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March 25, 1983


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nordberg, District Judge.


This action is before the Court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, defendant's motion is granted.

Plaintiff alleges in her complaint that she has been discriminated against in her employment on the basis of race and sex. In Count I, she alleges that the defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., by failing to promote the plaintiff to the position of Supervisor of Union Relations, and failing to provide training necessary to insure such a promotion.*fn1 In Count III, plaintiff alleges that the same failures by the defendant constitute a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Count II contains a claim of retaliatory discharge under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3.

Count I and Count III

The four-part test enunciated in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973), applies to employment discrimination cases brought under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Crawford v. Western Electric Co., 614 F.2d 1300, 1315 (5th Cir. 1980). This test therefore applies to Count I and Count III. Under McDonnell Douglas, to establish a prima facie case of discrimination, the plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) that she was black and a female; (2) that she applied for and was qualified for a job for which her employer was seeking job applicants; (3) that despite her qualifications she was rejected; and (4) that after her rejection the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants with her qualifications.

On a motion for summary judgment, the moving party has the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Cedillo v. International Assoc. of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, 603 F.2d 7, 10 (7th Cir. 1979). The nonmoving party is entitled to all reasonable inferences that may be drawn in her favor. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). She may not, however, merely rely upon the allegations in her complaint, nor upon conclusory allegations of discrimination. Patterson v. General Motors, Inc., 631 F.2d 476, 482 (7th Cir. 1980). She must affirmatively set forth specific facts in affidavits or otherwise showing that there are genuine material issues of fact which must be decided at trial. First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 88 S.Ct. 1575,20 L.Ed.2d 569 (1968); Kirk v. Home Indemnity Co., 431 F.2d 554, 560 (7th Cir. 1970).

The plaintiff in this case has failed to meet this burden with respect to two crucial elements of her cause of action. She has not raised a genuine issue of material fact that she was qualified for the position of Supervisor of Union Relations, or that she actually applied for the position.

Plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a Personnel Supervisor at the time she was allegedly discriminated against. She claims to have sought the position of Supervisor of Union Relations. The position description for this job specifies the following educational requirements for the position:

  Bachelor's degree in Business Administration or
  related field or equivalent experience plus
  specialized training in labor-management
  relations, labor law and labor history.

Among the "Special Knowledge or Skills" required in the position description are knowledge of union philosophy and practices. The position description further states that desirable prior experience would include 2-4 years labor background.

Plaintiff, by her own admissions, has demonstrated that she did not possess these required job qualifications. In her deposition, she stated that she has a bachelor's degree in office administration, not business administration. Her office administration degree program included courses such as typewriting and shorthand.*fn2 She admitted in her deposition that she has never completed a single course in labor law, labor-management relations, or labor history, the areas in which specialized training was specifically required in the position description.*fn3 Thus, she clearly lacked the educational background required by the defendant for the position.

The plaintiff has also stated in her deposition that the duties of the Supervisor of Union Relations included handling union grievances, union problems, contract negotiation, and arbitrations. Yet, in her deposition, plaintiff admitted that she had no experience in any of these areas. She stated that she had never negotiated a collective bargaining agreement or participated in such a negotiation, or even read an entire collective bargaining agreement. She also admitted that she had never participated in an arbitration or in any proceeding leading to an arbitration.

Further, in her position as Personnel Supervisor, she had little exposure to any aspect of labor relations. Her duties involved benefits administration, wage and salary administration for dealerships, training, affirmative action, and some recruiting. She admitted in her deposition that, as Personnel Supervisor, she was not involved in negotiations of the benefit plans that her contact with the union representatives was primarily with the "grievance man," and that she did not attend any grievance proceedings or any formal union-management meetings. She also admitted that any problems with interpretation of the benefit plans were taken over by the labor relations manager. Her duties with regard to the Affirmative Action Program were restricted to salaried employees, and she supervised no union employees. The plaintiff therefore has had no experience of any consequence in the area of labor-management relations or labor law to qualify her for the position of Supervisor of Union Relations. Thus, she clearly failed to satisfy either the educational or experience requirements for the position she allegedly sought. She has therefore failed to raise any genuine issue of fact as to whether she was qualified for the position she allegedly sought. This failure to raise a question of fact as to this crucial element of her cause of action requires dismissal of both Count I and Count III. Clark v. Chrysler Corp., 673 F.2d 921, 930 (7th Cir. 1982).

The Court notes that, with regard to plaintiff's specific allegation in the complaint that the defendant hired a less qualified male for the position, a cursory review of the resume of Andrew Bacharach, the person hired for the Supervisor of Union Relations position, reveals that he was unquestionably more qualified than the plaintiff, and that he met all the qualification requirements listed in the position description. Bacharach has a Master's degree in Industrial Relations and experience with his former employer in union relations.* ...

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