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CAMPBELL v. INTERNATIONAL BROTH. OF TEAMSTERS

July 8, 1999

SEAN CAMPBELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS AND IBT LOCAL 918, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sifton, Chief Judge.

  MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Sean Campbell, sues International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq. ("Title VII") and related state laws. Specifically, Campbell alleges that he was subjected to discrimination on account of his race while employed by International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 918 ("Local 918"). Presently before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6). For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the amended complaint and accepted as true for the purposes of this motion.

Plaintiff is an African-American man who resides at 185-07 Hilburn Avenue, St. Albans, New York. Defendant IBT is an umbrella labor organization and unincorporated association located at 25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C.

On October 2, 1997, the president of IBT, Ronald Carey, appointed Eugene Maney as trustee and Thomas Feeley as assistant trustee of Local 918. Local 918 is an unincorporated association, separate from IBT, which organizes certain types of employees in Brooklyn. The office of Local 918 is located at 2137-2147 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. While paid by IBT, Maney and Feeley worked at the offices of Local 918.

On October 6, 1997, Maney hired plaintiff as a business agent for Local 918. As a business agent, plaintiff's job responsibilities included visiting work sites, meeting with union members and answering their questions, organizing new members, handling employee grievances and arbitrations, assisting with the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and opening and closing the office. Plaintiff was paid by Local 918.

From the start of plaintiff's employment, Feeley professionally and socially isolated plaintiff at the workplace. Feeley had "minimal contact and conversation with plaintiff necessary to function in his position." Am. Compl. at ¶ 12. Feeley ordered plaintiff on a daily basis to make photocopies, send and retrieve facsimiles, move Feeley's car, and pick up Feeley's breakfast and lunch. At no time did Feeley order Local 918 business agents who were white, such as Bob Didier, to perform such tasks.

At some point in October 1997, plaintiff complained to Maney about Feeley's discrimination against him. In response to plaintiff's complaints, Maney told plaintiff to tell Feeley "`to go fuck himself.'" Am. Compl. at ¶ 14. Maney offered no more assistance for the plaintiff.

In January 1998, a car belonging to one of Local 918's business agents broke down. Plaintiff suggested that the business agent use plaintiff's car while plaintiff borrowed a vehicle from Local 918. In response to plaintiff's suggestion, Maney called plaintiff a "`fucking moron.'" Am. Compl. at ¶ 15. The next morning, plaintiff complained of this discriminatory treatment to Maney and Feeley. Maney did not remember making the comment and Feeley did not take any action in response to plaintiff's complaint.

Plaintiff contemplated quitting his job due to the stress he felt over Feeley's treatment of him. Plaintiff's co-workers encouraged him to stay because "they believed that [plaintiff's resignation] was exactly what Feeley wanted: plaintiff to quit his job so that he could hire a white replacement." Am. Compl. at ¶ 16.

Later in January 1998, a recently fired shop steward who was a member of Local 918 arrived at the Local 918 office to consult with plaintiff and Feeley. During the meeting Feeley told plaintiff to move Feeley's car. Plaintiff asked the visiting union member to help plaintiff by moving Feeley's car. At that point, Feeley raced out of the office and, in front of the union member and numerous bystanders, yelled: "`are you stupid, or crazy and what in the f-k is the matter with you!'" Am. Compl. at ¶ 17.

After the incident, plaintiff again complained to Maney about Feeley's discriminatory treatment. Plaintiff pointed out again that Didier was not treated in the same manner. Maney assured plaintiff that he would speak to Feeley about the situation. At that meeting, plaintiff requested a transfer to another local union office within Maney's jurisdiction as trustee. Maney responded that plaintiff could not be transferred until the completion of a reorganization of IBT's local union offices.

Around March 1998, a position became available at International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 1034, a local union within Maney's jurisdiction as trustee. Despite plaintiff's prior request for a transfer, plaintiff was not transferred, and the job went to a white male named Bill Ahearn.

"To make amends for not transferring plaintiff to the Local 1034 position," Maney promised that plaintiff could enroll in labor education classes at Cornell University. Am. Compl. at ΒΆ 20. Two days before the classes were to begin, however, Maney advised plaintiff that ...


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