On the contrary, the undisputed facts demonstrate that Ms. Juarez's performance was deficient to the extent that she cannot demonstrate that she would not have been terminated but for her complaints of discrimination. At least four AMCI employees complained about Ms. Juarez's work performance. Two of these employees -- Ms. Deswik-Dolik and Mr. Slavin -- thoroughly documented Ms. Juarez's work deficiencies.
In response to these complaints, Mr. Slavin four times discussed Ms. Juarez's job performance with her. Twice he developed performance objectives designed to correct the performance problems Ms. Juarez was experiencing. After approximately five months of working with Ms. Juarez on her job performance and after expressly warning that she would be terminated if she failed to meet her performance expectations, AMCI finally terminated Ms. Juarez. (12(l) Statement, para. 60.)
Ms. Juarez does not dispute that she made mistakes in performing her duties at AMCI. (See, e.g., 12(l) Statement, para. 41.) This admission, combined with Ms. Juarez's failure to present evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the AMCI employees who evaluated her were lying, leads ineluctably to the conclusion that AMCI would have fired her regardless of whether she had filed a complaint of discrimination.
Although reprehensible, sexual harassment does not entitle the victim to lifetime tenure at her place of employment. Because Ms. Juarez has failed to present evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact as to whether AMCI would have terminated her but for her complaints of sexual harassment, summary judgment must be entered in AMCI's favor on Count II of her complaint. Cf. Cooper, 795 F.2d at 1272-73.
Alternatively, even if Ms. Juarez had raised a genuine issue of material fact regarding all elements of her prima facie case, under the burden shifting calculus appropriate to retaliatory discharge claims, summary judgment nonetheless must be granted in AMCI's favor.
If Ms. Juarez had met her burden of establishing a prima facie case of retaliation, the burden would shift to AMCI to articulate a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Ms. Juarez. Given the evidence of Ms. Juarez's inadequate work performance, AMCI has easily met this burden. Ramsey v. Olin Corp., 39 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. 959, 963 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).
Thus, the burden would shift back to Ms. Juarez to prove that AMCI's proffered reason is a pretext for an underlying retaliatory reason. To do this Ms. Juarez must focus on AMCI's specific reasons for taking the challenged employment action. Klein, 766 F.2d at 282. Specifically, Ms. Juarez must establish that a discriminatory reason more likely motivated AMCI in firing her. She must do this by presenting evidence "sufficiently substantial to show that, in addition to the defendant's proffered reasons, a discriminatory motive was a determining factor." Id.
As noted above, almost six months elapsed between the filing of Ms. Juarez's complaint and her termination. Moreover, as noted above, Ms. Juarez has presented no evidence suggesting that the AMCI employees who complained of her poor performance during this period had a motive to retaliate against her such that they would misrepresent her work performance.
In response to a motion for summary judgment Ms. Juarez must do more than simply "show there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts" of her case. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S. Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538 (1986) (footnote omitted). Here, the undisputed facts substantiate AMCI's legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for discharging Ms. Juarez -- her poor work performance. Cf. Ramsey v. Olin, 39 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) at 962-64. Because Ms. Juarez has raised no genuine issue of material fact suggesting that a discriminatory motive was a "determining factor" in AMCI's decision to fire her, she cannot establish that AMCI's reason for firing her was pretextual.
This failure of proof provides yet another basis requiring entry of summary judgment in AMCI's favor on Count II of the complaint.
B. Pendent State Law Claims
Summary judgment also must be entered in AMCI's favor on Ms. Juarez's pendent state law claims, which are governed by Illinois law.
1. Count III: Invasion of Privacy
Summary judgment must be entered against Ms. Juarez on her count for invasion of privacy because it is untimely. Under Illinois law actions for alleged violations of a plaintiff's right of privacy must be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues. Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 110, para. 13-201 (Smith-Hurd 1984); Starnes v. International Harvester Co., 184 Ill. App. 3d 199, 539 N.E.2d 1372, 1376, 132 Ill. Dec. 566 (4th Dist. 1989).
It is undisputed that the sexual harassment on which Ms. Juarez bases Count III had ceased by July 14, 1986. (12(l) Statement, para. 30.) Ms. Juarez commenced this action on January 3, 1989 -- over two years later and long after the statute of limitations had run.
Because it is barred by the statute of limitations, summary judgment must be entered in AMCI's favor on Count III of Ms. Juarez's complaint.
2. Count IV: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Finally, summary judgment must be entered in favor of AMCI on Ms. Juarez's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. AMCI could be liable for Mr. Shkrutz's behavior either derivatively or directly. In this case, however, neither alternative affords Ms. Juarez relief.
If Ms. Juarez is seeking to find AMCI derivatively liable for Mr. Shkrutz's actions, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 48, para. 138.1 et seq. (Smith-Hurd Supp. 1990) ("WCA"), preempts her claim. Bailey v. Unocal Corp., 700 F. Supp. 396, 400 (N.D. Ill. 1988); Regal Tube, 881 F.2d at 426.
On the other hand, if Ms. Juarez is seeking to hold AMCI directly liable for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, she has failed to meet Illinois' very strict interpretation of what constitutes extreme and outrageous conduct. Specifically, Ms. Juarez has failed to present any evidence to convince a rational trier of fact that AMCI itself directed, encouraged, or committed extreme and outrageous conduct as to Ms. Juarez. Bailey, 700 F. Supp. at 400. Ms. Juarez's failure to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to such egregious conduct by AMCI results in preemption of Count IV by the WCA. Id.
Accordingly, summary judgment must be entered in AMCI's favor on Count IV of Ms. Juarez's complaint.
Liability for Mr. Shkrutz's reprehensible behavior lies, if anywhere, not with AMCI, but with Mr. Shkrutz himself. Had Ms. Juarez's counsel been more diligent in serving Mr. Shkrutz with the complaint in a timely manner, Ms. Juarez may not now have been left with a lawsuit without a defendant. Regardless of the actions of Ms. Juarez's counsel, however, under the law summary judgment must be entered in favor of AMCI.
Therefore, for the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, AMCI's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. Judgment is entered in favor of defendant AMCI and against plaintiff Anna Juarez on all counts of Ms. Juarez's complaint. This case is dismissed in its entirety.