when does plaintiff's cause of action arise; (2) Whether plaintiff has failed to state a claim over which this Court has jurisdiction because of his failure to file a timely claim as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and (3) What is the applicable Pennsylvania statute of limitations for plaintiff's § 1981 action. For the reasons hereinafter set forth we hold the following: (1) The Complaint alleges challenged employment practices which were continuous in nature; (2) Plaintiff's Title VII claim is barred for failure to file a timely claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"); and, (3) The applicable Pennsylvania statute of limitations for plaintiff's § 1981 action is six years, and accordingly said action is not time barred.
For purposes of this motion under F.R.C.P. 12 the following allegations of the Complaint must be accepted as true. Young v. IT & T, 438 F.2d 757, 758 (3rd Cir. 1971).
Plaintiff is a Black citizen of the United States, residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defendant is a Delaware corporation engaged in the business of upholstery goods manufacturing and maintains a principal place of business in St. Louis, Missouri. Defendant was and is doing business within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Plaintiff in his Complaint and Amended Complaint alleges that defendant practiced racially discriminatory conduct which denied plaintiff: (a) equal pay for equal work, (b) proper promotion and/or classification, (c) participation in a company profit-sharing plan, (d) proper severance pay, and (e) full and proper benefits under a company pension plan.
On December 5, 1971, plaintiff filed a formal complaint with the EEOC alleging racial discrimination by defendant. On November 14, 1973, the EEOC determined that there was not reasonable cause to believe that a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had occurred. Thereafter, on February 11, 1974, plaintiff received from the EEOC a "Notice of Right to Sue", which informed him of his right to institute a civil action in the federal court within 90 days of receipt of said notice. Plaintiff's complaint instituting the instant action was filed on May 13, 1974.
I. TITLE VII CLAIMS
In regard to that portion of the complaint based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this Court concludes that the Complaint alleges challenged employment practices which were continuous in nature. Thus, plaintiff's claims concerning denial of equal pay for equal work and denial of proper promotion and/or classification were continuing claims that cannot be restricted to any specific date or time period, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Glickman, 370 F. Supp. 724 (W.D. Pa. 1974); Belt v. Johnson Motor Lines, Inc., 458 F.2d 443 (5th Cir. 1972); Henderson v. First National Bank of Montgomery, 344 F. Supp. 1373 (M.D. Ala. 1972); King v. Georgia Power Co., 295 F. Supp. 943 (N.D. Ga. 1968).
Since certain of plaintiff's claims were continuous in nature, the applicable statute of limitations does not begin to run until the challenged conduct or relationship giving rise to the claim ended, which here is the date of plaintiff's termination, July 31, 1970. Plaintiff's other claims, i.e. denial of participation in the profit-sharing plan, improper amount of severance pay and improper pension benefits, also were causes of action which did not arise until his date of termination, July 31, 1970, Bartmess v. Drewrys U.S.A. Inc., 444 F.2d 1186 (7th Cir. 1971); Mixson v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. et al., 334 F. Supp. 525 (N.D. Ga. 1971).
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is based on the contention that plaintiff did not file his complaint with the EEOC within ninety days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred, as required by 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e).
Since the complaint in the instant action was filed after the ninety day filing requirement the issue is whether that requirement is a jurisdictional prerequisite to the institution of a Title VII suit in the District Court. This issue is not new and the courts which have been called upon to decide the question have held, almost unanimously, that the requirement of filing the charge with the EEOC within ninety days of the alleged unlawful practice is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a subsequent civil suit under Title VII, Torockio v. Chamberlain Mfg. Co., 328 F. Supp. 578 (W.D. Pa. 1971); Rouse v. Gulf Oil Corp., 350 F. Supp. 178 (E.D. Pa. 1972); Revere v. Tidewater Telephone Co., 485 F.2d 684, 6 F.E.P. 891 (4th Cir. 1973). The law on this point is clear. A person must file a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC within the prescribed time period in order to bring an action in the Federal Courts.
Plaintiff acknowledges that he did not file with the EEOC within 90 days, but argues the belated filing should be excused because he delayed in order to seek a private settlement; in this regard, plaintiff's reliance on Culpepper v. Reynolds Metals Co., 421 F.2d 888 (5th Cir. 1970) and the cases related to it is misplaced. In Culpepper the Court tolled the ninety day filing requirement because the plaintiff complied with the grievance remedy provided by contract with his employer. In the present case, plaintiff contends that his delay was due to his attorney's unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a settlement, but there is no allegation or indication that any formal contractual grievance procedure caused plaintiff's late filing with the EEOC. In Culpepper, the court specifically differentiated between employees who have formal contractual remedies and those who do not when it said:
"There is nothing discriminatory about this result, as contended by appellee -- that is between those without contractual grievance procedures having to file within ninety days as against those with contractual grievance procedures having to file within ninety days after the grievance procedure has been exhausted, abandoned or time for filing the grievance has expired." Culpepper, supra, at 893.