United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
WILLIAM J. FOSTER, Plaintiff,
CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Johnson Coleman, Judge
William J. Foster, filed a six count First Amended Complaint
on May 15, 2014, alleging employment discrimination,
retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§2000e et seq., the American with Disabilities
Act of 1990 (“ADA”), Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), and the Illinois
Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101- 5/10-101. Defendant
Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) filed an Answer
to the First Amended Complaint, denying the allegations, and
filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c).  For
the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion.
Plaintiff William Foster worked at CTA from March 13, 1981,
until his termination on January 26, 2012. Following
arbitration proceedings, CTA reinstated Foster's
employment on or about October 1, 2013. Foster alleges that
over the years he complained numerous times to CTA about
ongoing racial discrimination and sexual harassment that he
believed CTA committed against other employees. Foster also
alleges that he suffered discrimination based on his age and
clinical depression and that CTA retaliated against him,
ultimately terminating his employment.
filed his first Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) charge on or about November 28, 2012,
only claiming retaliation on January 26, 2012, for his
complaints about CTA discriminating against other employees.
The Right to Sue letter is dated May 21, 2013. Foster filed
his initial complaint pro se in this Court on August
20, 2013, alleging retaliation for the numerous complaints he
made to CTA about what he believed to be ongoing racial
discrimination and sexual harassment of CTA employees. (Dkt.
January 9, 2014, Foster filed his second EEOC charge,
alleging discrimination based on age and disability, and
retaliation on September 30, 2013. The Right to Sue letter is
dated January 31, 2014. Foster filed a First Amended
Complaint in this Court on May 15, 2014. Thereafter, on April
29, 2014, Foster filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, which was consolidated with the instant lawsuit
and voluntarily dismissed.
moves for dismissal of the First Amended Complaint, arguing
that it is entitled to judgment on the pleadings because the
retaliation and discrimination claims are untimely and the
intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is
preempted by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c) is analyzed under the same standard as
a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v.
Wood, 925 F.2d 1580, 1581 (7th Cir. 1991); see also
Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 579 (2009) (noting that
the practical effect of addressing a statute of limitations
defense in a Rule 12(c) motion is the same as addressing it
in a Rule 12(b)(6) motion). For purposes of ruling on this
motion, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in
the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor. See Thomas v. Guardsmark,
Inc., 381 F.3d 701, 704 (7th Cir. 2004). Dismissal
pursuant to Rule 12(c) is appropriate when a plaintiff
alleges sufficient facts to establish the untimeliness of the
complaint. See Cancer Found., Inc. v. Cerberus Cap.
Mgmt., 559 F.3d 671, 674-75 (7th Cir. 2009).
argues that Counts I to V, alleging retaliation and
discrimination are time-barred. CTA also argues that Count
VI, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress is
both time-barred and pre-empted by the Illinois Human Rights
Act. This Court first addresses the timeliness of the
discrimination and retaliation claims.
had 90 days from receiving his Right to Sue letter from the
EEOC to file his Complaint. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1);
Threadgill v. Moore U.S.A., Inc., 269 F.3d 848,
849-850 (7th Cir. 2001). The EEOC issued a Right to Sue
letter on January 31, 2014. Foster filed his First Amended
Complaint on May 15, 2014. If the allegations do not aver
when a plaintiff received a Right to Sue letter, this Court
presumes timely delivery of the letter within seven days.
See Bobbitt v. Freeman Cos., 268 F.3d 535, 538 (7th
Cir. 2001) (citing McPartlin v. Commissioner, 653
F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1981)). Therefore, even if this
Court assumes that Foster did not receive the Right to Sue
letter until February 7, 2014, the First Amended Complaint
was filed 98 days later and is untimely.
asserts that the claims contained in the First Amended
Complaint are timely because they relate back to the original
complaint. In the context of employment discrimination and
retaliation, claims in the charge and allegations in the
complaint must be alike or reasonably related. See
Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1030
(7th Cir. 2013) (citing Cheek v. Western & Southern
Life Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir. 1994));
see also McKenzie v. Illinois Dep't of Transp.,
92 F.3d 473, 482-83 (7th Cir. 1996) (collecting cases).
“Normally, retaliation and discrimination charges are
not considered ‘like or reasonably related' to one
another.” Swearnigen-El v. Cook County
Sheriff's Dep't, 602 F.3d 852, 864-865 (7th Cir.
original complaint and his 2012 EEOC charge claimed only
retaliation for his complaints about third-party
discrimination and thus his age and disability discrimination
claims do not relate back to that charge. The original
retaliation claim and the current claims that Foster suffered
age and disability discrimination do not describe the same
conduct by the ...