against any Rockwell facility other than its Centralia facility. This case arose from twelve individual charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC by applicants who unsuccessfully sought employment at Rockwell's Centralia facility. Rockwell asserts that because the EEOC did not investigate the possibility of discrimination at Rockwell facilities other than Centralia, there is no basis in law or logic for the EEOC to expand its original investigation and findings regarding Rockwell's Centralia facility to a lawsuit encompassing all Rockwell facilities.
When read carefully, Equal Employment Opportunity Com'n v. Am. Nat. Bank, 652 F.2d 1176, 1185 (4th Cir. 1981), cert. den. 459 U.S. 923, 74 L. Ed. 2d 186, 103 S. Ct. 235, a case relied on by Rockwell, is on point and directly contradicts Rockwell's argument. In Am. Nat. Bank, the EEOC sought to include two branches of the defendant bank in its complaint, although the EEOC determination letter found reasonable cause at only one branch. The district court concluded that the charges relating to the second branch involved "new discrimination" that could not be made part of the suit. The Fourth Circuit reversed, stating that the question was not whether the court had jurisdiction over "new" charges of discrimination brought for the first time by the EEOC in its civil complaint, but whether the court had jurisdiction over the same charges of discrimination against a single defendant, expanded to include the same practices at all its branch offices. 652 F.2d at 1185.
The court held that, "jurisdiction to all branches of [the defendant] was proper in this case because there was, through the EEOC's investigation and attempted conciliation with regard to [one branch], adequate notice to the defendant of the practices under investigation and ample opportunity for conciliation concerning those practices." Id. The court went on to note that had conciliation been successful, whatever changes that would have been instituted at the one branch "would no doubt logically and necessarily have been made at [the other] branches as well."
In the instant case, defendant operates facilities nationwide. Counsel for defendant, who is representing defendant nationwide, was given notice of the EEOC's allegations concerning the alleged illegal practices and the EEOC's wish to reconcile this issue at all facilities and plants where the alleged discriminatory tests were or are used.
The reason for requiring that a particular charge of discrimination be the subject of the reasonable cause determination and conciliation is to notify the employer that practices related to these charges are suspect and allow the employer an opportunity to remedy the problem out of court. Am. Nat. Bank, 652 F.2d at 1186.
The court finds that Rockwell was given sufficient pre-litigation notice of the specific tests and practices complained of in the amended complaint and the EEOC's objection to such practices at any facility or plant in which Rockwell uses those tests. The court's decision is further supported by the standard adopted in another case cited by Rockwell, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., 373 F. Supp. 1321, 1335 (D.C. Del. 1974), aff'd, 516 F.2d 1297 (3rd Cir. 1975). In Dupont, the court adopted the Fifth Circuit's standard that the allowable scope of an individual lawsuit is not defined by the allegations in the original charge, "but rather by the scope of the EEOC investigation which can reasonably be expected to grow out of that charge." Id., citing, Sanchez v. Standard Brands, 431 F.2d 455, 466 (5th Cir. 1970).
The Dupont court reasoned that this standard is supported by a number of considerations, one of which is that, "to mandate blinders for Commission investigators or to require that they pursue any additional discrimination disclosed by their investigation in a separate Commission's charge would be to sanction a waste of valuable and limited resources." Id. As stated above, if this court determines that the specific type of testing complained of is discriminatory, requiring plaintiff to institute separate charges for each of Rockwell's locations would be a waste of time and resources.
Applying the reasoning of Am. Nat. Bank and Dupont, therefore, the court finds that it has jurisdiction over the EEOC's claims with respect to facilities other than Rockwell's Centralia, Illinois facility and denies Rockwell's motion to dismiss in part the amended complaint.
ENTER: April 10, 1996
Robert W. Gettleman
United States District Judge