APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, D.C. Civil No. 85-2876.
Before: WEIS, MANSMANN, and HUNTER, Circuit Judges
The plaintiff's state court suit arising out of alleged employment discrimination contained counts under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as state tort claims. After removal to federal court, the district judge dismissed the § 1981 and Title VII counts because of a statute of limitations bar and found that the complaint failed to state a cause of action in tort. We will reverse the judgment on the § 1981 claim because the statute of limitations had not run. We will dismiss the Title VII count for lack of jurisdiction and affirm the dismissal of the state tort count.
The plaintiff's husband, decedent Lee Bradshaw, was employed by defendant at its Fisher body plant in West Mifflin, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began work in 1969, and in 1975 developed an alcohol and drug abuse problem that worsened and eventually disrupted his work performance. After he began treatment, Bradshaw's condition became general knowledge at the plant. On August 19, 1982, he was discharged from his position, allegedly for chronic absenteeism.
Three months later Bradshaw filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, contending that he was discharged because he was black. On May 16, 1984, the EEOC wrote that it did not find reasonable cause to support the charge and issued a right to sue letter advising him that he had ninety days in which to bring suit in the district court.
Soon after his discharge, Bradshaw also filed a complain with his union. On May 14, 1984, the grievance was withdrawn without prejudice in accordance with a settlement reached by the company and the union. The company agreed that it would consider a Local Employee Assistance Committee recommendation to rehire Bradshaw -- if one were ever made. However, the agreement specifically did not obligate the company to reemploy him.
Bradshaw was never rehired, and he died in December, 1984. In her capacity as administratrix and as surviving spouse, his widow brought suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County on October 2, 1985. Defendant then removed the case to the district court.
Count I of the complaint alleged that the company had discharged Bradshaw because he was black, a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The district court held that because the complaint had been filed more than two years after the incident, the statute of limitations barred the suit.
Count II alleged a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). Because the suit was not filed until more than one year after receipt of the right to sue letter, the court dismissed that count as well.
Count III charged defendant with a state tort, intentional infliction of emotional distress by misleading Bradshaw about the chances of being rehired.
Count IV asserted that the defendant's actions were fraudulent and led Bradshaw to believe that he would be reemployed if he rehabilitated himself. On this ground plaintiff asked for punitive damages.
The district court concluded that plaintiff had failed to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Moreover, those allegations were inextricably intertwined with the settlement of the grievance by the union; thus, section 301 of the Labor ...