Appeal from a judgment, entered on August 25, 1988, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Larimer, J.) dismissing Title VII claims against IUE Local 509 ("Local 509" or "union"). The district court found on motion for summary judgment that plaintiff-appellant Leonard A. Johnson had failed to make out a prima facie case of retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1988) against Local 509. The district court also found that, even if Johnson had made out a prima facie case, Local 509 had a legitimate reason for refusing to press forward with Johnson's grievance. Johnson's appeal also encompasses an earlier order, entered on March 15, 1988, dismissing his Title VII claims against the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (the "International Union") on the ground that neither the complaint filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights ("DHR") nor the complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") named the International Union as a respondent. Finding the failure to name a party a jurisdictional defect, the court held that the action may not be maintained against the International Union.
On appeal, Johnson specifically challenges the district court's finding that he failed to establish a retaliatory motive on the part of the union and therefore failed to make out a prima facie case of retaliation. He also challenges the court's finding that the union's acquiescence in the policy of Johnson's employer, Delco Products ("Delco"), served as a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for refusing to proceed with the grievance process. Regarding the dismissal of the claim against the International Union, Johnson maintains that the International Union had knowledge of the administrative complaint and thus may be sued for retaliation. We hold that the district court erred in granting summary judgment for the union on the retaliation claim because Johnson presented a prima facie case and because the union failed to articulate a legitimate reason for its refusal to proceed with Johnson's grievance. We also conclude that the trial court properly dismissed the claims against the International Union because it was not named in the administrative agency charges.
Miner '56, Roger J., "Johnson v. Palma, 931 F. 2d 203 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1991" (1991). Circuit Court Opinions. 319.