United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
DAVID F. CALABOTTA, Plaintiff,
PIBRO ANIMAL HEALTH CORP., Defendant.
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (d/e 6).
Defendant argues that Plaintiff David F. Calabotta has not
met the administrative prerequisites to sue under the
Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) because he
did not file his claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) within 180 days. Therefore,
Defendant argues Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defs. Mot.
(d/e 6). Because the Court finds that Plaintiff only needed
to file his claim with the EEOC within 300 days,
Defendant's Motion is DENIED.
facts as stated in the complaint must be accepted by the
Court as true when ruling on a motion to dismiss. Tamayo
v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).
This action arises from claims of disability discrimination
under the ADA, 42 U.S.C § 12113(b)(4). Plaintiff does
not allege state law claims. Plaintiff was employed by
Defendant from 2008 until August 19, 2016. Compl.
¶¶ 10 and 37 (d/e 1). In 2014, Plaintiff's wife
was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her condition continued
to deteriorate through 2015 and 2016. Id. at
¶¶ 15 and 16. At work, “Plaintiff was open
about his wife's health issues and discussed her
condition and prognosis with his co-workers and
superiors.” Id. at ¶ 16. Plaintiff
alleges he was discriminated against “on account of his
association with a person with a disability by, among other
things, failing and refusing to consider him for the position
of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management
in or about July and August 2016 and terminating his
employment on August 19, 2016.” Id. at ¶
10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the
EEOC. Compl. at ¶ 4 (d/e 1). The parties agree that
Plaintiff filed his charge more than 180 days, but less than
300 days after the alleged unlawful employment practice
occurred. On July 7, 2017, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right
to Sue. Id. Plaintiff filed this complaint on
September 18, 2017.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Court has subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiff
brings a claim based on the ADA, a federal law. See
28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States”).
Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the claim
occurred in Adams County, Illinois. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391(b)(2) (a civil action may be brought in a
judicial district where a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim occurred).
motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. Christensen
v. Cnty. of Boone, 483 F.3d 454, 458 (7th Cir. 2007). To
state a claim for relief, a party need only provide a short
and plain statement of the claim showing he is entitled to
relief and giving the defendant fair notice of the claims.
Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir.
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
Court construes the pleading in the light most favorable to
the pleader, accepting all well-pleaded allegations as true
and construing all reasonable inferences in pleader's
plaintiff must exhaust all administrative requirements before
filing a suit in federal court under the ADA, including the
requirement that the plaintiff timely file a charge with the
EEOC. Normally, the charge must “be filed within one
hundred and eighty days after the alleged unlawful employment
practice occurred.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1).
However, where the plaintiff “has initially instituted
proceedings with a State or local agency with authority
to grant or seek relief from such practice” the
plaintiff's time to file with the EEOC is extended and
must be filed “within three hundred days after the
alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.”
Id. (emphasis added). See also, 42 U.S.C.
§ 12117 (stating that the procedures set forth in §
2000e-5 apply to claims brought under the ADA). State or
local agencies with such authority are designated as fair
employment agencies or “FEP agencies.” 29 C.F.R.
§ 1601.70. However, the EEOC regulations clarify that,
“[a] jurisdiction having a FEP agency without subject
matter jurisdiction over a charge (e.g., an agency which does
not cover sex discrimination or does not cover nonprofit
organizations) is equivalent to a jurisdiction having no FEP
agency.” 29 C.F.R. § 1601.13.
the parties agree that the relevant state agency, the
Illinois Department of Human Rights, is authorized to grant
relief from unlawful employment practices. Therefore,
Illinois is generally “considered a
‘deferral' state whose residents are not required
to file with the EEOC until 300 days after the act of
discrimination so long as they meet the statutory
prerequisite for the extended filing period.”
Gilardi v. Schroeder, 833 F.2d 1226, 1230 (7th Cir.
1987) (citing Lorance v. AT & T Technologies,
Inc., 827 F.2d 163, 165 n. 2 (7th Cir. 1987). Further,
Plaintiff did not need to actually file with the Illinois
Department of Human Rights in order to benefit from the
300-day filing period because the EEOC and the Illinois
Department of Human Rights have a worksharing agreement.
Under this agreement, state proceedings were considered
initiated and terminated upon receipt of
Plaintiff's charge by the EEOC. See Sofferin v. Am.
Airlines, Inc., 923 F.2d 552, 554 (7th Cir. 1991)
(explaining worksharing agreement). Therefore, so long as the
Illinois Department of Human Rights was an agency “with
authority to grant or seek relief” from the unlawful
practice alleged by Plaintiff, the 300-day time period
argues that Plaintiff was required to file his charge within
180 days because the Illinois Department of Human Rights does
not have “authority to grant or seek relief from”
an associational disability discrimination claim.
See Defs. Memo. at 4-5 (d/e 7). Defendant points to
a number of cases where courts have found that the 180-day
time period applies, despite the existence of an FEP agency,
where the FEP agency had no jurisdiction over the
defendant-employer at all. In this Circuit, the Northern
District of Illinois has held that the 180-day filing
deadline applied to a plaintiff's discrimination charge
even though Illinois has an FEP agency. Vitug v.
Multistate Tax Comm'n, 860 F.Supp. 546, 550-51 (N.D.
Ill. 1994), aff'd,88 F.3d 506 (7th Cir. 1996).
The Vitug court reasoned that because “the
Illinois Human Rights Act does not ...