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CLEAVES v. CITY OF CHICAGO

October 9, 1998

BYRON CLEAVES, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant.1



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BUCKLO

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 The plaintiff, Byron Cleaves, brings suit against the defendant, the City of Chicago, alleging violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 1981 and 1983. The City moves to dismiss the complaint. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

 Background

 Byron Cleaves filed a pro se complaint on February 26, 1998. *fn2" The City terminated Mr. Cleaves from his position as a probationary police officer on October 28, 1997. Mr. Cleaves claims his termination was discriminatory.

 Mr. Cleaves alleges the City told him he was being fired because he failed to notify the City of his termination from the Beloit, Wisconsin Police Department. Mr. Cleaves claims, however, that when he was hired he informed the Chicago Police Department ("CPD") of his previous termination and the circumstance surrounding that termination. Mr. Cleaves states he informed Sergeant Diane O'Sullivan that he had, in fact, reported his previous termination on an affidavit form. *fn3" Mr. Cleaves alleges this documentation "strangely" disappeared after he informed Sergeant O'Sullivan of its existence. Additionally, Mr. Cleaves claims the CPD told the Beloit Police Department that he would be fired because he had been "written up" twice, not because of his previous termination.

 Mr. Cleaves also claims he was terminated in retaliation for not supporting a sexual harassment victim. Mr. Cleaves alleges that on June 27, 1997, Sergeants O'Sullivan and Lopez came to his classroom *fn4" and informed the class they were to support a sexual harassment victim even if they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding the alleged harassment. According to Mr. Cleaves, he was then asked to speak to the Internal Affairs Department ("IAD") about the sexual harassment situation. Mr. Cleaves alleges that his statement conflicted with the victim's statement and the CPD sergeants' wishes.

 Mr. Cleaves also claims to have encountered the accused harasser. The accused harasser told Mr. Cleaves that he was going to sue the victim and the victim's witnesses. Mr. Cleaves informed the victim's witnesses of the harasser's threats. Mr. Cleaves claims that after talking to the witnesses he was improperly accused of interfering with an internal investigation.

 Mr. Cleaves finally claims he was improperly written up as being absent from duty without permission. On May 7, 1997, Mr. Cleaves informed Sergeant O'Sullivan that he would not be at work due to the death of his father-in-law. Mr. Cleaves is not married. At the time of the incident Mr. Cleaves was engaged and, in his view, married. Although Mr. Cleaves did not technically have a father-in-law, he suggests that if homosexual partners may receive the same benefits as married, heterosexual couples, then he should also have those rights even if he does not have a marriage license. Mr. Cleaves claims it was improper for him to be written up for being absent without permission and for filing a false report.

 Scope of EEOC Charge

 The City argues Mr. Cleaves' race discrimination claim was not included in his Equal Opportunity Employment Commission ("EEOC") charge. Generally, a plaintiff cannot bring claims that were not included in an EEOC charge. Cheek v. Western & S. Life Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir. 1994). "This rule serves the dual purpose of affording the EEOC and the employer an opportunity to settle the dispute through conference, conciliation, and persuasion... and of giving the employer [sic] some warning of the conduct about which the employee is aggrieved." Id. (citations omitted).

 Mr. Cleaves filed his EEOC charge on October 29, 1997. He checked the boxes for "retaliation" and "other." (10/29/97 EEOC Charge). Mr. Cleaves' charge states he participated in an internal sexual harassment investigation in July, 1997, and was terminated on October 28, 1997. The charge states that Mr. Cleaves was told he was being terminated because he: 1) failed to notify the City about his termination from the Beloit Police Department; 2) was absent from duty without authorization and filed a false report; and 3) interfered with an internal investigation. Mr. Cleaves' charge alleges these actions constitute retaliation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 The City argues Mr. Cleaves' race discrimination claims are not included in his EEOC charge because he did not check the box for "race" and did not mention race discrimination in the body of the charge. I agree. Mr. Cleaves' race discrimination claim is not reasonably related to his retaliation claim. *fn5"

 Retaliation

 To make out a claim for retaliation under Title VII, Mr. Cleaves must show that "(1) [he] engaged in statutorily protected expression; (2) [he] suffered an adverse action by [his] employer; and (3) there is a causal link between the protected expression and the adverse action." Holland v. Jefferson Nat'l Life Ins. Co., 883 F.2d 1307, 1313 ...


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