seek improper relief. We address each contention seriately.
A. Standard of Review
A motion to dismiss should not be granted unless it "appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claims which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99, 102, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957); see also Beam v. IPCO Corp., 838 F.2d 242, 244 (7th Cir. 1988); Ellsworth v. City of Racine, 774 F.2d 182, 184 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1047, 106 S. Ct. 1265, 89 L. E. 2d 574 (1986). We take the "well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true and view them, as well as reasonable inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Balabanos v. North Am. Inv. Group, Ltd., 708 F. Supp. 1488, 1491 n.1 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (citing Ellsworth).
B. The Chicago City Council
Whether the Chicago City Council is amenable to suit in federal court is a question governed by state law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(b); Magnuson v. Cassarella, 812 F. Supp. 824, 827 (N.D. Ill. 1992). To be sued in Illinois, a defendant must have a legal existence, either natural or artificial. Jackson v. Village of Rosemont, 180 Ill. App. 3d 932, 937-38, 536 N.E.2d 720, 723, 129 Ill. Dec. 670 (1st Dist. 1988). Of course, the Chicago City Counsel lacks a natural existence and, hence, may only be sued under the guise of specific statutory authorization. Bonilla v. City Council of the City of Chicago, 809 F. Supp. 590, 600 (N.D. Ill. 1992) (Chicago City Council not a legal entity capable of being sued within the context of a redistricting challenge). As the court in Bonilla observed, the Chicago City Council is only amenable to suit under the express provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Id. at 601 n.9. "These express exceptions, which are of relatively narrow scope and impact, merely confirm that without such enactments, direct suit is unauthorized and improper." Id. A review of Illinois law indicates that no case or statutory authority exists to support a direct action against the Chicago City Council in the present context and, as such, the motion to dismiss the Chicago City Council as a defendant is granted.
C. Race Discrimination (Count I)
As alleged in the amended complaint, only ten plaintiffs have filed charges of racial discrimination with the EEOC and have received right to sue notices. As such, defendants assert that the remaining plaintiffs who have not filed charges with the EEOC and received a right to sue notices may not pursue claims under Title VII. Additionally, defendants maintain that, since none of the ten plaintiffs who filed charges with the EEOC named either Mayor Daley or Commissioner Carr as respondents, these defendants must be dismissed from Count I of the amended complaint.
1. Non-Filing Plaintiffs
In order to successfully maintain a claim under Title VII, each plaintiff must (1) file a charge with the EEOC within the time allotted by statute, and (2) receive a right to sue letter issued by the EEOC. Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 47, 94 S. Ct. 1011, 1019, 39 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1974); Rush v. McDonald's Corp., 966 F.2d 1104, 1110 (7th Cir. 1992); Schnellbaecher v. Baskin Clothing Co., 887 F.2d 124, 129 (7th Cir. 1989). These administrative filing requirements serve a twofold purpose: (1) to notify the charged party of the alleged violation; and (2) to afford that party an opportunity to participate in conciliation and to comply voluntarily with Title VII. See Schnellbaecher 887 F.2d at 126; Eggleston v. Chicago Journeymen Plumbers' Local Union No. 130, 657 F.2d 890, 905 (7th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1017, 102 S. Ct. 1710, 72 L. Ed. 2d 134 (1982).
Plaintiffs contend that the court should waive the above filing requirements for those 52 named plaintiffs who neither filed charges with the EEOC nor received a notice of right to sue. Indeed, it is well settled that, under Title VII, "plaintiffs who have not timely filed a charge can rely on the timely charge of another plaintiff in a class action or in a multiple plaintiff joint action." See Anderson v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 852 F.2d 1008, 1017-18 (7th Cir. 1988) (emphasis in original) (collecting cases). This rule, however, presupposes that the claims of the non-filing plaintiffs arise out of a sufficiently similar discriminatory treatment as those claims brought before the EEOC, thus enabling the employer to receive adequate notice and an opportunity to participate in conciliation. See Snell v. Suffolk County, 782 F.2d 1094, 1100 (2d Cir. 1986); Jackson v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co., 678 F.2d 992, 1011 (11th Cir. 1982); Crawford v. United States Steel Corp., 660 F.2d 663, 665 (5th Cir. 1981).
In the instant case, assuming that plaintiffs are properly joined in this multiple-plaintiff, non-class action, we hold that the 52 non-filing plaintiffs may not "piggyback" onto the charges of racial discrimination filed with the EEOC. As the parties requesting waiver of the above filing requirements, plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing that the claims of the non-filing plaintiffs arise out of a sufficiently similar discriminatory treatment. Respecting these 52 individuals, the amended complaint states only their age and the department with which they are, or were previously, employed. Significantly, it does not detail the discriminatory conduct to which each individual allegedly was subjected. Rather, to fulfill their burden, plaintiffs rely upon the assertion that the City engaged in class-wide discrimination in the process of its workplace reorganization. These non-filing plaintiffs would have the court believe that they were treated similarly to those plaintiffs who exhausted their administrative remedies merely because they allegedly were subjected to racial discrimination during the period of reorganization. For similar reasons to those specified above within the context of class certification, we reject this contention. Given the personalized nature of each plaintiff's claim, we do not believe that the EEOC conciliation process would be so "wholly fruitless" as to warrant waiver of the administrative filing requirements. Cf. Snell, 782 F.2d at 1101 (concluding that additional filings before the EEOC would be "wholly fruitless" in that all of the claims arose from virtually identical circumstances); Oatis v. Crown Zellerbach Corp., 398 F.2d 496, 498 (5th Cir. 1968) ("It would be wasteful, if not in vain, for numerous employees, all with same grievance, to have to process many identical complaints with EEOC. If it is impossible to reach a settlement with one discriminatee, what reason would there be to assume that the next one would be successful."). Consequently, we dismiss all Title VII claims of racial discrimination brought by all plaintiffs who have not filed charges with the EEOC and received notices of right to sue.
2. Mayor Daley and Commissioner Carr
Ordinarily, a party not named as a respondent in an EEOC charge may not be sued in a Title VII action. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); Schnellbaecher 887 F.2d at 126; Eggleston, 657 F.2d at 905; Le Beau v. Libby-Owens-Ford Co., 484 F.2d 798, 799 (7th Cir. 1973); Pommier v. James L. Edelstein Enterprises, 816 F. Supp. 476, 480 (N.D. Ill. 1993). As is the case with the above filing requirements, naming the party as a respondent in an EEOC charge prior to bringing suit under Title VII serves a two-fold purpose: (1) to notify the charged party of the alleged violation; and (2) to afford that party an opportunity to participate in conciliation and to comply voluntarily with Title VII. See Schnellbaecher 887 F.2d at 126; Eggleston, 657 F.2d at 905; Stephenson v. CNA Fin. Corp., 775 F. Supp. 238, 239 (N.D. Ill. 1991). Nonetheless, it is not a jurisdictional prerequisite. Zipes v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 455 U.S. 385, 393, 102 S. Ct. 1127, 1132, 71 L. Ed. 2d 234 (1982); Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 469-70 (7th Cir. 1991). Rather, the requirement is comparable to a statute of limitations, and is subject to equitable modification. Perkins, 939 F.2d at 470. To be sure, courts consistently recognize an exception to the general rule where the unnamed party or parties had adequate notice of the charge, and had an opportunity to participate in conciliation. Schnellbaecher 887 F.2d at 126; Eggleston, 657 F.2d at 905; see also Feng v. Sandrik, 636 F. Supp. 77, 81 (N.D. Ill. 1986). Additionally, courts consider whether strictly holding a plaintiff to the filing requirement could deprive her of redress of any legitimate grievances. Eggleston, 657 F.2d at 907 (citing Glus v. G.C. Murphy Co., 562 F.2d 880, 888 (3d Cir. 1977)); Stephenson, 775 F. Supp. at 239; Feng, 636 F. Supp. at 81.
Conceding that neither Mayor Daley nor Commissioner Carr was named as a respondent in any of the ten EEOC charges, plaintiffs seek refuge in the Schnellbaecher exception, contending "it is axiomatic that Mayor Daley, the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Chicago, and Glenn Carr, the Commissioner of the Department of Personnel, had actual or constructive notice of the plaintiffs' charges that the defendants engaged in racial . . . discrimination when the city reorganized the work force." Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Response at 16. Assuming, as we must, that Daley and Carr were aware of a discriminatory impact stemming from the reorganization, this fact standing alone is insufficient to meet the Schnellbaecher exception. First, there is no evidence, nor even an allegation, that Mayor Daley or Commissioner Carr possessed knowledge of each individual's charge. Second, even with such knowledge of individual charges, it is clear that neither Daley nor Carr had any notice of any charges against them. See Schnellbaecher, 887 F.2d at 127 ("We agree with defendants, however, that the district court properly dismissed the suit against HSSI. Although HSSI had notice of the charges against Baskin [HSSI's subsidiary], it did not thereby have any notice of any charges against it.") (emphasis in original). Third, plaintiffs do not claim that either Daley or Carr was given the opportunity to participate in conciliation proceedings aimed at voluntary compliance. Finally, assuming they ultimately prevail in their individual claims of racial discrimination, plaintiffs may still receive the full measure of available relief against the remaining defendant, the City. Accordingly, we dismiss Mayor Daley and Commissioner Carr as defendants from Count I of plaintiffs' amended complaint.
D. Age Discrimination (Count II)
Count II of plaintiffs' first-amended complaint purports to be a representative action under the ADEA, with plaintiffs Jane Cole and Janet Moore serving as representatives. Fifty-seven named plaintiffs and 68 nonparties, all of which are 40 years of age or older, have "opted into" the representative action.
None of the opt-in plaintiffs, and presumably none of those unnamed in the amended complaint yet seeking to opt-in to this action, have filed age discrimination charges with the EEOC. In general, an individual cannot commence an ADEA civil action "until 60 days after a charge alleging unlawful discrimination has been filed with the [EEOC]," and only if the charge is filed within a certain time period. 29 U.S.C. § 626 (d). As with the prerequisites to the successful maintenance of a Title VII claim, a plaintiff is required to file an age discrimination charge with the EEOC so that defendants are adequately appraised of the nature of the charges and are afforded an opportunity to participate in voluntary conciliation proceedings. Levine v. Bryant, 700 F. Supp. 949, 954 (N.D. Ill. 1988).
Despite the charge requirement, the Seventh Circuit has held that under certain circumstances, a party who has not filed a timely charge of age discrimination with the EEOC may "piggyback" onto the suit of an individual who has filed such a charge. Anderson v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 852 F.2d 1008 (7th Cir. 1988). In Anderson, 39 former Montgomery Ward managers filed age discrimination charges with the EEOC and then later brought an ADEA suit against the retailer. Montgomery Ward moved for summary judgment against seven of the plaintiffs, alleging that their participation in the suit was barred because they filed their EEOC charges late. The Seventh Circuit held that the seven plaintiffs were not barred. The court held that an individual need not file an EEOC charge to be able to join a representative suit under the ADEA, as long as the charge that was filed contained an allegation of class-wide discrimination. This notification is necessary so that "the defendant at least be appraised during the conciliation process of the possibility of a subsequent lawsuit with many plaintiffs. Id. at 1016. The court noted that at least 23 of the timely charges contained plain allegations of class-based discrimination, and that Montgomery Ward admitted knowing that it faced a class-wide ADEA suit. Id. at 1017. "Under these facts, we can only conclude that all the purposes for ADEA's charge-filing requirement have been satisfied." Id.
Unlike the 23 charges in Anderson, the two EEOC charges filed in the instant case, those of Cole and Moore, cannot be read to give notice of a potential class-wide ADEA suit. Cole's EEOC charge states in total:
I. I was employed by the above Respondent [City of Chicago, Department of Housing] on July 11, 1979. My most recent position was Relocation Representative. I was laid off on December 31, 1991 and not given an opportunity to bump a less senior employee.
II. The Respondent offered no reason for not allowing me to bump the less senior employee.