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Divakaran D. Anbudaiyan v. State of Illinois Department

June 29, 2012

DIVAKARAN D. ANBUDAIYAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Matthew F. Kennelly, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Divakaran D. Anbudaiyan has sued his former employer, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2 & 2000e-3, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 623. The Department has moved to dismiss Mr. Anbudaiyan's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion in part and denies it in part.

Background

The facts are taken from Mr. Anbudaiyan's amended complaint. Mr. Anbudaiyan is 62 years old and of Indian descent. He began working for the State of Illinois in 1989 at the Dwight Correctional Center. In 2000, Mr. Anbudaiyan began working for the Department as a Level I Financial Institutions Examiner in the Credit Union Section, and he was later promoted to the position of Level II Examiner. In 2004, Mr. Anbudaiyan received another promotion and was transferred to the Department of Human Services. In this capacity, he worked at the Elgin Mental Health Center.

In 2006, Mr. Anbudaiyan transferred back to the Department and took a voluntary seniority reduction back to a Level I Examiner position. In August 2007, Mr. Anbudaiyan accepted a promotion to a Level III Examiner in the Credit Union Division. His new job required him to work in Greenville, Illinois and to move to Bond County.

Mr. Anbudaiyan alleges after he started working in Greenville, he began experiencing harassment from his superiors. Keith Errett, the Credit Union Division's acting assistant supervisor, told the Division's human resources director, Richard Foxman, that Mr. Anbudaiyan had no plans to move to Bond County even though his new position required him to do so. Mr. Foxman initiated an investigation of Mr. Anbudaiyan in October 2007 but ended the investigation when Mr. Anbudaiyan proved that Mr. Errett's claim was false. Mr. Anbudaiyan states he endured five more months of harassment from his superiors as the result of travel expenses related to his commute to and from Greenville.

In July 2008, Mr. Anbudaiyan returned to a Level I Examiner position in the Department's Mortgage Banking Division. Earlier in 2008, Mr. Anbudaiyan had applied for the position of acting assistant supervisor of the Credit Union Division. He did not get the promotion despite the fact that he was one of the eligible staff members who were supposed to receive the position on a rotational basis. The apparent reason was that the Department's collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, of which Mr. Anbudaiyan is a member, had been modified to provide that the person holding the acting assistant supervisor position was allowed to keep it for a longer period of time.

The person who continued to hold the position was Caucasian.

In June 2010, Mr. Anbudaiyan applied for a promotion to Level III Bank Examiner. He was passed over for the promotion, which went to a younger, African-American woman. After he did not get certain other promotions, and after allegedly being investigated when he applied for promotions, Mr. Anbudaiyan filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on December 2, 2010. The charge stated, "I believe I have been discriminated against because of my race, Asian, national origin, Indian, and retaliated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. I also believe I have been discriminated against because of my age 62 (date of birth: February 5, 1949), in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended." Am. Compl., Ex. A. The boxes indicating discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, retaliation, and age were checked. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter on September 15, 2011.

In his amended complaint, Mr. Anbudaiyan claims to have "suffered an adverse employment action, specifically, the repeated refusal to honor his earned and contractual promotions from 2008 through 2010, for which the Department is responsible." Am. Compl. ¶ 25. The amended complaint includes claims of race discrimination in violation of Title VII, national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII, retaliation in violation of Title VII, age discrimination in violation of the ADEA, and breach of contract.

The Department has moved to dismiss Mr. Anbudaiyan's complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). It argues as follows:

1) Mr. Anbudaiyan's claims under Title VII and the ADEA are barred to the extent they involve matters that occurred more than 300 days before he filed his EEOC charge;

2) Mr. Anbudaiyan's allegations regarding harassment in August 2007 should be stricken because they have no bearing on the present claims;

3) Mr. Anbudaiyan's retaliation claim fails because any protected activity he alleges occurred after the ...


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