In general, a Title VII plaintiff may not include in a judicial
complaint any claims not included in her EEOC charge. McKenzie
v. Illinois Dep't of Transp., 92 F.3d 473, 481 (7th Cir. 1996)
(citing Cheek v. Western & Southern Life Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 497,
500 (7th Cir. 1994)). The rule is designed (in part) to give the
EEOC and the employer an opportunity to settle the dispute
through conference, conciliation, and persuasion before the
claimant turns to the courts. Id. at 481-82; Babrocky v. Jewel
Food Co., 773 F.2d 857, 863 (7th Cir. 1985) (citation omitted).
In the instant case, the (July 1, 1994) EEOC charge that is the
basis of Mr. Lamas' complaint alleges only retaliation, not race
discrimination. Count I is therefore beyond the scope of Mr.
Lamas' EEOC charge and fails to state a claim.
Nevertheless, Mr. Lamas contends his retaliation charge
supports Count I because it refers to his earlier charge of
national origin discrimination.*fn1 He argues that Count I's
claim of race discrimination thus is like or reasonably related
to the EEOC retaliation charge and grows out of it, and therefore
falls within the scope of that charge. See Jenkins v. Blue Cross
Mut. Hosp. Ins., Inc., 538 F.2d 164, 167 (7th Cir. 1976).
However, retaliation and discrimination are unrelated as a matter
of law, O'Rourke v. Continental Cas. Co., 983 F.2d 94, 97 (7th
Cir. 1993); Nair v. Bank of America Ill., 991 F. Supp. 940, 955
(N.D.Ill. 1997), and an administrative charge of one generally
cannot support a civil suit for the other, see Noreuil v.
Peabody Coal Co., 96 F.3d 254, 258 (7th Cir. 1996) (citations
omitted). The gist of a retaliation claim is that the employer
lashed out against an employee for exercising a right (here, the
filing of discrimination charges), not out of animosity for his
race or national origin. Nair, 991 F. Supp. at 954.
Mr. Lamas' second EEOC charge clearly alleges retaliation, not
national origin or race discrimination. In the section where he
indicated the nature of his grievance, he checked only the box
labeled "retaliation" and left blank the other boxes, including
those labeled "race" and "national origin." Further, in the space
labeled "date discrimination took place" he listed June 24, 1994,
the date of his discharge. Moreover, in the narrative section he
specifically alleges retaliation in violation of Title VII. Mr.
Lamas does mention his earlier national origin charge, but
apparently only to show Freeman's motivation for allegedly
retaliating against him. Finally, there are no factual
allegations from which a claim of national origin or race
discrimination could be inferred. See Nair, 991 F. Supp. at 954.
Count I of Mr. Lamas' complaint falls outside the scope of his
EEOC charge and thus fails to state a claim. Accordingly,
Freeman's motion to dismiss Count I is granted.