Love v. Pullman Company

PETITIONER: Love
RESPONDENT: Pullman Company
LOCATION: Former Ada County Courthouse

DOCKET NO.: 70-5033
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 404 US 522 (1972)
ARGUED: Nov 16, 1971
DECIDED: Jan 17, 1972

ADVOCATES:
Edward C. Eppich - for respondent
Hugh J. McClearn - for petitioner in No. 70 5033
Lawrence G. Wallace - argued the cause for the United States et al

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Love v. Pullman Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 16, 1971 in Love v. Pullman Company

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments in No.37, the United States against the Pullman Company and Love against the Pullman Company.

Mr. McClearn you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Hugh J. McClearn:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the court.

This case is before this Court on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit which affirmed and then affirmed on rehearing, the order of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado dismissing Mr. Love’s complaint against the Pullman Company.

Judge Fay dissenting from both Court of Appeals judgments.

The issue before this Court involves the interpretation of Section 706, Subtitle 7 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This section of the statute deals with the mechanics of lodging a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

More specifically it deals with the mechanical steps that one must take to lodge such a charge in a State that has its own Fair Employment Practices Acts, and Colorado does have such an act which makes discrimination at the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of race improper.

Mr. Love is a black man.

His complaint in the District Court was that he had been discriminated against in the terms and conditions of his employment by the Pullman Company because he was given a job classification of “porter in charge” where he performed the same functions as were performed by white people that were called conductors.

And yet he received substantially less pay for doing so.

He alleges that the only basis for the differentiation was race and that this constituted a violation of Title VII.

His complaint is that this discrimination was perpetrated against him.

Everyday he was employed by the Pullman Company because of the continuing existence of the discriminatory job classification and pay differential.

He first sought relief for this discriminatory condition in 1963 by approaching the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and of course at that time there was no 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The records of that context are lost.

However, he did what was required by the Colorado Statute to initiate a complaint.

He returned to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 1965 and verbally reiterated his complaint.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission investigated his complaint in 1965 and they discussed the matter with the Pullman Company.

But the only relief that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission offered Mr. Love was the opportunity to be reclassified as a conductor.

But if he were to do that, he would lose all of the job seniority and it would have actually have resulted in his being laid off and being put out of work.

This relief was offered to him in a letter from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that is dated July 30th 1965 and to which he did not respond.

Instead, in May 19th 1966, he wrote a letter directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaining about this discriminatory classification and pay system.

And that letter appears to have been received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 23rd 1966.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission was advised by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Mr. Love had lodged a complaint with it.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission responded by writing a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission specifically saying that they did not want to investigate Mr. Love’s complaint waiving the 60 day deferment period provided for in the statute and --

Harry A. Blackmun:

When did that had started to run?

Hugh J. McClearn:

Excuse me sir.

Harry A. Blackmun:

When would that 60 day period have started to run?

Hugh J. McClearn:

The 60 day period could have run from I suppose either the time when they received the complaint or at the time that they were advised of it which would have had been somewhere between May 23rd and the 1st of June which is the date of the letter from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Equal Employment Opportunity.