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Oral Arguments Set in Case of First Impression Regarding the Sufficiency of EEOC’s Right-to-Sue Notice

For Immediate Release: September 13, 2010

Contact: Craig M. Sandberg, 312.263.7249,

Chicago, IL – In this case of first impression in the Circuit, Sherry DeTata challenges whether the district court erred in dismissing her complaint. DeTata worked for Rollprint Packaging Products, Inc. (“Rollprint”) for only eight days, after which she was fired without explanation. DeTata then filed a timely Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, alleging that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her sex.

On March 2, 2009, the EEOC dismissed DeTata’s Charge and issued a right-to-sue letter. After three delivery attempts, the letter was returned to the EEOC as undeliverable. In late April or early May 2009, DeTata called the EEOC to ask about the status of her Charge. The EEOC representative told her that her Charge had been dismissed and that the EEOC had issued a right-to-sue letter. DeTata asked the EEOC to re-send her right-to-sue letter and to send a copy of her file. Because DeTata’s file was lost, the EEOC did not find and send the materials until June 18, 2009. DeTata filed a pro se complaint on August 18, 2009—some 170 days after the EEOC issued its initial right-to-sue letter, but within 90 days of receipt of materials from the EEOC.

Rollprint filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that DeTata’s complaint had not been filed within the 90-day filing period for Title VII lawsuits. The district court granted Rollprint’s motion, reasoning that the 90-day filing period began running from the day of her phone call to the EEOC.

The only question on appeal is whether, under the facts of this case, the telephone call satisfied the notice requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1).

WHAT: Oral arguments begin in Sherry L. DeTata v. Rollprint Packaging Products Inc. (Docket No. 10-1596)

WHO: Craig M. Sandberg will argue for DeTata, before a panel of judges in United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Room 2721, Chicago, Illinois

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