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CZARNOWSKI v. DESOTO

July 29, 1981

GREGORY I. CZARNOWSKI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DESOTO, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Flaum, District Judge:

  MEMORANDUM OPINION

This cause of action arises out of a claim by plaintiff based upon title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3 (1978) ("title VII"). Plaintiff contends that defendant retaliated against plaintiff in violation of section 2000e-3 by giving an unfavorable and untrue reference to prospective employers, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ("Commonwealth") and Congoleum Corporation ("Congoleum"), and by stating to Congoleum that plaintiff had filed a charge against defendant with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").*fn1 Defendant contends that any reference or comments to prospective employers of plaintiff were accurate responses based upon plaintiff's performance as an employee of defendant and were not in retaliation for plaintiff's filing of a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The court concludes that plaintiff has failed to establish that defendant retaliated against plaintiff in violation of title VII regarding plaintiff's application for employment with Commonwealth. The court also concludes that plaintiff has failed to establish that defendant retaliated against plaintiff in violation of title VII as to defendant's statement to Congoleum regarding plaintiff's reason for leaving defendant's employ. The court further concludes that plaintiff has established that defendant retaliated against plaintiff in violation of title VII regarding defendant's statement to Congoleum that plaintiff had filed an EEOC charge. Accordingly, the court enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1.  Plaintiff is a citizen of the United States who resides
in Chicago, Illinois.
2.  Defendant is a corporation with an office located at
1700 Mt. Prospect Road, Des Plaines, Illinois, who employs
more than fifteen persons in the business of manufacturing and
distributing paint and other wall coverings in interstate
commerce.
3.  Plaintiff was employed by defendant from August 17, 1970
to August 15, 1973.
4.  During the period relevant to this cause of action,
defendant was an employer engaged in an industry affecting
commerce within the meaning of title VII. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b),
(g), and (h) (1978).
5.  Defendant hired plaintiff as a salesman in defendant's
"wall covering division" on August 17, 1970.
6.  On or about February 1, 1973, defendant transferred
plaintiff to defendant's "chemical coatings division" as a
field merchandise representative under the supervision of John
Nitz ("Nitz"), manager of the field merchandise group. The
field merchandise group trains the paint department personnel
of Sears, Roebuck, and Company.
7.  On or about August 2, 1973, Nitz asked plaintiff to
leave, stating that plaintiff was too aggressive and that Nitz
had not seen any improvement in plaintiff's performance as a
field merchandise representative.
8.  On August 10, 1973, Nitz wrote a letter to plaintiff as
a follow-up to their conversation on August 2, 1973. Nitz
stated in the letter that the letter was formal notice of
plaintiff's termination on or about September 2, 1973. The
letter also states that, if the plaintiff so wished, defendant
would provide plaintiff with a letter of recommendation and
would assist plaintiff in producing a resume.
9.  On August 14, 1973, plaintiff met with defendant's
personnel supervisor, Diana Parks, for an exit interview.
Plaintiff signed an "exit interview form" which stated that
plaintiff's resignation was "due to lack of mutual
understanding of position objectives and functions."

10. On August 15, 1973, plaintiff met with defendant's merchandise director, Stevenson Mountsier ("Mountsier"). Plaintiff requested the meeting to inform Mountsier of the nature of plaintiff's leaving the employ of defendant and to advise Mountsier of the status of the field merchandise group.

11. At the time that plaintiff left defendant's employ, plaintiff was receiving an annual salary of $13,560 from defendant, plus other benefits including pension and ...


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