The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Harold Haupt ("Haupt") sues International Harvester Co. ("IH")
and Michael McGrath ("McGrath"), alleging:
1. IH discharged him from his job because of his
age in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621-34*fn1
2. McGrath tortiously interfered with Haupt's
employment contract with IH (Count II).
IH has moved for summary judgment on Count I, asserting two
1. Haupt did not file a timely charge with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").
2. Haupt did not file this action within the
applicable statute of limitations period.
For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order IH's
motion is granted.*fn2
Because Illinois is a "deferral state" under Section 633(b)
Haupt had 300 days "after the alleged unlawful practice occurred"
to file his charge with EEOC. Section 626(d)(2).*fn3 IH admits
(R.Mem. 3-4) Haupt filed his EEOC charge April 8, 1982.*fn4
Under Section 626(e)(1) (incorporating by reference 29 U.S.C. § 255)
Haupt had two years "after the cause of action accrued" to
commence this action — and three years if his action "ar[ose] out
of a willful violation."*fn5 Haupt filed this action November 30,
Both time clocks thus share the same beginning: when the
"unlawful practice occurred" and therefore Haupt's "cause of
action accrued." And that is the center of the present dispute.
Harvester claims it is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law
that the time clock ran out in one or both respects: that April
8, 1982 was more than 300 days, or November 30, 1982 was more
than two years, from that beginning date. Though the parties
dispute the beginning date (and though IH's own analysis of the
subject is flawed), IH's claim must ultimately prevail on the
first of those two calculations.
But Haupt tells a more complex story. In a November 12, 1980
letter to Harvester Board Chairman A.R. McCardell ("McCardell")
(written just after Haupt had been informed of his pending
layoff), Haupt reported various irregularities in his department
involving McGrath. Haupt Aff.App. A; Frestel Aff.Ex. A. Haupt
says (Aff. ¶¶ 21-41) that letter triggered a series of
communications with various IH officials in which he was told (1)
not to report to work pending IH's completion of an investigation
of McGrath, (2) to go on layoff status as of November 26, 1980
and (3) to await word from personnel officials about possible
employment openings at IH. Haupt also says (id. ¶ 42) he wrote a
January 20, 1982 letter to McCardell after those personnel
officials had been unresponsive to his various and repeated
inquiries over the intervening thirteen months. Id. App. B;
Frestel Aff. Ex. B. That 1982 letter (1) pleaded Haupt's
contribution to IH on the McGrath matter — McGrath had resigned
December 5, 1980 in the face of IH's investigation (Haupt Aff. ¶
30) — and (2) asked McCardell's aid in getting better treatment
by Harvester's personnel officials. In response to that letter a
Harvester Vice President wrote to Haupt February 11, 1982,
informing him both (1) the supplemental unemployment benefits
("SUB") following his layoff*fn7 and (2) his employment with IH
would be terminated March 1, 1982. Id. App. C. Accordingly Haupt
says (Ans. Mem. 4-5) February 11 or March 1, 1982 was the date on
which the administrative and statutory clocks started ticking —
rendering both his EEOC charge and this action timely.
Both IH and Haupt have oversimplified matters. As the party
opposing summary judgment, Haupt is entitled to reasonable
inferences in his favor from the facts submitted in support of
and opposition to the motion. Thornton v. Evans, 692 F.2d 1064,
1074-75 (7th Cir. 1982). That concept defeats IH's ...