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KORZEN v. LOCAL UNION 705

March 28, 1994

LYDIA KORZEN and MARSHA O'BRIEN, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOCAL UNION 705, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Plaintiffs Lydia Korzen and Marsha O'Brien bring this eight count complaint, alleging violations of the Labor Management Relations Act, Title VII, and the Equal Pay Act. Presently before the court is defendant Local Union 705, International Brotherhood of Teamsters' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 I. Background

 Plaintiffs Lydia Korzen and Marsha O'Brien bring this action challenging the termination of their employment by defendant Local Union 705, International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Local 705"). *fn1" The circumstances surrounding the termination of each plaintiff will be discussed individually.

 A. Lydia Korzen

 Local 705 hired Korzen as a clerical worker in 1977, and in September, 1986, she became a secretary for Daniel Ligurotis, who was Secretary-Treasurer of the Union. She remained in that position until March 1, 1993, approximately two and one half weeks after Ligurotis was removed from office. At that time, Korzen was reassigned to the Local 705 Health and Welfare Fund, where she worked as a claims adjuster trainee. In that position, she was required to perform "kitchen duty." This obligation essentially required all women employees, other than the Secretary-Treasurer's secretaries and supervisors, to participate in cleaning the "girl's kitchen." *fn2" When Korzen began working as a claims adjuster trainee, there was no similar duty for Local 705's male employees, whose kitchen was cleaned by the janitorial staff.

 On March 4, 1993, Korzen met with the new Secretary-Treasurer, Gildo Valerio, and informed him that she was unwilling to perform kitchen duty because she did not use the kitchen. Indeed, she filed a grievance with the Local 705 Executive Board, contesting, among other things, the kitchen duty requirement. This grievance was denied as meritless. She also filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on March 24, 1993, challenging the differential treatment of men and women with respect to kitchen duty. Notwithstanding her objections, Korzen was again scheduled for kitchen duty for the week of May 3, 1993; however, as she was scheduled to be on vacation during that week, her supervisor, Mary Kwiecien, asked if she would switch weeks with another employee. Korzen refused. When Korzen returned to work on May 10, 1993, Kwiecien requested that she perform kitchen duty that week, but again Korzen refused. Valerio, who had been informed of Korzen's refusals, instructed Kwiecien to put Korzen on the kitchen duty list for the week of May 17, 1993. On May 14, 1993, Valerio instituted kitchen duty for male employees, and instructed Kwiecien to inform Korzen. Kwiecien met with Korzen, informed her that men would be required to perform kitchen duty, and asked her if she would perform kitchen duty the following week as assigned. Korzen attempted to call her attorney, but was unable to reach him. She returned to Kwiecien, who demanded an immediate answer. Korzen stated that she was still unwilling to participate in kitchen duty, as she did not use the kitchen. Kwiecien informed Valerio that Korzen had again refused. Later that day, Korzen reached her attorney and, after consulting with him, changed her mind regarding kitchen duty. She informed Kwiecien that she would perform kitchen duty, and asked that her name be put on a list to see Valerio. However, before Korzen was able to see Valerio, he terminated her for "insubordination." At no time was Korzen informed that her refusal to participate in kitchen duty would result in her termination.

 B. Marsha O'Brien

 O'Brien was first hired by Local 705 in April, 1973, and she worked there as a clerk off and on for the next ten years. In September, 1986, she was hired as primary secretary to Secretary-Treasurer Ligurotis. On February 16, 1993, four days after Ligurotis was removed from office, O'Brien arrived at work, and was informed by Local 705 President Donald Heim that the Union's lawyer had stated that O'Brien could not be in the office and would have to leave. O'Brien then sought out Ligurotis, who confirmed that he had been removed as Secretary-Treasurer. O'Brien left the building and had no further contact with Local 705 until approximately one or two weeks later, when she called Valerio to inquire about the status of her employment. He informed her that she had been replaced by another employee, and that she should "leave it as is." *fn3"

 On March 22, 1993, O'Brien filed a grievance with the Local 705 Executive Board, stating that she never received notice of dismissal or severance pay, and seeking reinstatement plus backpay. This grievance was denied as meritless. In addition, she filed, on March 24, 1993, a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, challenging the Union's decision to terminate her without notice or severance pay.

 II. Summary Judgment Standard

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). This standard places the initial burden on the moving party to identify "those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986) (quoting Rule 56(c)). Once the moving party has done this, the non-moving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must read all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986); Griffin v. Thomas, 929 F.2d 1210, 1212 (7th Cir. 1991).

 III. Discussion

 Counts I through IV are grounded in the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 185 et seq. Section 301 of that Act provides:

 
(a) Suits for violations of contracts between an employer and a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce as defined in this chapter, or between any such labor organizations, may be brought in any district court of the United States . . . . *fn4"

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