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Boyd v. Madison County Mutual Insurance Co.

decided: July 13, 1981.

HAROLD C. BOYD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MADISON COUNTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT .



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Alton Division. No. 76-C-14, William L. Beatty, Judge .

Before Fairchild, Chief Judge, and Swygert and Sprecher, Circuit judges.

Author: Per Curiam

This is an appeal from the district court's order granting judgment in plaintiff's favor on his claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). The issues presented in this appeal are: (1) did the trial court err in failing to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to meet the 180-day filing requirement, (2) did the trial court err in finding that plaintiff made out a prima facie case of discrimination, and (3) did the trial court err in finding that defendant had not met its burden of showing a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for offering its attendance bonus only to some of its employees. We reverse the decision of the district court because we find that defendant successfully rebutted plaintiff's prima facie case of discrimination in compensation based on sex.

I

Plaintiff was employed by Madison County Mutual Insurance Company as claims superintendent from May 1, 1970 to April 25, 1974. He was one of four supervisory or management personnel, all of whom were men. Madison County also employed claims adjustors; during 1973 and 1974, all of these positions were filled by men. Both the management personnel and the claims adjustors were considered "professional" employees by Madison County. Defendant classified the rest of its employees as "clerical"; during the years in question, all clerical employees were women.

In December 1972, defendant's board of directors adopted the following policy, to become effective January 2, 1973:

Employees with excellent attendance records will be rewarded. To accomplish this all employees will earn and accrue bonus pay as follows:

Those employees who have completed their first year of employment will accrue three bonus pay days during their second year of employment.

Time taken off from work for any reason will be charged against the accrued bonus pay.

If any employee is away from work for a period in excess of the employee's accrued bonus pay days the Company will make the determination as to whether the employee's monthly pay should be reduced for excessive time away from work.

The evidence adduced at trial established that defendant paid attendance bonuses only to clerical employees, that attendance records were kept only for clerical employees,*fn1 that the highest paid clerical employee earned $600 a month, and that plaintiff earned $1,300 a month. After plaintiff's complaint was investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), defendant's board of directors amended the bonus policy by specifying that it applied only to clerical employees. Clinton Rogier, defendant's secretary-treasurer and general manager, testified that this amendment reflected the board's intent when it originally adopted the policy. He further testified that the purpose of the policy was to reduce absenteeism among clerical employees, and that when the policy was adopted there was no absenteeism problem with the adjustors.

Plaintiff filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that defendant discriminated against him on the basis of his sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a),*fn2 when it made all female employees but no male employees eligible for attendance bonuses. The EEOC investigated, then issued a right-to-sue letter on November 11, 1975. Plaintiff filed his complaint in the district court on February 11, 1976; after a bench trial, the district judge entered judgment for plaintiff on May 8, 1980. This appeal followed.

II

Section 706(e) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e), ...


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