United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
DREW J. STEVENS, Plaintiff,
ORCA COMMUNICATIONS, et al., Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Drew J.
Stevens for leave to commence this civil action without
prepayment of the filing fee. (Docket No. 2). Having reviewed
the motion, the Court finds that it should be granted.
Additionally, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will
order plaintiff to show cause in writing why venue is proper
in this district, rather than in the United States District
Court for the District of Arizona.
brings this pro se civil action pursuant to Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). (Docket No.
1 at 1). He is suing Orca Communications and owner Julie
states that when he was hired in May 2017, he was the
“only male in senior management” and the
“first male CEO in the [firm's] history.”
(Docket No. 1 at 5). He claims that during his
“tenure” he “suffered from a hostile
environment and age and gender abuse.” He states that
in his role as CEO, he identified performance issues and
irregularities in operations and revenue, causing him to
recommend “the termination of several employees.”
He also claims to have “discovered irregularities with
the use of federal taxes.”
spoke with the corporate attorney and prepared severance
packages. However, he was “unexpectedly terminated,
” and his role “assumed by younger
females.” Plaintiff alleges that he was terminated due
to his age, gender, and whistleblowing, resulting in
substantial lost income and benefits.
filed a charge of discrimination with both the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) and the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on August 17, 2017. (Docket No.
1 at 3). On February 22, 2019, the EEOC mailed him a right to
sue letter. (Docket No. 1-4 at 1). He was also mailed a right
to sue letter by the MCHR on March 19, 2019. (Docket No. 1-3
at 1). Plaintiff filed the instant action on April 5, 2019.
is seeking punitive and compensatory restitution for his
termination. (Docket No. 1 at 7).
brings this action under Title VII and the ADEA. The purpose
of Title VII is to ensure a workplace environment free of
discrimination. Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557,
580 (2009). The act prohibits “employer discrimination
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin, in hiring, firing, salary structure, promotion and
the like.” Winfrey v. City of Forrest City,
Ark., 882 F.3d 757, 758 (8th Cir. 2018). The
ADEA, on the other hand, “prohibits employers from
discriminating against any individual on the basis of age
with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions,
or privileges of employment.” Jankovitz v. Des
Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 421 F.3d 649, 652
(8th Cir. 2005). See also Rahlf v. Mo-Tech
Corp., Inc., 642 F.3d 633, 636 (8th Cir.
2011) (stating that the “ADEA prohibits discrimination
against employees, age 40 and over, because of their
Title VII and the ADEA require a plaintiff to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing suit in federal court.
See Lindeman v. Saint Luke's Hosp. of Kansas
City, 899 F.3d 603, 608 (8th Cir. 2018)
(stating that exhaustion of administrative remedies is
required before filing a Title VII suit in federal court);
and Shelton v. Boeing Co., 399 F.3d 909, 912
(8th Cir. 2005) (stating that exhaustion “is
a condition precedent to the filing of an action under the
ADEA in federal court”). Here, plaintiff has
demonstrated that he has filed a charge of discrimination
with both the MCHR and the EEOC, containing the same
allegations that he presents in his complaint. See Dorsey
v. Pinnacle Automation Co., 278 F.3d 830, 838
(8th Cir. 2002) (“A plaintiff may seek
relief for any discrimination that grows out of or is like or
reasonably related to the substance of the allegations in the
administrative charge”). Furthermore, this action has
been timely filed within the ninety-day period from when he
received the notices of his right to sue.
however, has not demonstrated that he meets the special venue
requirements for Title VII under 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(3). The special venue provision allows for an
action to be brought in:
any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful
employment practice is alleged to have been committed, in the
judicial district in which the employment records relevant to
such practice are maintained and administered, or in the
judicial district in which the aggrieved person would have
worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, but
if the respondent is not found within any such district, such