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PERERA v. FLEXONICS

October 25, 1989

CHRISTINE PERERA, Plaintiff,
v.
FLEXONICS, INCORPORATED, DARYL KLINGER, DOUGLAS MARVEL, RICHARD WHITE, JERRY CUDWORTH, STEVEN J. PERKINS and GENE BURKART, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff Christine Perera has brought this employment discrimination action against her former employer, Flexonics, Inc., and six individual defendants. Currently before the Court is each defendant's motion for partial summary judgment. Flexonics also has moved for sanctions under F.R.Civ.P. 11. For the reasons given below, we grant the motions of Perkins, Cudworth and Burkart and grant the motions of Flexonics, Marvel and Klinger in part.

 Background

 Christine Perera was employed by Flexonics in its Bartlett facility. On March 12, 1987, Perera was discharged from her position as Sales Customer Service Representative. Perera subsequently filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). Perera's IDHR complaint alleged sex discrimination, age discrimination and retaliatory discharge.

 Perera's IDHR complaint focused on three incidents. First, she alleges that she was "forced" to take a Sales Customer Service Representative position in April 1986. Perera, who is now 49 years old, claims that in March 1987 she discovered that she was being paid less than the 28 year old male whom she replaced. Second, in March 1987, Perera alleges that Flexonics told her that her position at Flexonics would be eliminated. Flexonics was reorganizing and explained to Perera that she lacked sufficient seniority to retain her position after the reorganization. However, Flexonics retained a 33 year old employee who had less seniority than Perera. Finally, Perera claimed that Flexonics was aware that she had brought its employment practices to the attention of the IDHR. Perera alleged that Flexonics discharged her in retaliation for making these reports to the IDHR.

  In February of 1989, Perera filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. *fn1" The defendants subsequently removed the action to this Court. In addition to Flexonics, Perera named the following individuals in her complaint: Steven J. Perkins, the President of Flexonics; Daryl Klinger, Flexonics' Director of Human Relations; Douglas Marvel, Marketing Supervisor; Rick White, Marketing Service Manager; Jerry Cudworth, Director of Marketing; and Gene Burkart, OEM Market Manager.

 The ten-count complaint seeks recovery on numerous theories and against various combinations of defendants. In some of the counts, Perera seeks recovery for the same actions that formed the basis for the IDHR complaint. In addition, she pleads theories of recovery and factual matter not included in her IDHR charge. *fn2" Most notably, Perera maintains that various defendants sexually discriminated against her by forcing her to perform menial and traditionally female tasks. Each of the defendants has filed a motion for partial summary judgment.

 Standard of Review

 "A motion for summary judgment should be granted only when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Checkers, Simon & Rosner v. Lurie Corp., 864 F.2d 1338 (7th Cir. 1989) (citation omitted). The moving party bears the burden of establishing the absence of any disputed facts. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986). If, however, the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving an issue at trial, it also bears the burden of presenting sufficient facts on summary judgment from which a trier of fact could find in its favor, and the moving party need only "[point] out to the District Court . . . that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 2554; Beard v. Whitley County REMC, 840 F.2d 405, 410 (7th Cir. 1988). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must read all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2513, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986); Richardson v. Penfold, 839 F.2d 392, 394 (7th Cir. 1988).

 Discussion

 Count 1

 In Count 1, Perera alleges that Flexonics violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. Count 1 originally contained a claim for compensatory and liquidated damages in excess of $ 15,000. However, Perera has explained that her request for compensatory damages was made only to gain reinstatement to her former position. In addition, she acknowledges that her claim for liquidated damages was improper and voluntarily strikes this claim.

 Flexonics moves for summary judgment on Perera's claim under the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA"). Flexonics argues that this claim is deficient because Perera has failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as required by the statute. We agree and grant summary judgment for Flexonics on this issue.

 The Illinois Human Rights Act does not provide a private cause of action but requires that the plaintiff exhaust the administrative remedies provided by the statute before seeking judicial review. Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 68, para. 8-111. Stoecklein v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc., 589 F. Supp. 139, 145 (N.D.Ill. 1984). The Illinois Supreme Court has recognized the broad preemptive effect of the Illinois Human Rights Act and the need to exhaust its extensive administrative requirements before invoking state court jurisdiction over any civil rights claim. See, e.g., Mein v. Masonite Corp., 109 Ill.2d 1, 485 N.E.2d 312, 92 Ill. Dec. 501 (1985).

 Count 2

 Count 2 charges Flexonics with willful age discrimination. The statutory causes of action in this count are identical to those in Count 1. We note that Perera's clarification of her claim for compensatory damages and her ...


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