United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Durkin Judge
Jafri alleges that her former employer discriminated against
her and sexually harassed her in violation of the Illinois
Human Rights Act, and paid her less than male employees in
violation of the federal and Illinois Equal Pay Acts.
Defendants have moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). R. 17.
That motion is granted in part and denied in part.
12(b)(6) motion challenges the “sufficiency of the
complaint.” Berger v. Nat. Collegiate Athletic
Assoc., 843 F.3d 285, 289 (7th Cir. 2016). A complaint
must provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to provide defendant with
“fair notice” of the claim and the basis for it.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). This standard “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully- harmed-me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). While
“detailed factual allegations” are not required,
“labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must
“contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “‘A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.'” Boucher v. Fin. Sys. of Green Bay,
Inc., 880 F.3d 362, 366 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Tobey v. Chibucos, 890 F.3d 634, 646 (7th Cir.
alleges that “she was employed as Chief Operating
Officer of [defendant] Signal Funding, Chief Operating
Officer of [defendant] Signal Financial, and as an Associate
at Defendant 777 Partners.” R. 1 ¶ 19. The fourth
defendant, Joshua Wander, “is a Founder and Managing
Partner of 777 Partners, the parent company of the other
named corporate defendants.” Id. ¶ 6.
Both Signal entities operated out of an office in Highland
Park, Illinois. Id. ¶¶ 2-3. The 777
Partners office is in Miami, Florida. Id. ¶ 4.
Jafri initially worked out of the Highland Park office.
Id. ¶ 20.
alleges that her salary was $105, 000 with a bonus of $25,
000. Id. ¶ 24. Signal's male CEO made $325,
000 plus $175, 000 in bonus. Id. ¶ 25. Jafri
also alleges that five of her male subordinates received
greater compensation than she did. Id. ¶¶
28-30. Based on these allegations about her pay relative to
male colleagues, Jafri brings claims for violation of the
federal and Illinois Equal Pay Acts.
2017, defendant Wander transferred Jafri to 777's office
in Miami, R. 1 ¶ 33, where Jafri alleges male colleagues
made a number of sexually demeaning comments to her, see
Id. ¶¶ 46-60. Based on these allegations of
conduct in the Miami office, Jafri brings claims for
violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Illinois Human Rights Act Claims
argue that Jafri failed to administratively exhaust her IHRA
claims, because she failed to “submit a copy of the
EEOC's determination [to the Illinois Department of Human
Rights (“IDHR”)] within 30 days after service of
the determination by the EEOC on complainant.” 775 ILCS
5/7A-102(A-1)(1)(iv); see also 775 ILCS
5/7A-102(A-1)(2) (providing that the IDHR will only take
substantive action on the EEOC determination if it “is
timely notified of the EEOC's findings by
complainant”); 775 ILCS 5/7A-102(A-1)(3) (“if the
Department is timely notified of the EEOC's determination
by complainant”). Defendants attach to their motion the
IDHR investigation report showing that Jafri submitted the
EEOC's determination to the IDHR 119 days after the EEOC
issued its determination, see R. 17-2 at 5, more
than the 30 days permitted by the statute.
argues that this document is outside the pleadings. Maybe so,
although it is referenced in the IDHR's notice of
dismissal, which Jafri attached to her complaint. See
Harrison v. Deere & Co., 533 Fed. App'x 644, 647
n.3 (7th Cir. 2013) (“we have ruled that the district
court may take into consideration documents incorporated by
reference to the pleadings”). But in any case, whether
Jafri complied with the Illinois statute is a question easily
answered. If Jafri wants to challenge the authenticity or
accuracy of the investigation report document Defendants
attach to their motion, the Court will grant her that
opportunity. Otherwise, the Court finds that Jafri failed to
administratively exhaust her IHRA claims.
also argues that even if she was late in informing the IDHR
of the EEOC's determination, this failure of
administrative process does not require dismissal.
See R. 21 at 4-5 (citing Laurie v. BeDell,
2017 WL 1076940, at *4 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 22, 2017); and
Goldberg v. Chi. Sch. for Piano Tech., NFP, 2015 WL
468792, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 3, 2015)). But the two cases
she cites do not support this argument. In Laurie,
the court mentioned in passing that the plaintiff had
transmitted her EEOC charge to the IDHR late. But
Laurie focused on the impact of the plaintiff's
decision to file a federal action before receiving a right to
sue letter from the IDHR. The court did not address the
impact of the plaintiff's late delivery of the EEOC
determination to the IDHR. Neither did Goldberg
address the 30-day deadline at issue here. The court ...