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Woods v. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 7, 2016

Anthony T. Woods, Plaintiff,
v.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Defendant.

          ORDER

          Judge Herndon United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on defendant Southern Illinois University's (“SIU”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Anthony T. Woods' complaint for failure to state a claim (Doc. 17, Doc. 18). Mr. Woods has responded (Doc. 27). Based on the record and the following, the motion is GRANTED.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Complaint

         On May 29, 2015, Mr. Woods filed a pro se Employment Discrimination Complaint against SIU. The Court construes Mr. Woods' complaint as attempting to assert two Title VII claims against SIU - one for racial harassment and one for retaliation.

         Mr. Woods attached the following to his complaint: (1) a letter from Linda McCabe Smith, Ph.D., SIU's Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity, which sets out Plaintiffs allegations of harassment and the results of SIU's internal investigation into those allegations, (2) his EEOC Charge, and (3) his EEOC Intake Questionnaire, in which his Letter of Concern is included.

         B. EEOC Filings

         Mr. Woods' Intake Questionnaire was signed on June 13, 2014 and stamped as received by the EEOC on June 16, 2014. In his Intake Questionnaire, Mr. Woods checked the box indicating he had been discriminated against by SIU because of his race. He did not mark the additional box indicating that he was alleging unlawful retaliation.

         The Letter of Concern attached to Mr. Woods Intake Questionnaire relays, in relevant part, the following:

• On November 17, 2013, during a lunch break, Mr. Woods, Randy [a white co-worker], Eric [Shuler] [a white sub-foreman], and Lamont [an African American co-worker) were engaged in a conversation regarding the type of language that is allowed and/or is offensive. During the conversation, Randy used the term “nigger” twice.
• Incidents occurring in April and May 2014 involving sub-foreman Eric Shuler and another individual identified only as “Travis” that Mr. Woods considered offensive, including: removing Mr. Woods' earplugs, calling him names like “dip shit” and “stink bait”, hitting him with a rolled up newspaper, and making a joke about Mr. Woods' using marijuana.
• Alleged unfair treatment by sub-foreman Eric Shuler and an individual identified only as “Ben” regarding clocking in late and inconsistent statements regarding a clocking in late “grace period.”
• On May 20, 2014, Mr. Woods alleges the following occurred:
I told Shawn that I'm going to start writing everything down (that happens at work) after hearing him say that he does that same thing. Then once we were back in the chemical room he called me a “Bitch” in which I replied that if ...

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