Field Development. His responsibility included the Marketing Division, field agents, and the managers. After joining Bankers, Greenfield focused on expanding the scope of the target market, the traditional senior citizen market, by improving sales to younger individuals. Early assisted Greenfield and his staff to achieve this expansion.
In 1984, ICH acquired Bankers and began restructuring its organization. The friction arose between the management and Early after this reorganization. As part of the restructuring, there was a substantial labor force reduction from 4,200 employees in 1984 down to 2,800 in recent years. The largest reduction occurred prior to 1987. Forty-seven employees including Early were released in the 1988 reduction.
From the mid-1980s to 1988, the relevant chain of command in the Marketing Division at Bankers was as follows: employees Alice Bauer ("Bauer"), Tim Baumann ("Baumann"), and Tom Dennany ("Dennany") reported to James Gaylord ("Gaylord"); Gaylord and Early reported to Greenfield; and Greenfield reported to Jim Bentle, the Senior Vice President of Field Development. In the Actuarial Division, Bernard Rabinowitz ("Rabinowitz") reported to Paul Janus ("Janus"), the Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary.
Another change by ICH was to consolidate the product development and marketing support division with the Actuarial Division. The decision to consolidate was not made, suggested, or encouraged by Bankers' management. ICH's then president Jack Gardner ("Gardner") implemented and executed the move. Prior to the acquisition, the product development and marketing support division was under the Marketing Division. After the consolidation, the Marketing Division's function was limited to providing agent and management training related to product releases. With the changes, Early was transferred to the Actuarial Division.
After the transfer, Early no longer reported to Greenfield, but instead reported directly to Janus. After several months, however, Rabinowitz became Early's direct supervisor at the direction of Janus. Both Janus and Rabinowitz had difficulties in working with Early.
The consolidation not only affected the chain of command, but also altered the scope of Early's responsibilities. ICH took an active role in developing new products and preparing the necessary sales materials. Early was thus no longer needed by Bankers to develop products and prepare sales materials. His duties changed from developing new products to adapting and implementing the product sales materials prepared by ICH for Bankers' field representatives. To assist Early in performing his duties at the Actuarial Division, Bankers assigned Bauer to Early's staff. Bauer is four years older than Early. Bauer responded to Early's requests to prepare drafts of marketing materials, handled correspondence, and provided relief when the proposal system became overloaded. During this time, Bankers was preparing Bauer to be a life-annuity product specialist.
In 1986, the departure of Gardner provided Janus and Bentle the opportunity to return the life and annuity marketing support function from the Actuarial Division to the Marketing Division. In late 1986, the marketing functions within the Actuarial Division returned to the Marketing Division. Bauer, along with other members of Early's staff, was also transferred back to the Marketing Division and continued to perform the same duties. Bauer, however, began reporting to Gaylord. Early was not transferred back to the Marketing Division.
Though Early was not transferred along with the product implementation and marketing support division, Early's job was transferred and reassigned to Gaylord in the Marketing Division. Gaylord is three years older than Early. Essentially, Gaylord's job description was expanded to encompass Early's prior duties. With the new job description came the new title for Gaylord: Director of Agent Development/Product Implementation. Prior to the new job description, Gaylord was only responsible for agent development.
Consequently, after the product implementation function of the Actuarial Division and Early's staff was returned to the Marketing Division, Early did not have any remaining duties at the Actuarial Division. So, in November 1986, Bentle instructed Greenfield to create a position for Early in the Marketing Division, but no staff or salary increases were allowed for the new position. Bentle made the request so that Early may continue his employment with Bankers until he could qualify for additional severance benefits under Bankers' Rule of Seventy-five.
In April 1987, Janus informed Early that there were no tasks or functions remaining in the Actuarial Division for Early to perform. Janus advised Early, however, that Greenfield intended to offer him a position in the Marketing Division. Subsequently, Early spoke with Greenfield about the position in the Marketing Division. Greenfield explained that the position was a position with a fixed level of compensation with no eligibility for salary increases including merit increases. Further, Greenfield informed Early that he will not have a staff and that his duties will be defined by Greenfield himself. Early accepted the terms of the position.
In August 1987, Bankers created and filled a new position of Director of Financial & Business Sales & Services Division. The person who filled that position was not Early, but a younger, outside-hire, James A. White ("White"). White was thirty-eight years of age at the time of his hire. On November 18, 1988, Early became one of the forty-seven individuals terminated by Bankers in 1988. After the termination, Early's former position was eliminated from Bankers' organizational chart.
This suit followed on November 16, 1990. Early alleges that Bankers engaged in unlawful employment practices in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. In the amended complaint, Early accuses Bankers of singling him out and systematically stripping away his titles, duties, and responsibilities and reassigning them to younger employees, resulting in his termination. Bankers contends that Early's position was phased out as part of its restructuring and labor management. Bankers further' asserts that Early's termination was in fact postponed for two additional years so that he may qualify for the benefits of the Rule of Seventy-five.
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Capital Options Invs., Inc. v. Goldberg Bros. Commodities, Inc., 958 F.2d 186, 188 (7th Cir. 1992). Even though all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the party opposing the motion, Beraha v. Baxter Health Care Corp., 956 F.2d 1436, 1440 (7th Cir. 1992), presenting only a scintilla of evidence will not suffice to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285, 1289 (7th Cir. 1991). Nor will some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts suffice. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986).
Moreover, the disputed facts must be those that might affect the outcome of the suit to properly preclude summary judgment, First Ind. Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 508 (7th Cir. 1992), and a dispute about a material fact is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims and defenses . . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). Accordingly, the nonmoving party is required to go beyond the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file to designate specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir. 1991).
Before addressing the merits of Bankers' motion for summary judgment, a discussion of Local Rules 12(m) and 12(n) of the Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ("Local Rule") is warranted. Local Rules 12(m) and 12(n) are instrumental in ensuring that the opposing party to a summary judgment motion does not simply rest on his or her pleadings to avoid summary judgment, especially when the opposing party also bears the burden of proof. MacDonald v. Commonwealth Edison Servs. Annuity, 810 F. Supp. 239, 241 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Local Rule 12(m) provides that, with each motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, the moving party must also file and serve, inter alia, "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue . . . ." Local Rule 12(m).
The counterpart to Local Rule 12(m), Local Rule 12(n), provides in relevant part that:
Each party opposing a Rule 56 motion shall serve and file . . . a concise response to the movant's [Local Rule 12(m)] statement. That response shall contain (1) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon . . . .