SAN FRANCISCO -- A court record dated Feb. 22 addresses a discrimination lawsuit that seems somewhat normal but, on closer inspection, offers some interesting omissions.

Judge Edward J. Davila of the U. S. District Court District for Northern California confirms the findings of another court in ruling that plaintiff Liqiang Wei failed to properly make a complaint against the department of physics at Stanford University.

The court report seems to show that the plaintiff did not sufficiently address the details of the legal process correctly in order to support the case.

First, the court found Wei had not “exhausted administrative remedies” for claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or ADEA, and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Specifically, the court said that Wei should have filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prior to filing any civil action. That, the court holds, invalidates both claims.

Of a separate claim involving national origin and race discrimination, the court found there simply wasn't enough evidence of intentional discrimination to make the complaint stick.

“The plaintiff fails to allege any facts that Stanford took any action against him,” writes the court, Wei’s Complaint fails to plausibly allege any intentional discrimination.”

The current claim, according to the court, does not actually allege Stanford took action against Wei, leaving the charge somewhat toothless. The court also points out that a complaint, to be more actionable, should name department heads or other leaders of the department or university in question.

In the end, the court ruled Wei must make an amended complaint by March 7 in order to continue the legal process being that the case is “dismissed with leave to amend.” 

Whether Wei's counsel can put together additional details and do the process work to show significant support for age and/or race discrimination will indicate whether this is a case that was simply brought incorrectly, or whether it lacks certain merits that will eventually lead to subsequent upholding of the original results.

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

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