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FEKETE v. U.S. STEEL CORP.

June 11, 1969

Gyula Fekete, Plaintiff
v.
U.S. Steel Corporation, Defendant


Weber, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

 While the arbitration proceeding was pending, on January 12, 1968 plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that his discharge of October 21, 1967 was discriminatory because of his national origin. Under § 706 of the Civil Rights Act, the EEOC referred plaintiff's complaint to the Pennsylvania State Human Relations Commission which on May 21, 1968, after investigation and review, found that no probable cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint.

 On September 30, 1968, after its own investigation, the EEOC issued a decision finding that there was no reasonable cause for believing that defendant was in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 On November 21, 1968 plaintiff filed this action.

 Defendant filed an Answer consisting of a general denial of the allegations, a denial of jurisdiction, and a denial that plaintiff has stated a claim under which relief can be granted. Defendant has now filed a Motion to Dismiss because the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and because the Court is without jurisdiction because both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found that there was no probable cause to believe that defendant has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The record contains the findings of the union contract arbitration, the decision of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the decision and notice of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 In the first instance the only specific relief authorized for an unlawful discharge under Title VII is reinstatement or rehiring, with or without back pay, [§ 706(g), 42 U.S.C.A. 2000e-5(g)]. Because plaintiff has already received reinstatement with full back pay, the claim of par. 6 of the Complaint based on the discharge is moot and will be herewith dismissed. Plaintiff's complaint, however, contains unspecified allegations that both before and after his dismissal defendant, through its supervisory personnel, has discriminated against him because of his national origin in respect to his compensation, terms, conditions and privileges of his employment. He asks injunctive relief against this.

 With respect to his discharge, plaintiff elected his remedy by proceeding under the union contract grievance procedure. He did not wait for the determination of his grievance arbitration before filing his charge with the EEOC, but he received his specific remedy under the Act by reinstatement and back pay through the arbitration award, which preceded the filing of this suit. We believe that this would be a bar to any cause of action based on the dismissal.

 Nevertheless, despite the conclusion that plaintiff is entitled to no relief for the discharge because he has already received the total specific relief authorized for such a violation by his election of remedies, plaintiff still contends that he has suffered from other violations of the act through discrimination because of his national origin. What these discriminatory practices are we do not know, but plaintiff asks that we enjoin defendant from engaging in them.

 Defendant contends that the Court is without jurisdiction because Title VII of the Act, § 706(e) 42 U.S.C.A. 2000e-5(e), being the enforcement provisions, does not authorize an individual aggrieved party to file a civil action in the United States District Court unless the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found probable cause to believe the complaint and has notified the aggrieved person that it has been unable to secure voluntary compliance. No such notice was given here. On the contrary, both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the EEOC found no probable cause to believe that defendant was in violation of the Act, and so notified him.

 A great deal of Congressional debate has been cited to this court by both parties to support their construction of this section. We find the debate somewhat confusing, because the bill was extensively amended and revised before final passage. "The legislative history is no more helpful because the act was repeatedly amended without extensive consideration." Cox v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 284 F. Supp. 74 [N.D. Ind. 1968]. "As a matter of fact, the Congressional Committee reports and floor debates lend great comfort to both sides." Dent v. St. Louis-San Francisco Rwy Co., 406 F.2d 399 [5th Cir., 1969].

 One thing we do gather from the debates is a sense of disappointment of the original sponsors of the bill that the enforcement provisions originally provided were diluted or removed, particularly the provision of the original Sec. 707(c) which provided that an individual could bring a civil action whether or not the EEOC had found probable cause, but only on the written permission of one member of the EEOC. This was removed in the final version and replaced by the present Sec. 706(e). The obvious intent of the amendment was to require a finding of probable cause.

 Section 706(e) is a provision giving jurisdiction to the courts, and Sec. 706(f) specifies the venue of such actions in the United States District Courts. The United States District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction; they may exercise only the jurisdiction conferred upon them by Congress. ...


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