Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
THOMAS v. ROHNER-GEHRIG & CO.
March 14, 1984
MICHAEL D. THOMAS, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
ROHNER-GEHRIG & CO., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Grady, District Judge.
This is an employment discrimination class action*fn1 brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 1982 and 1985, and Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title
VII"). The matter is now before the court on defendants' motion
to dismiss the complaint or for summary judgment, Fed.R.Civ.P.
Plaintiffs are former employees of the corporate defendants,
Rohner-Gehrig & Co., Inc. ("Rohner") and Panalpina Air Freight,
Inc. ("Panalpina").*fn2 Panalpina was, until late 1982, a
subsidiary of Rohner. Both corporations were engaged in the
business of international freight forwarding, and apparently were
Swiss-owned and incorporated in New York.*fn3 The ownership and
structure of the corporations were identical. Affid. of H.D.
Seidel, ¶ 2. According to plaintiffs, most or all of the
corporate officers were Swiss or German.
In 1982 and 1983, defendants discharged several individuals,
including the named plaintiffs. According to the complaint, the
discharged individuals were all born in the United States, and
were all replaced by individuals born in Switzerland or Germany.
Plaintiffs assert that they were discharged because they were
born in the United States rather than in Switzerland or Germany,
and that the discharges therefore violated various
anti-discrimination statutes. We will address the statutes
42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 1982
Plaintiffs first claim that the discharges violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981
§ 1981. Equal rights under the law
All persons within the jurisdiction of the United
States shall have the same right in every State and
Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be
parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal
benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security
of persons and property as is enjoyed by white
citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment,
pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of
every kind, and to no other.
§ 1982. Property rights of citizens
All citizens of the United States shall have the
same right, in every State and Territory, as is
enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit,
purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and
Defendants argue that plaintiffs' claims under the above sections
do not state a cause of action on which relief can be granted.
Defendants state that §§ 1981 and 1982 apply solely to claims of
racial discrimination, and do not ...
Buy This Entire Record For