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JOHNSON v. INDOPCO

October 21, 1993

IONA E. JOHNSON and CARMELITA R. WILKES, Plaintiffs,
v.
INDOPCO, INC., a New York corporation, d/b/a UNICHEMA NORTH AMERICA, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is the motion of defendant Indopco, Inc., d/b/a Unichema North America ("Unichema") to dismiss. For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 BACKGROUND

 This action involves two black female employees of Unichema who allege that Unichema engaged in unlawful employment practices. *fn1" Plaintiff Iona E. Johnson ("Johnson"), a current employee of Unichema, began working for Unichema on November 14, 1988 as a secretary. Johnson consistently received high job performance evaluations from her superiors. In November of 1990, Unichema reassigned Johnson to the position of executive secretary for the sales department. Johnson received high job evaluations for her performance as an executive secretary.

 On August 30, 1991, plaintiff Carmelita R. Wilkes ("Wilkes") submitted an application to Unichema for an executive secretary position. On September 23, 1991, the personnel manager, Lance Chambers ("Chambers"), offered Wilkes a receptionist/secretary position, a lower paying position than the executive secretary position. Wilkes accepted the offer and began her employment with Unichema on October 7, 1991. On or about the time Wilkes began working for Unichema, the company hired a non-black female for the vacant executive secretary position. Further, Chambers allegedly made several comments of sexual nature to Wilkes during her employment with Unichema. On February 28, 1992, Wilkes was terminated from her position as a receptionist/secretary.

 Johnson and Wilkes filed a complaint *fn3" against Unichema claiming that Unichema violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Johnson alleges that Unichema racially discriminated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"). Wilkes alleges that she was racially discriminated against and sexually harassed by Unichema in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 ("Section 1981"). *fn4"

 In response to Johnson and Wilkes' amended complaint, Unichema filed a motion pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.

 DISCUSSION

 On a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded factual allegations are taken as true. Mid America Title Co. v. Kirk, 991 F.2d 417, 419 (7th Cir. 1993); Johnson v. Martin, 943 F.2d 15, 16 (7th Cir. 1991); Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991). All reasonable inferences to be drawn from those allegations are also accepted as true. Meriwether v. Faulkner, 821 F.2d 408, 410 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 935, 98 L. Ed. 2d 269, 108 S. Ct. 311 (1987). The court must construe the pleadings liberally, and mere vagueness or lack of detail alone will not constitute sufficient grounds to dismiss a complaint. Strauss v. Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 767 (7th Cir. 1985). In the instant case, the court will separately consider and evaluate the claims made by Johnson and Wilkes.

 I. Johnson's Title VII Claim.

 Johnson alleges in the amended complaint that Unichema denied her a promotion, denied her additional training and denied her equal treatment on the basis of her race in violation of Title VII. *fn5" Unichema moves this court to dismiss her claim in its entirety. Unichema argues that this court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case and that Johnson fails to state a claim because her allegations that Unichema denied her additional training and treated her differently than non-black secretaries are outside the scope of Johnson's EEOC charge. *fn6" To support this argument, Unichema attached the EEOC charge completed by Johnson as an exhibit to Unichema's motion to dismiss. *fn7"

 A Title VII plaintiff generally cannot bring claims in a civil action that are beyond the scope of the plaintiff's EEOC charge. Taylor v. Western and S. Life Ins. Co., 966 F.2d 1188, 1194 (7th Cir. 1992). An aggrieved employee may not complain of certain acts of discrimination to the EEOC and then file an action claiming different acts of discrimination. Rush v. McDonald's Corp., 966 F.2d 1104, 1110 (7th Cir. 1992). The purpose of this rule is to afford the EEOC and the employer an opportunity to resolve the matter without resort to litigation. Id. A claim is considered to be within the scope of the EEOC charge if it is "like or reasonably related to the allegations of the [EEOC] charge and growing out of such allegations." Jenkins v. Blue Cross Mutual Hosp. Ins., Inc., 538 F.2d 164, 167 (7th Cir.) (en banc), cert. ...


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