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HAMILTON v. EVANS

June 17, 2004.

CARL HAMILTON, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY EVANS, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois; Veronica S. Ballard, Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation, Tom Quinn, Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Shelby Richardson, Union Steward, Local 3486, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Oscar Garza, Supervisory Adult Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation Department; Lavonne Haywood, Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOAN H. LEFKOW, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Pro se plaintiff, Carl Hamilton ("Hamilton"), has filed this law suit against a variety of defendants alleging (1) constitutional violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; (3) violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and (4) what he refers to as a violation of the "Federal Whistleblowers Act." Before the court are separate motions to dismiss filed by two groups of defendants. The court will refer to one group as the "County defendants." This includes Timothy Evans, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois; Veronica S. Ballard, Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation; Tom Quinn, Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation; Oscar Garza, Supervisory Adult Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation Department; and Lavonne Haywood, Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Cook County Adult Probation. The second group of defendants, which includes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Shelby Richardson, Union Steward, Local 3486, will be referred to as the "Union defendants." For the reasons set forth below, the County defendants' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part and the Union defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.

MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARDS

  A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. General Elec. Capital Corp. v. Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074, 1080 (7th Cir. 1997). Dismissal is appropriate only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no facts in support of its claim that would entitle it to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); Kennedy v. Nat'l Juvenile Det. Assoc., 187 F.3d 690, 695 (7th Cir. 1999). In ruling on the motion, the court accepts as true all well pleaded facts alleged in the complaint, and it draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor. Dixon v. Page, 291 F.3d 485, 486 (7th Cir. 2002); Jackson v. E.J. Brach Corp., 176 F.3d 971, 977 (7th Cir. 1999).

  ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

  Liberally construed, Hamilton's pro se Complaint alleges that on June 11, 2002, he was appointed to the position of full-time adult probation officer. (Compl. ¶ 15.) Hamilton, who is African-American, alleges that during his six-week training program he was tardy on a few occasions and received a verbal reprimand (Compl. ¶ 16.) In contrast to his treatment, Hamilton maintains that another newly appointed officer who was white arrived "three-weeks late" for the training. (Id.) This white officer was also "assigned persons already employed by the agency and already familiar with the policies and procedures of the agency to assist him (tutor) in exam preparation and in some instances . . . was not required to take exams. . . ." Hamilton states that black officers "were given class-room lectures on the department['s] policies and procedures" and "were reminded that if . . . a score of 70% was not reached termination was imminent." Hamilton also alleges that another officer told him that a training specialist, who is not named as a defendant, "had referred to the plaintiff and two other African American classmates as being dumb and arrogant." (Compl. ¶ 18.)

  Hamilton further alleges that near the end of the six-week training program, white officers were given their choice of assignments that were viewed as less dangerous and that nonwhite officers were receiving assignments at the Walnut street location, which, according to Hamilton, is a "location that is known for its mistreatment of African American employees." (Compl. ¶ 20.)

  After beginning work, Hamilton complains of treatment "that was not consistent with that of non-African American employees serving in similar capacities." (Compl. ¶ 22.) By way of example, Hamilton notes that he was confronted regularly concerning his lunch breaks and time sheet procedures while white officers "went to the area gym to work out and play basketball for two to three hours daily." (Id.) White officers were also allegedly given access to County-owned automobiles. (Id.) After complaining of such treatment, Hamilton maintains that he was told "you have to learn that you can't do what white persons do." (Compl. ¶ 23.) On January 17, 2003, Hamilton alleges that he informed his supervisor, defendant Oscar Garza, that he became ill during lunch and that he was requesting a half day off on sick leave. (Compl. ¶ 24.) Hamilton states that while the request was initially approved, Garza later confronted Hamilton about not being at work. (Id.) Garza then began screaming and yelling at Hamilton. (Compl. ¶ 25.)

  According to Hamilton, on January 24, 2003, he was brought to the office of defendant Lavonne Haywood, the Deputy Chief Probation Officer, for a disciplinary hearing. (Compl. ¶ 26.) He requested that his own personal attorney assist him, but his Union representative preferred that Hamilton's attorney not attend. (Id.) During the meeting Hamilton was presented with a document stating that his six month probationary period was extended. Hamilton states that he signed the document "under duress." (Compl. ¶ 28.) This, according to Hamilton, "gave the agency the needed time to charge Mr. Hamilton with a count of insubordination and ultimate[ly] terminate him without adequate representation from the labor union due to his uncertain status as an at will employee." (Id.)

  DISCUSSION

  A. Title VII Claims

  Hamilton brings Title VII claims against both the County and Union defendants. There is no indication in Hamilton's Complaint, however, that he ever filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Nor does Hamilton state that such a charge was filed in response to the defendants' arguments on this ground. "It is well-established that before filing a lawsuit under Title VII, a plaintiff must (1) timely file a charge with the EEOC, and (2) receive a right to sue letter from the EEOC." Zugay v. Progressive Care, Inc., 180 F.3d 901, 902 (7th Cir. 1999) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(b), (e), and (f) and Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 47 (1974)). Because there is no indication that Hamilton ever filed such a charge, his Title VII claims are dismissed without prejudice.

  B. 42 U.S.C. § ...


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