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Griffin v. Evanston/Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 3, 2013

DEMETRICE D. GRIFFIN, Plaintiff,
v.
EVANSTON/SKOKIE COMMUNITY CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT 65, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GARY FEINERMAN, District Judge.

In her original complaint, Demetrice D. Griffin alleged that her employer, Evanston/Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65, and two of its officials discriminated against her based on her disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., her national origin, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and her sex, in violation of Title VII, by failing to reinstate her to her position as a crisis intervention teacher after she returned from a leave of absence. Doc. 1. On Defendants' motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court dismissed all claims against the individual defendants as well as the ADA and national origin claims against the District. Doc. 21. Griffin's second amended complaint, which names only the District as a defendant, alleges sex discrimination under Title VII and race discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. Doc. 35 at ¶¶ 9-11. The District has moved under Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss the sex discrimination claim. Doc. 37. The motion is granted.

Background

In considering the District's motion, the court assumes the truth of the second amended complaint's factual allegations, though not its legal conclusions. See Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 632 (7th Cir. 2012). The court must also consider "documents attached to the [second amended] complaint, documents that are critical to the [second amended] complaint and referred to in it, and information that is subject to proper judicial notice, " along with additional facts set forth in Griffin's brief opposing dismissal, so long as those facts "are consistent with the pleadings." Geinosky v. City of Chicago, 675 F.3d 743, 745 n.1 (7th Cir. 2012). The following facts are set forth as favorably to Griffin as these materials allow. See Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 864 (7th Cir. 2012).

Griffin, an African-American female, was employed by the District as a crisis intervention teacher at Rice Children's Center. Doc. 35 at ¶ 3. After she took a leave of absence "due to sickness, " the District "failed to restore" her to that position. Id. at ¶¶ 15-17. Instead, Griffin worked as a classroom teacher at other schools in the District, earning a salary lower than the salary she had earned as a crisis intervention teacher. Id. at ¶¶ 3, 18. Griffin did not receive any promotions, and nor was she hired for positions in which she was interested. Id. at ¶¶ 13-14. Rice Children's Center has a 95% African-American student population and does not employ any African-American teachers. Id. at ¶ 22.

The District treated "similarly-situated males and members of other ethnic groups" more favorably than Griffin, going "so far as to hire males and members of other ethnic groups for positions which [the District] knew [Griffin] was interested in without so much as publishing the job opening and allowing all District employees to fairly and openly compete for the positions." Id. at ¶¶ 19-20. The District filled at least two positions comparable to that of a crisis intervention teacher without publicizing those openings. Id. at ¶ 21.

On August 28, 2012, Griffin filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") a charge of discrimination against the District. Id. at ¶ 6. The second amended complaint references the EEOC charge and alleges that "a copy... is contained in the files of this case." Id. at ¶¶ 6-7. That allegation is incorrect, as a copy of Griffin's EEOC charge had not been filed in this case at the time she filed the second amended complaint. The District's motion to dismiss does attach a copy of the EEOC charge, Doc. 39-1 at 5, and the court will consider the charge here because it is referenced in Griffin's second amended complaint and central to her claim, and also because it is subject to judicial notice. See Rosenblum v. Travelbyus.com Ltd., 299 F.3d 657, 661 (7th Cir. 2002) (holding that the court may consider "documents attached to a motion to dismiss... [as] part of the pleadings if they are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and are central to his claim") (internal quotation marks omitted) (alterations omitted); Thomas v. Anchorage Equal Rights Comm'n, 220 F.3d 1134, 1141 n.7 (9th Cir. 2000) (taking judicial notice of an administrative complaint filed with the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights); Metz v. Joe Rizza Imports, Inc., 700 F.Supp.2d 983, 989 n.2 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (taking judicial notice of an EEOC charge) (citing cases).

Griffin's EEOC charge checks only the boxes for discrimination based on race and disability; it does not check the box for discrimination based on sex. Doc. 39-1 at 5. The charge then sets forth the following narrative:

I was hired by Respondent on or around August 1987. I currently work as an Inclusion Model Teacher at Orrington. During my employment, I have been subjected to different terms and conditions, including but not limited to being denied a transfer to Rice Children's Center on numerous occasions.
I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my race, Black, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
I also believe that I have been discriminated against because of my disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

Ibid. Griffin does not contend that she amended this charge or that she filed a new charge alleging sex discrimination.

On September 10, 2012, the EEOC sent Griffin a right to sue notice. Doc. 35 at ¶ 8; Doc. 39-1 at 2. Griffin filed this ...


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