The opinion of the court was delivered by: Napoli, District Judge.
This action was brought by the plaintiffs under section 706(e),
Title VII, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e).
The complaint alleges that defendant locals, of which
the plaintiffs are members respectively, and their District
Council are guilty of unlawful employment practices against the
plantiffs and other Negro members of the union. They seek to
maintain this suit as a class action on behalf of themselves and
all other Negro members of the defendant locals and all other
locals which are members of the defendant District Council. The
District Council has moved for summary judgment for lack of
jurisdiction. The defendant Locals have moved to dismiss because
of the absence of indispensible parties. In the alternative the
locals have moved for an order prohibiting the maintenance of a
class action and have moved to strike portions of the plaintiffs'
complaint. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed
a brief as amicus curiae in opposition to defendants' motions.
All defendants have moved to strike certain portions
of the Commission's brief and affidavits filed by the plaintiffs.
The District Council's motion for summary judgment will be
treated as a motion to dismiss.
Butler, a member of Local 4 of the Laborers' International
Union of North America, and Bush, a member of Local 269 of the
same union, each filed verified charges of discrimination with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against their
respective locals. After deferment to the State of Illinois Fair
Employment Practices Commission pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(b-d),
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began
an investigation of the charges and subsequently notified the
plaintiffs, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e), that a
civil action could be brought within thirty days against the
respondents named in the charge. The plaintiffs then filed this
action against their locals and the District Council.
In support of its motion to dismiss, the council contends that
the statute authorizing an action in the District Court makes it
a jurisdictional prerequisite that any party sought to be sued
must have been a respondent in the charge brought before the
Commission. It is argued that since the District Council was not
charged before the Commission it can not be sued here. The
section in question, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e), provides in part:
If within thirty days after a charge is filed with
the Commission or within thirty days after expiration
of any period of reference under subsection (c) of
this section * * *, the Commisson has been unable to
obtain voluntary compliance with this subchapter, the
Commission shall so notify the person aggrieved and a
civil action may, within thirty days thereafter, be
brought against the respondent named in the
charge * * *.
This language has consistently been held to make the naming of
a respondent in a charge before the Commission a jurisdictional
prerequisite to a civil action against that party under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act. Mickel v. South Carolina State
Employment Service, 377 F.2d 239 (4th Cir. 1967); Sokolowski v.
Swift & Co., 286 F. Supp. 775, 782 (D.C.Minn. 1968); Cox v. United
States Gypsum Co., 284 F. Supp. 74, 76 (N.D.Ind. 1968), aff'd
409 F.2d 289 (7th Cir. 1969); Mondy v. Crown Zellerbach Corp.,
271 F. Supp. 258, 266 (E.D.La. 1967). There is, however, language in
some of these cases indicating that the rule need not be strictly
applied where there exists between the defendants, one of whom
was not charged before the Commission, an agency relationship by
which a common enterprise of discrimination is being carried out.
Taylor v. Armco Steel Corp., C.A. 68-H-129 (S.D.Tex. June 9,
1969), so held. This construction of the statute was expressed in
Sokolowski v. Swift & Co., supra 286 F. Supp. at 782.
The rationale of the above-cited cases seems to be
that in the absence of allegations in the complaint,
and later supported by evidence, that something in
the nature of an agency relationship exists whereby
one party is carrying out the plan of another to
effect a discriminatory employment practice, each
defendant must be named in the charge before the
Commission in order that suit later may be brought
against such person. The allegation in the complaint
in Sokolowski, et al consisting only of the simple
statement that the Local and the International are
"affiliated" falls far short of such requirement.
It is the opinion of this Court that the District Council's
motion to dismiss must be granted. The language of the statute is
clear and unequivocal that a party must be a respondent before
the EEOC before he may be sued under Title VII. In Bowe v.
Colgate-Palmolive Co., 416 F.2d 711 (7th Cir. 1969), the Court
It is a jurisdictional prerequisite to the filing
of a suit under Title VII that a charge be filed with
the EEOC against the party sought to be sued.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e). This provision serves two
important purposes. First, it notifies the charged
party of the asserted violation. Secondly, it brings
the charged party before the EEOC and permits
effectuation of the Act's primary goal, the securing
of voluntary compliance with the law. While we
believe that the Union was not entirely blameless in
permitting discrimination to exist and could have
worked harder to eliminate the residual and
continuing effects of the blatant prior
discrimination, it is undisputed that at no time was
the Union ever charged before the EEOC as a party in
violation of Title VII. Accordingly, the Union cannot
be held liable for any damages resulting from
discrimination and the trial court's determination in
favor of the Union is affirmed.
It is the position of the plaintiffs and the holding of Taylor
v. Armco Steel Corp., supra, that the statute's definition of
labor organization to include any agent of such organization,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e(d), extends jurisdiction in this Court to any
agent of a party charged before the Commission. This Court does
not agree. Defining a labor organization to include its agents
delineates the scope of application of the sections of Title VII
prohibiting unlawful employment practices. It does not suggest
that the term "respondent" as used in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e) has
the same meaning. According to the definition, the activities of
agents of labor organizations are subject to the provisions of
Title VII. However, the charging of one before EEOC does not make
a respondent of the other.
The situation may be different where there is substantial
identity between the parties but that is not the case here. The
plaintiffs have submitted affidavits which relate incidents
suggesting that members of the District Council have exercised
influence over the locals. These affidavits, however, do not
establish an identity of parties or a coextensive ...