United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Steven Whalen, Mag. Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
DISMISS [10 AND 13] AND GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS
E. LEVY, United States District Judge.
a case of alleged discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiff
Maurice Jackson alleges that his former employer and union
violated 42 U.S.C. §1981 (“Section 1981”)
when they settled a grievance arising out of his termination
from the company. The matter before the Court is
defendants' motions to dismiss the complaint as time
barred under the applicable statute of limitations. (Dkts.
worked for Severstal Dearborn, LLC, now A.K. Steel
Corporation (“the company defendant”) beginning
in 1999. (Dkt. 1 at 21.) In early 2013, the company defendant
became aware that scarfing department and slab yard
department employees were re-entering company grounds at
various times during their shift without ever clocking out or
requesting leave. (Dkt. 1 at 7.) The company defendant
conducted an investigation of possible time theft by
analyzing several months of gate swipe records for all
employees in the scarfing and slab yard departments.
company defendant found that the practice of re-entering
company grounds during a shift was widespread, and included
nearly all employees in the scarfing and slab yard
departments. The company defendant found that all 17 of 17
scarfing employees and 32 of 33 slab yard employees swiped
into the facility during their shifts.
company defendant determined that it would terminate those
employees whose swipe-ins took place within the last hour of
the employee's shift. (Dkt. 20 at 11.) Only one of the
terminated employees was white, and the rest were African
American. (Dkt. 1 at 7-8.) Plaintiff, who is African American
(Dkt. 1 at 8), was terminated on July 9, 2013. (Dkt. 20 at
August 20, 2013, plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and
the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (“MDCR”).
(Dkt. 1 at 12.) The other five African American employees who
were terminated also filed similar claims. (See Thomas v.
Int'l Union, UAW, No. 16-11447 (E.D. Mich., filed
April 21, 2016)).
October 25, 2013, the company defendant and International
Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Workers
of America, UAW Local 600 (“the union
defendants”) entered into a letter agreement, which
would settle and resolve plaintiff and other terminated
employees' grievances (the “October 25, 2013 letter
agreement”). (Dkt. 1 at 13.) The October 25, 2013
letter agreement stated in relevant part:
Grievant agrees to request the withdrawal of any pending
charges or complaints filed and agrees not to file, or
authorize the filing in his name or on his behalf, of any
additional charges or complaints arising out of his discharge
or this grievance processing and settlement with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, the Michigan Department of
Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board or any other
administrative agency; and agrees that no monetary or other
relief may be awarded to Grievant or for Grievant's
benefit as a result of any administrative proceeding of such
charge or complaint. (Dkt. 1 at 14.)
refused to sign the October 25, 2013 letter agreement when it
was first offered. Later, on January 24, 2014, plaintiff
changed his mind, and signed the October 2013 proposed
settlement in order to be reinstated with the company. (Dkt.
1 at 15.)
January 24, 2014, plaintiff also signed a Settlement and
Release Agreement which stated, in relevant part:
In consideration for the covenants and conditions contained
in the Agreement, and conditioned upon the MDCR's
acceptance of Employee's request to withdraw his pending
charge of discrimination (MDCR Contact #446305), Employee and
Severstal agree to the following terms: . . .
b. Employee agrees to request the withdrawal of all pending
charges or complaints filed by him or on his behalf
(including his MDCR Complaint) . . . and agrees not to file,
or authorize the filing in his name or on his behalf, of any
additional charges, complaints, or appeals ...