supp. 362
PartiesAndrew WILLIS, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. CHICAGO EXTRUDED METALS COMPANY, a corporation, and Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO Local 717, an unincorporated association, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois

Klink & Klink, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff.

Lester Acher and Marvin Gittler, Chicago, Ill., for defendant Chicago Extruded Metals.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

BAUER, District Judge.

This cause comes on the defendant Chicago Extruded Metal Company's ("Extruded Metals") motion to strike and dismiss. This is an action to redress alleged deprivation of the plaintiff's civil rights pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Civil Rights Act of 1870, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. This Court is alleged to have jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f), 29 U.S.C. § 301(a), 28 U.S. C. §§ 1331 and 1343, and 42 U.S.C. § 1985.

The plaintiff Andrew Willis is a Negro citizen of the United States residing in Chicago, Illinois. The defendants are the former employer of Andrew Willis, Chicago Extruded Metals Company ("Extruded Metals"), an Illinois corporation having its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois, and the plaintiff's former union, Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local # 717 ("Local 717"), a labor organization within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 152(5) of the Labor Management Relations Act.

The plaintiff, in his amended complaint, alleges the following facts, inter alia:

1. Plaintiff Andrew Willis brings this action on his own behalf and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated pursuant to Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The class which plaintiff represents is composed of all Negroes
(a) who were or are members of Local 717;
(b) who will apply for membership or become members of Local 717;
(c) who were, are, or will be represented by Local 717;
(d) who have sought or will seek employment with Extruded Metals; and
(e) who were or are employed by Extruded Metals.
2. The defendant Local 717 conspired with the defendant Extruded Metals to make possible racially discriminating employment practices.
3. The defendants have discriminated against Andrew Willis because of his race and color by denying him equal opportunity for employment retention and advancement. Further the defendants have prevented the plaintiff from exercising his rights under employment contracts and from receiving equal treatment under the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
4. More specifically, on or about March 19, 1971, at approximately 2:45 a. m., plaintiff Andrew Willis was working the night shift for Extruded Metals when he received a telephone call from his daughter asking him to come home as his grandchild was very sick. The plaintiff was unsuccessful in locating a foreman or supervisor in order to obtain permission to leave, so he left the plant after notifying his fellow workers of his intentions. In his haste to aid his grandchild the plaintiff forgot to "punch out". On that same day, March 19, 1971, the defendant Extruded Metals, without any hearing, fired the plaintiff Andrew Willis.
5. The plaintiff has fully complied with all procedural requirements of Title VII. A timely complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 210 days of the alleged unlawful employment practices, more than sixty days after referral of the charges to the Illinois Fair Employment Practice Commission, and the instant action was filed within 30 days from the date plaintiff received notification from EEOC of his right to sue.

The plaintiff seeks damages for lost wages and additional damages in the amount of $100,000 for emotional harm, degradation and humiliation, $100,000 exemplary damages, plus the cost of maintaining the instant law suit.

More specifically, in Count I of the complaint the plaintiff alleges that the defendant company follows and maintains "a racially discriminating policy of hiring, firing and promoting Negro workers" by means of putting into effect "a formal or informal quota system for the purpose of limiting the percentage and numbers of Negro workers", by requiring "qualified Negro workers to be sponsored by a Chicago Extruded employee in order to be eligible for employment", by establishing "a discriminatory layoff system" and by establishing "a promotional and seniority system limiting the employment and promotional opportunities of Negro employees". In Count II of the complaint the plaintiff alleges that the defendant company discharged the plaintiff and entered into a conspiracy with the defendant union to prevent the plaintiff from exercising his rights under the collective bargaining agreement because of his race. In Count III of the complaint plaintiff alleges that the defendant union violated its duty of fair representation under the National Labor Relations Act by entering into a conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of his rights under the collective bargaining agreement.

The defendant company in its instant motion contends that the allegations contained in Count I of the amended complaint so materially deviate from the gravamen of the charge filed by the plaintiff with the EEOC that the plaintiff has utterly failed to exhaust the administrative remedies under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with respect to all issues contained in Count I and thus this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of that count.

In support of its instant motion to strike and dismiss Count I of the amended complaint the defendant Extruded Metals contends that:

1. The subject matter of Count I is not included or related to the allegations contained in the charge filed with the EEOC.
2. The District Court has no jurisdiction over allegations which extend beyond the scope of the charge filed with the EEOC.
3. The claimed jurisdiction of this Court under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1981 does not allow matters to be pleaded outside the scope of the original charge filed with the EEOC.

The plaintiff in opposition to the instant motion contends that this Court has jurisdiction over Count I of the amended complaint.

This Court in its Memorandum Opinion and Order dated April 25, 1973 found that this Court has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et seq. and that the plaintiff's amended complaint properly states a cause of action under the Civil Rights Act of 1870, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. See Willis v. Chicago Extruded Metals Company, 358 F.Supp. 848 (N.D.Ill.1973). It is the opinion of this Court that the instant motion is without merit and that this Court has jurisdiction over Count I of the instant amended complaint.

It is well settled that when an employee seeks judicial relief for incidents not listed in his original charge to the EEOC, the judicial complaint nevertheless may encompass any discrimination like or reasonably related to the allegations of the EEOC charge, including new acts occurring during the pendency of the charge before the EEOC. See Oubichon v. North American Rockwell Corporation, 482 F.2d 569 (9th Cir. 1973); Danner v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 447 F.2d 159 (5th Cir. 1971); Tipler v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 443 F. 2d 125 (6th Cir. 1971); Sanchez v. Standard Brands, Inc., 431 F.2d 455 (5th Cir. 1970); Taylor v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 333 F.Supp. 83 (D.Colo. 1971); Garneau v. Raytheon Co., 323 F.Supp. 391 (D.Mass.1971); Sciaraffa v. Oxford Paper Co., 310 F.Supp. 891 (D.Me. 1970); Logan v. General Fireproofing Co., 309 F.Supp. 1096 (S.D.N. C.1969); King v. Georgia Power Co., 295 F.Supp. 943 (N.D.Ga.1965); note, "Developments in the Law-Employment Discrimination and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964", 84 Harv.L.Rev. 1109 (1971); cf. Macklin v. Spector Freight Systems, Inc., 156 U.S.App.D.C. 69, 478 F.2d 979 (1973).

To force an employee to return to the EEOC every time he claims a new instance of discrimination in order to have the EEOC and the courts consider the subsequent incidents along with the original ones would erect a needless procedural barrier. Cf. Love v. Pullman Co., 404 U.S. 522, 92 S.Ct. 616, 30 L.Ed. 2d 679 (1972).

Two competing policies must be weighed in determining whether there is a material variance between charges which have been filed with the EEOC and the allegations of the complaint in a subsequent court suit. The first is that an EEOC charge must sufficiently inform the commission of the nature of the alleged unlawful practices so that it can make a reasonable attempt at the "conciliation" contemplated by the Civil Rights Act. See Edwards v. North American Rockwell Corp., 291 F.Supp. 199 (C.D.Cal.1968). To permit a civil action based...

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    ...relief to those whom Title VII was designed to protect, merely because of their lack of sophistication. Willis v. Chicago Extruded Metals Company, 375 F.Supp. 362, 365 (N.D.Ill. 1974); Tipler v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., 443 F.2d 125, 131 (6th Cir. In attempting to reach an accommoda......
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