filed as amended march 9 1977.: January 27, 1977.
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (D.C. Civil No. 74-977).
Biggs, Van Dusen and Rosenn, Circuit Judges.
VAN DUSEN, Circuit Judge.
This is an appeal from a district court order dismissing plaintiff's claims that he had been discharged due to racial discrimination under (1) 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f) (1), and (2) 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as time-barred. We vacate and remand for reconsideration in the light of this opinion.
Plaintiff claims to have been discriminated against by his former employer, the Sharon Steel Corporation, and by his union, the United Steelworkers (International, District 20, and Local 1193). He seeks injunctive relief from alleged present and possible future racial discrimination; reinstatement with seniority, back pay, and all benefits accrued from the date of his termination; punitive damages, a court ordered plan to remedy alleged disparities between treatment of Negro and Caucasian employees; costs; and attorney's fees.*fn1
On August 15, 1972, the plaintiff, Allen B. Wilson, was discharged from his employment as a relief foreman with the Sharon Steel Corporation (Sharon). He had previously been employed by the company for 22 years. The basis for his dismissal was alleged participation in the theft of a tow motor from Sharon. Availing himself of the arbitration procedures provided for by the applicable collective bargaining agreement, Wilson filed a grievance. A hearing was held on August 30, 1972, and the umpire denied the grievance in an Opinion and Award*fn2 dated October 10, 1972.
On November 1, 1972, Wilson filed a written charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that he had been discharged because of his race.*fn3
On December 19, 1972, following a hearing before the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Referee, Wilson was awarded unemployment compensation, an action equivalent to a finding that Wilson was not discharged for willful misconduct.
On August 22, 1973, the EEOC determined that there was probable cause to believe that Wilson had been discriminated against on the basis of his race by Sharon, and entered into conciliation proceedings. The EEOC found no reasonable cause to believe that the defendant unions had discriminated against Wilson. However, on October 15, 1973, Wilson received a letter from A. S. Higgins, Supervisor of Conciliations for the Pittsburgh District Office of the EEOC, which read as follows:
"This is to advise you that our efforts to conciliate your case against Sharon Steel and United Steel Workers Local 1193, were unsuccessful.
"Therefore, we are forwarding your case for review for possible litigation. You will be notified of the outcome of this review.
"If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (412) 644-3444."
The district court relied in its opinion upon a form of EEOC Failure of Conciliation letter not actually sent to Wilson*fn3a and, therefore, not directly at issue in this case. The ...