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PANKALLA v. UNITED STATES DOT

November 30, 1994

BONNIE C. PANKALLA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE HONORABLE FEDERICO PENA, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION, and the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Plaintiff Bonnie C. Pankalla brings this one count complaint, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Presently before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss certain claims of the complaint and to dismiss defendants Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion is granted.

 I. Background

 Plaintiff Bonnie C. Pankalla began her career with the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") in 1976. She received various promotions over the years, and had reached the position of Manager of the FAA's Los Angeles Flight Standards District Office by early 1990. At that time, she interviewed for the position of Division Manager, Senior Executive Services ("SES"), but was not selected. *fn1" Later in 1990, Pankalla applied for the Assistant Division Manager position in the Western-Pacific Division, but was again not selected. She was then offered the position of Assistant Division Manager in the Great Lakes Division, which she accepted in early 1991. Later that year, Pankalla submitted a bid for the FAA's SES Candidate Development Program. Following an interview, she was dropped from the selection process. In the spring of 1991, Pankalla submitted her name to the Great Lakes Division Manager to be placed on the union contract negotiation team, but was not selected for a spot on the team. Finally, in 1992, she again applied for the SES Candidate Development Program, but was again turned down. With respect to the Western-Pacific position, the union negotiating team, and the most recent effort to enter the SES Candidate Development Program, Pankalla alleges that male applicants were accepted instead of her. *fn2" On January 19, 1993, Pankalla filed a complaint of discrimination with the Department of Transportation's Office of Civil Rights. The present action was filed on January 26, 1994.

 II. Motion to Dismiss Standard

 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, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (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, 89 L. Ed. 2d 574, 106 S. Ct. 1265 (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).

 III Discussion

 A. Statute of Limitations and the "Continuing Violation" Theory

 A federal employee seeking relief under Title VII must meet the various time limits set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16 and the regulations promulgated thereto. Rennie v. Garrett, 896 F.2d 1057, 1059 (7th Cir. 1990). For purposes of this motion, the relevant regulation is 29 C.F.R. § 1613.214(a)(1)(i), which states as follows:

 
(1) The agency shall require that a complaint be submitted in writing by the complainant or representative and be signed by the complainant. The complaint may be delivered in person or by mail. The agency may accept the complaint for processing in accordance with this subpart only if:
 
(i) The complainant brought to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor the matter causing him/her to believe he/she had been discriminated against within 30 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory event, the effective date of an alleged discriminatory personnel action, or the date that the aggrieved person knew or reasonably should have known of the discriminatory event or personnel action. . . .

 The Seventh Circuit has ruled that the thirty day time limit set forth in this regulation is to be treated as a statute of limitations. Rennie 896 F.2d 1057 at 1062. Accordingly, absent some basis for tolling the above statute of limitations, Pankalla may only sue upon those actions which took place within thirty days before her initial contact with the DOT's Office of Civil Rights, on January 19, 1993.


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