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CLEMENTS v. ST. VINCENT'S HOSP. & MED. CTR. OF NEW

March 25, 1996

CHRISTOPHER T. CLEMENTS, Plaintiff, against ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER OF NEW YORK, Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BATTS

 DEBORAH A. BATTS, United States District Judge.

 Christopher T. Clements, proceeding pro se, brings this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), against his former employer, St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York ("St. Vincent's"). Defendant, St. Vincent's, moves for partial judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or in the alternative, for partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion will be granted in part, and denied in part.

 BACKGROUND

 Defendant St. Vincent's is a not-for-profit acute care hospital with related health care facilities located in Manhattan. (Macri Aff. P 3.) Plaintiff Clements was employed in the Patient Accounts Department of the Finance Division of St. Vincent's Hospital from January 1981 to November 1989. (Def.'s 3(g) P 1.) On November 21, 1989, Defendant discharged Plaintiff from his position as supervisor of the Finance Control Unit within the Patient Accounts Department. (Macri Aff. P 3.)

 On March 15, 1990, Clements filed a charge alleging race discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). (Macri Aff. Ex. C (Charge No. 160-90-0904) (hereinafter EEOC Charge); Def.'s 3(g) P 3.) Plaintiff's EEOC charge lists only race as the basis of discrimination. *fn1" (EEOC Charge.) The EEOC deferred investigation and determination of the charge to the New York State Division of Human Rights ("SDHR"). (Def.'s 3(g) P 3.) On October 14, 1993, following its investigation, the SDHR issued a determination and order finding no probable cause to believe that defendant engaged in unlawful discriminatory practices based on either race or color. (Compl. Ex. C (Determination and Order After Investigation).) *fn2"

 On March 18, 1994, Clements commenced this action pro se, seeking equitable and other relief. (Compl.) In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that in terminating his employment, St. Vincent's discriminated against him on the basis of his race, color, and sex. (Compl. P 10.)

 Defendant now moves for partial judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or, in the alternative, for partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56, on the grounds that the Court lacks the subject matter jurisdiction over the sex and color claims, and that those two claims are time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Because Plaintiff failed to raise the sex claim in his EEOC Charge, the Court will grant Defendant's motion with respect to that claim. However, in that the SDHR determination does list color discrimination as among the Clements's allegations, that claim will be allowed as reasonably related to the race claim.

 "A district court only has jurisdiction to hear Title VII claims that either are included in an EEOC charge or are based on conduct subsequent to the EEOC charge which is 'reasonably related' to that alleged in the EEOC charge. This exhaustion requirement is an essential element of Title VII's statutory scheme." Butts v. City of New York, 990 F.2d 1397, 1401 (2d Cir. 1993) (citations omitted). The Second Circuit "ha[s] recognized three kinds of situations where claims not alleged in an EEOC charge are sufficiently related to the allegations in the charge that it would be unfair to civil rights plaintiffs to bar such claims in a civil action." Id. at 1402. Those three kinds of situations are where the later claim: (1) alleges "retaliation by an employer against an employee for filing an EEOC charge"; (2) alleges "further incidents of discrimination carried out in precisely the same manner alleged in the EEOC charge"; and (3) "would fall within the 'scope of the EEOC investigation which can be reasonably expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination." Butts 990 F.2d at 1402-03 (quoting Smith v. American President Lines, Ltd., 571 F.2d 102, 107 n.10 (2d Cir. 1978). Despite this latter category, EEOC allegations which lack factual specificity may not serve as jurisdictional predicates for claims of subsequent discrimination in the federal complaint. Butts, 990 F.2d at 1403.

 In this case, Plaintiff did not allege sex as a basis for a claim of employment discrimination when he filed his complaint of racial discrimination with the EEOC. Accordingly, Plaintiff's federal claim of sex discrimination can only survive if the unalleged claim is "reasonably related" to a timely filed EEOC charge. Butts, at 1402.

 In this case, none of the three "reasonably related" categories includes Plaintiff's allegation of sex discrimination. Plaintiff has not alleged any retaliatory actions taken against him by the defendant since his discharge from St. Vincent's Hospital in November 1989, nor has he alleged or provided evidence of further incidents of discrimination carried out in precisely the same manner alleged in the EEOC charge. This eliminates the first two categories.

 The third type of "reasonably related" claim recognized by the Second Circuit "is essentially an allowance of loose pleading." Butts, 990 F.2d at 1402. "Recognizing that EEOC charges frequently are filled out by employees without the benefit of counsel and that their primary purpose is to alert the EEOC to the discrimination that a plaintiff claims she is suffering, we have allowed claims not raised in the charge to be brought in a civil action where the conduct complained of would fall within the 'scope of the EEOC investigation which can reasonably be expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination.'" Id. (quoting Smith, 571 F.2d at 107 n.10).

 The race claim here was not a loosely pleaded form of a sex claim. The complaint filed with the EEOC was a blanket claim for race discrimination; it lacks any factual specificity and fails to provide any basis to believe the additional claim of sex discrimination would arise in an EEOC or SDHR investigation. *fn3" The SDHR investigated the plaintiff's race claim and issued a "no probable cause" determination. That investigation could not be expected to, and did not, evolve into an investigation of whether the Plaintiff had been discriminated against on the basis of his sex. Accordingly, the sex-based claim is not "reasonably related" to his timely filed EEOC Charge. See Newton v. Kroger Co., 501 F. Supp. 177, 178 (E.D. Ark. 1980) (Arnold, C.J., sitting by designation) (dismissing sex discrimination claim where plaintiff's EEOC charge alleged only racial discrimination); cf. Hicks v. ABT Associates, Inc., 572 F.2d 960, 967 (1978) (reversing summary judgment for defendant on sex discrimination claims not asserted before ...


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