Northern District of California Holds That Allegation of Denial of Overtime Based on Race or Sex States Discrimination Claim Under Title VII

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The Northern District of California considered whether an allegation of failure to allow overtime because of a plaintiff’s race or sex states a claim for discrimination under Title VII.  The court held that it did.

In Moore v. Contra Costa College District, No. C 09-4781 MEJ, 2010 WL 3324895 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2010) (slip op.), Plaintiff filed an employment discrimination complaint as a pro se litigant, bringing suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5. Plaintiff has been employed by Defendant Contra Costa College District since January 29, 1994 as a food services supervisor at select college campuses. Id. *1.  Plaintiff alleged that Defendant, among other things, denied him the opportunity to work overtime.  Id.

Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s claim for overtime is not cognizable because he received overtime, just not as much as he wanted, and such a claim is not actionable under Title VII. Id. *5. The Court disagreed.

Plaintiff may establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing that he is a member of a protected class; that he was qualified; that he was subjected to an adverse employment decision; and that the circumstances of the decision raise an inference of discrimination. St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 506 (1993). As Plaintiff has alleged that he was denied overtime based on his race and/or sex, the Court finds that he has met his burden at the pleading stage. Defendant argues that Plaintiff received overtime at least once, thus negating his claim. (Def.’s Reply at 4:5-28, Dkt. # 24.) However, Defendant provides no authority which supports this argument. Defendant also argues that the failure to provide overtime is not the type of tangible employment action required under Title VII, (Def.’s Mot. at 6:8-15), yet Defendant fails to provide any authority establishing that the failure to provide overtime based on a discriminatory purpose is not a proper cause of action under Title VII. Accordingly, the Court hereby DENIES Defendant’s motion as to this claim.



U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James


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