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ANDERSON v. CITY OF CHICAGO

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


April 22, 2003

ANDERSON
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO

The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Zagel, District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff Norris Anderson is a former police officer for the City of Chicago Police Department who was terminated from his employment with the City in or about August 1999. Anderson appealed the termination to the Police Board, which upheld the termination decision. He then sought administrative review of the Board's decision in the Circuit Court of Cook County. On May 12, 2000, the court overturned the police board decision and ordered Anderson to be reinstated. The City appealed the Circuit Court's decision to the Illinois Appellate Court, which reversed the Circuit Court on July 20, 2001.

On April 15, 2002, Anderson filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging discrimination based on race when his employment was terminated. In that charge, Anderson claimed he was "advised" by the City of his discharge on or about August 2, 2000, and was reinstated on August 28, 2000. He further claimed that he was reinstated until the appellate court ruled and was "again discharged" on or about February 7, 2002. The EEOC dismissed Anderson's charge because it was filed outside the time limit prescribed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He then filed this complaint alleging discrimination based on race in violation of Title VII and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically, Anderson alleged that he was subject to different terms and conditions of employment and terminated based on race and that defendant "acted willfully and maliciously with the intent to injure" him. The City moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which I granted on January 23, 2003 because Anderson's complaint failed to state a claim that entitled him to relief. Anderson has now moved for reconsideration of this decision.

Here, both of Anderson's claims are time-barred. Regarding his Title VII claim, Anderson was terminated from his employment in or about August 1999, but he did not file a charge with the EEOC until April 15, 2002. Failure to file a charge within 300 days of an alleged discriminatory act renders the charge (and a subsequent claim) untimely. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e); Koelsch v. Beltone Electronics Corp., 46 F.3d 705, 707 (7th Cir. 1995). This 300-day limitation period begins to run from the date the employee is notified of the adverse employment action. Stark v. Dynascan Corp., 902 F.2d 549, 551 (7th Cir. 1990). Here, Anderson filed his EEOC charge more than two years after the City notified him of his termination. Neither the Police Board's review of the City's termination decision, nor the Cook County Circuit or Illinois Appellate Court's review process tolled Title VII's state of limitations. "The pendency of a grievance, or some other method of collateral review of an employment decision, does not toll the running of the limitations period." Rogers v. Metro Water Reclamation Dist., No 01 C 2271, 2001 WL 1835161, *1 (N.D.Ill. Dec. 17, 2001). Anderson argues that because of his court-ordered reinstatement, he did not become injured until his "final termination" on February 7, 2002. However, this court-ordered reinstatement is part of a review method that does not toll the running of the limitations period. Accordingly, Anderson's Title VII claim is untimely and is dismissed with prejudice.

Regarding his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, the alleged injury in this case arose when Anderson was terminated in or about August 1999, but he did not file his complaint until July 23, 2002. Accordingly, because this alleged claim arose more than one year prior to the filing of his complaint, that claim is barred by the one-year statute of limitations applicable to governmental entities under the Tort Immunity Act. 745 ILCS 10/8-101; see Zupan v. Sheahan, No. 95 C 1302, 1996 WL 674021 (N.D.Ill. Nov. 19, 1996). Accordingly, this claim is also dismissed with prejudice.

For the reasons above, Anderson's Motion to Reconsider Order of January 23, 2003 is DENIED.

20030422

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