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Motorola Inc. v. McLain

decided: September 10, 1973.


Fairchild and Sprecher, Circuit Judges, and Reynolds, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Sprecher

SPRECHER, Circuit Judge.

These two appeals require us to delineate the scope of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's investigatory powers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In No. 72-1748 (the Taggart case), Lillian Taggart filed a charge on February 2, 1970, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pursuant to Section 706(a) of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000e -- 5(a) (1971)), alleging that petitioner, Motorola, Inc., had discriminated against her "because of [her] race (Negro)."

Ms. Taggart's affidavit alleged that she commenced employment at petitioner's Communications Plant, 4545 West Augusta Boulevard, Chicago, as an assembler on April 27, 1964, and worked as productivity clerk from 1966 to 1967 and as an inspector, tester, analyzer and repairer from 1967 to September 24, 1970, the date the affidavit was executed; that in April, 1969, she was told by Assistant Foreman, Chuck Mortell, to prepare herself to fill a supervisory vacancy by learning more about testing equipment and analyzing procedure inasmuch as her supervisor, Leslie Chapman, was transferring to another department and Mortell expected that she would fill that vacancy; that about 18 days later Chapman informed her that his vacancy was to be filled by a white, male, newlyhired employee, Tom Donley; that when she complained to Mortell, he said that Donley wasn't filling the vacancy but "was merely learning the operation" and if he did not work out, she would replace him; that she complained to Dick Brennan in the personnel department, who said he would look into the matter and about one month later told her Donley was a technician, not a supervisor; that in October, 1969, Mortell told her that Donley was her supervisor; that she was then in the highest classification in her department section and the next step would be group leader, key operator or supervisor; that Donley was frequently absent and was discharged in January, 1970, for poor attendance; that Jim Rich, a supervisor from another department, took over until March 23, 1970, when he was replaced by Stanley Swarek, who was transferred from another department where he had been supervisor; that her complaints to the petitioner went unanswered; that no equal employment posters were on the petitioner's bulletin boards; that in 1969 there were 10 black employees in her department and at present there were two; and that the petitioner suggested that she take a technician's test, but she protested that no white supervisors were required to take this test.

In No. 72-1749 (the Shannon case), Christine Shannon filed a charge on February 4, 1970, with EEOC, alleging in connection with her employment at petitioner's Augusta Boulevard plant, the following:

"I was attacked by the Company Guard (white) while entering the plant to work. After a witness came forward and told what she saw, the Company asked me to forget it and told me that the guard would be stationed somewhere where I would not see him. I was told that if anything else happens, I will be transferred from my department, after being there for one year. I do not want to transfer departments, but I am afraid that if I don't accept, I may be fired. I work in a department consisting of approximately 25 whites where I am the only black, and I do the hardest job in the department. Everyone in there has at least 10 years of experience. I have 3 years with the Company, and I have the highest production rate in the department. Also, I believe the company maintains segregated seniority lines."

In accordance with Section 706(b) of Title VII (42 U.S.C. 2000e -- 5(b)), requiring charging parties to exhaust their remedies before state fair employment practices commissions, EEOC deferred the two charges until receiving notification on February 26, 1970, that Lillian Taggart's charge, and on March 30, 1970, that Christine Shannon's charge had been dismissed by the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Commission. The charges were considered filed with EEOC upon termination of state proceedings and upon receipt by EEOC of notification thereof pursuant to Section 1601.12(b)(IV) of EEOC Procedural Regulations (29 C.F.R. § 1601.12b(4) (1973)).

On September 29, 1970, an investigator from EEOC's Chicago office attempted to serve both charges on the petitioner, whose representatives on advice of counsel refused to receive service and refused to produce requested documents and information.

On May 5, 1971, EEOC served petitioner with a Demand for Access to Evidence in both cases. On May 17, petitioner filed two separate actions in the district court pursuant to Section 710(c) of Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e -- 9(c)) praying for modification of the demand as to certain of its requirements.

On June 14, 1972, the district court, upon appeal from a magistrate who heard arguments by counsel for petitioner and EEOC, ordered in the Taggart case that the petitioner need not comply with the Demand and neither produce nor grant access to:

1. The most recent E.E.O.-1 form regarding the makeup of the work force in the plant located at 9401 West Grand Avenue, Franklin Park, Illinois.

2. All records and personnel relating to Charge No. TCHO 0794 [the Taggart charge].

3. The complete personnel records maintained by Motorola, Inc. for the following:

(A) Thomas Donnelly;

(B) Les Chapman;

(C) James Rich; and

(D) Stanley Swarek (phonetic ...

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