United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER
ADELMAN District Judge
Nabi Ahmed Mentor brings this action on his own behalf
against Wisconsin Hospitality Group (WHG), doing business as
Pizza Hut. Magistrate Judge David E. Jones screened the
complaint, summarizing its factual allegations as follows:
Mr. Ahmed Mentor is a Muslim who used to work at Pizza Hut.
In 2010, his manager, “Laura, ” told him that he
could not take a break to say his Muslim prayers. She
continued to deny Mr. Ahmed Mentor prayer breaks from 2010
through 2013. Another manager, “Mr. Walters, ”
denied Mr. Ahmed Mentor prayer breaks from 2012 through 2015
See Order, Docket No. 8, at 4 (citation omitted).
Magistrate Judge Jones found that these allegations were
sufficient to state a claim under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in
employment because of an employee's religion.
argues that Ahmed Mentor failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies- or, more accurately, that he failed to satisfy the
“procedural requirements” that “Title VII
imposes . . . as a precondition to bringing a suit in federal
court, ” Doe v. Oberweis Dairy, 456 F.3d 704,
710 (7th Cir. 2006)-and moves for summary judgment on that
basis. I must grant WHG's motion if it shows that
“there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact” and that it “is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
VII requires that, “[p]rior to filing suit . . ., a
party must first file a charge of discrimination” with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which
“gives the employer some warning of the conduct about
which the employee is aggrieved and affords the EEOC and the
employer an opportunity to attempt conciliation without
resort to the courts.” Alam v. Miller Brewing
Co., 709 F.3d 662, 666 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Ezell v. Potter, 400 F.3d 1041, 1046 (7th Cir.
2005)) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1)).
“[B]ecause most complaints ‘are completed by
laypersons rather than by lawyers, a Title VII plaintiff need
not allege in an EEOC charge each and every fact that
combines to form the basis of each claim in [his]
complaint.'” Delgado v. Merit Sys. Prot.
Bd., 880 F.3d 913, 926 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Cheek v. W. & S. Life Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 497, 500
(7th Cir. 1994)). But, “[a]t a minimum, . . . the EEOC
charge and the complaint must describe the same conduct and
implicate the same individuals.” Ezell, 400
F.3d at 1046.
filing this suit, Ahmed Mentor filed a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC against WHG. In that charge,
Ahmed Mentor checked boxes for discrimination based on race,
sex, religion, national origin, and age. In the narrative
section of the charge, he included the following factual
allegations: “I was employed with the respondent from
2010-2013. I returned in May 2015 to the present time. I have
been subjected to different terms and conditions of
employment in that I am denied lunch breaks and the
respondent plays ‘rap' music with slurs.”
See Backer Aff. Ex. 1, Docket No. 30-1, at 2. This
conduct is different from the conduct Ahmed Mentor described
in his complaint-i.e., that his managers denied him breaks
to pray-and his EEOC charge, unlike his complaint,
does not implicate any specific individuals.
I could surmise a connection between Ahmed Mentor's EEOC
charge and his complaint in this case-which would necessarily
be based on nothing more than his mention of
“breaks” in both and his superficial indication
in his EEOC charge of religion as one of five suspected bases
for discrimination-his claims here would still fail. An
employee cannot “file general charges with the
EEOC” and expect to proceed on “all claims of . .
. discrimination in a subsequent lawsuit.” Rush v.
McDonald's Corp., 966 F.2d 1104, 1112 (7th Cir.
1992). At the least, an employee must file an EEOC charge
with enough “specificity” and “detail . . .
to allow the agency to perform its statutory duty.”
Id. at 1111. The EEOC was unable to consider whether
Ahmed Mentor's managers discriminated against him because
of his religion by denying him breaks to pray because of his
“own failure to bring . . . [such] claims to its
attention.” Id. at 1112.
Ahmed Mentor failed to satisfy the procedural requirements
imposed by Title VII as a precondition to bringing this
lawsuit in federal court, which renders any factual disputes
between the parties as to any other issues in this case
immaterial and entitles WHG to judgment as a matter of law.
Therefore, I will grant its motion and direct the Clerk of
Court to enter judgment in its favor on the merits.
IT IS ORDERED that the defendant's motion for
summary judgment (Docket No. 29) is GRANTED.