Washington immediately challenged this action, and the Union filed a grievance on Washington's behalf, protesting Ruhbeck's transfer. Following this action, after Ruhbeck had worked at Plant One for one week, Thrall transferred Ruhbeck back to Plant Two, but denied Washington's grievance citing Searight's request. The Union Arbitrator ultimately acknowledged that Ruhbeck was transferred to Plant One "at the request of and with the agreement of the Union." And although Ruhbeck had been returned to Plant Two, Washington was not transferred to Plant One.
Accordingly, on June 12, 1991, Washington filed a charge of race discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"), asserting that he had discriminatorily been denied a transfer to Plant One. On August 26, 1991, while the charge was pending, Thrall granted Washington's transfer request, and transferred him back to Plant One. In September, 1991, a seventy-five rail car production run began, and Washington stayed at Plant One until February, 1992, when Plant One was once again closed down. In January, 1994, Washington received a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). He filed the instant action, alleging race discrimination in connection with the failure to transfer. He subsequently amended his complaint, alleging addition occurrences of discrimination, including (1) denial of overtime during the time he was assigned to Plant One; (2) assigning him alone to jobs typically assigned to two or more white individuals following his transfer back to Plant Two; and (3) assigning him to duties in extremely cold weather more frequently than white employees were assigned to those duties during the winter of 1994. However, none of these additional instances of discrimination were included in Washington's original charge with the IDHR and EEOC, nor did he file an amended or subsequent charge alleging additional acts of discrimination.
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 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).
In Mojica v. Gannett Co., 7 F.3d 552 (7th Cir. 1993) (en banc), the Seventh Circuit reiterated the applicable standards in an employment discrimination case:
In any discrimination case, the plaintiff bears the ultimate burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his employment was adversely affected by his protected class status. The plaintiff can meet this burden by presenting direct evidence of discrimination, or by successfully navigating the course of shifting burdens authorized in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green.