of Hawley's deposition were read into evidence by both parties. Though the Court therefore did not have the opportunity to observe Hawley's demeanor while testifying, we note that Hawley categorically disputed Spina's version of a telephone conversation that she initiated between herself and Hawley. We find it noteworthy that Hawley, unlike Spina, was a disinterested party with no motive to lie. Hawley's testimony only further undermined Spina's credibility and discredited her version of the events.
i. Jeffrey Rogers, called by Spina to testify as a witness during her case-in-chief, is a former employee of MRO. Rogers worked at MRO from February, 1980 until January, 1985. Although his demeanor while testifying was sincere and truthful, and he testified that his memory was clear, his knowledge of disputed issues of fact also was rather limited in scope. While generally credible, his testimony lent no credence to Spina's version of the disputed facts and, in fact, tended to support the Kurzes' version of the disputed facts.
j. On all disputed issues of fact, we specifically find that the Kurzes' version of the events was worthy of credence and that Spina's version of the events was unworthy of credence.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343(a).
2. Venue properly lies in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and (c).
3. This action is brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VII" or "the Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Section 703 of the Act makes it unlawful for an employer "to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's . . . sex . . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Section 701(k) of the Act provides that the term "because of sex" includes, but is not limited to, "because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work. . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k).
4. Spina timely filed a charge of discrimination against the Company with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the Illinois Department of Human Rights and received a notice of her right to sue from the EEOC, as required by Section 706 of the Act. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5.
5. The Company is an employer within the meaning of Section 701(b) of the Act. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b).
6. In order to prevail on a claim of sex and/or pregnancy discrimination under Title VII, a plaintiff must ultimately establish that she was a victim of intentional discrimination. See United States Postal Service Bd. of Governors v. Aikens, 460 U.S. 711, 715, 75 L. Ed. 2d 403, 103 S. Ct. 1478 (1983). In other words, a plaintiff must establish that her employer treated her less favorably than other employees because of her sex and/or pregnancy.
7. A Title VII plaintiff may prove her case by direct or indirect evidence. Randle v. LaSalle Telecommunications, Inc., 876 F.2d 563, 568-69 (7th Cir. 1989).
8. This circuit has defined direct evidence as evidence which, "if believed by the trier of fact, will prove the particular fact in question without reliance upon inference or presumption." Randle, 876 F.2d at 569. In this case, Spina produced no credible direct evidence of sexual and/or pregnancy discrimination.
9. A Title VII plaintiff may also establish sex and/or pregnancy discrimination by the indirect method of proof outlined in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973), and later refined in Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981). McDonnell Douglas and Burdine established a three-step framework for analyzing employment discrimination claims, setting forth the rules governing the burden of proof, the burdens of production, and the order of proof. According to that framework, the plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case by offering evidence adequate to raise an inference that she was the victim of an adverse employment decision because of her sex and/or pregnancy. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802; Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252-53. If the plaintiff succeeds, then only the burden of production shifts to the employer to "articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason" for its action. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802-03; Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254-55. If the employer meets this burden of production, then the employee must demonstrate that the employer's articulated reason is a mere pretext. McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at 804; Burdine, 450 U.S. at 255-56. Plaintiff retains the burden of proof throughout this process. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 256.
10. This circuit has repeatedly noted that "the elements of a prima facie case of sex discrimination when the plaintiff alleges that employees of one sex are discriminately denied a benefit that is extended to employees of the opposite sex is unsettled." Scherr v. Woodland School Community Consolidated District No. 50, 867 F.2d 974, 983 n.6 (7th Cir. 1988); Beard v. Whitley County REMC, 840 F.2d 405, 411 (7th Cir. 1988); Jennings v. Tinley Park Community Consolidated School District No. 146, 796 F.2d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 1986) cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1017, 95 L. Ed. 2d 502, 107 S. Ct. 1895 (1987). In the absence of guidance from the Supreme Court on the issue, however, this circuit has assumed, without holding, that in order to establish a prima facie case of sex and/or pregnancy discrimination, a plaintiff need only show a difference in treatment between two major groups of employees of different sex. Scherr, 867 F.2d at 982 n. 6; Beard, 840 F.2d at 411.
11. Spina failed to present credible evidence that she was treated less favorably than similarly situated male or nonpregnant employees.
12. Spina failed to establish that Stahle and Hawley, who had different qualifications and worked in a different division under a different supervisor, were similarly situated to Spina. See Jardien v. Winston Network, Inc., 888 F.2d 1151, 1156 (7th Cir. 1989) (holding testimony regarding employees who worked in different divisions of employer than plaintiff to be irrelevant); EEOC v. Clay County Rural Telephone, Inc., 694 F. Supp. 563, 574 (S.D. Ind. 1988). See also Mazzella v. RCA Global Communications, Inc., 642 F. Supp. 1531, 1546 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), affirmed 814 F.2d 653 (2nd Cir. 1987); Donohue v. Custom Management Corp., 634 F. Supp. 1190, 1195 (W.D. Pa. 1986). Moreover, even assuming that Stahle and Hawley were similarly situated males, Spina failed to prove that either of them was in fact treated more favorably than Spina.
13. The Court also notes that it seriously doubts that the evidence presented regarding Hawley's circumstances are relevant to this case, as Hawley's alleged favorable treatment occurred four to five months after Spina's departure from OM5. See Jardien, 888 F.2d at 1156; Johnson v. Yellow Freight System, Inc., 734 F.2d 1304, 1310, (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1041, 83 L. Ed. 2d 413, 105 S. Ct. 525 (1984); Crimm v. Missouri P.R. Co., 750 F.2d 703, 708, (8th Cir. 1984). These doubts are heightened by Spina's inability to prove disparate treatment vis-a-vis Stahle, the only male whom Spina alleges received favorable treatment prior to her departure.
14. Spina also failed to adduce credible evidence that she was constructively discharged. This circuit has repeatedly held that a constructive discharge occurs only when an employer "' makes an employee's working conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced into an involuntary resignation.'" Bartman v. Allis Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 314 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1092, 94 L. Ed. 2d 160, 107 S. Ct. 1304 (1987) (citations omitted) (emphasis in Bartman); see also Weihaupt v. American Medical Association, 874 F.2d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1989); Henn v. National Geographic Society, 819 F.2d 824, 829 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 964, 98 L. Ed. 2d 394, 108 S. Ct. 454 (1987). An employer, however, is "not obligated to rescue [an employee] from a predicament for which it was not responsible." Bartman, 799 F.2d at 315.
15. Accordingly, Spina failed to establish a prima facie case of sex and/or pregnancy discrimination.
16. Even if this Court were to assume that Spina had produced sufficient, credible evidence to establish a prima facie case of sex and/or pregnancy discrimination, the Company easily met its burden of producing evidence that it refused to allow Spina to work a part-time schedule or three-day workweek for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason.
17. To the extent that Spina relied on the evidence relating to Stahle and Hawley to establish that OM5's articulated reason for denying her demand to work a three-day workweek was a pretext for discrimination, she failed to carry her burden of proving that OM5's articulated reason was pretextual for the same reasons outlined above. Spina also failed to present any other credible evidence of pretext.
18. The credibility of witnesses is often crucial in evaluating employment discrimination cases. See Jardien, 888 F.2d at 1155; Christie v. Foremost Ins. Co., 785 F.2d 584, 586 (7th Cir. 1986).
19. Spina failed to carry her ultimate burden of persuading this Court that she was the victim of intentional sex and/or pregnancy discrimination.
20. As a matter of law, this Court concludes that the Company did not discriminate against Spina because of her sex and/or pregnancy and, therefore, that the Company did not violate the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
Pursuant to Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court enters judgment in favor of the defendant, Management Recruiters of O'Hare, d/b/a Office-Mates 5, and against the plaintiff, Vicki L. Spina. Because the defendant has prevailed on the issue of liability, there will be no need for the Court to consider the issue of the plaintiff's damages. In addition, this decision renders moot the defendant's motion for judgment after the plaintiff's case.