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The court reviews the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo.
Plaintiff was employed as a line technician by the defendant. She filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and claimed that she was pressured to take a lower-paying position and was ultimately fired because of her gender. Defendant moved for summary judgment and asserted that the plaintiff had not raised her disparate treatment claim before the EEOC and, therefore, had not exhausted administrative remedies. The trial court granted the summary judgment. On appeal, the decision was vacated.
Did the trial court err in granting the summary judgment?
Plaintiff’s disparate treatment claim was advanced before the EEOC, and the EEOC investigation of that claim was a reasonable consequence of the plaintiff's EEOC complaint and supporting documentation. Administrative remedies for the complaint of gender-based disparate treatment had been exhausted. The statements of plaintiff to the EEOC presented a sufficient predicate upon which one reasonably would expect the agency to investigate a disparate treatment claim.