Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

WASHINGTON v. ILLINOIS

March 26, 1996

BARBARA WASHINGTON, Plaintiff
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CASTILLO

 Plaintiff Barbara Washington ("Washington") sues defendant Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") for race and sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 623 et seq. She alleges that DCFS discriminated against her by eliminating her position and transferring her to a less desirable location. DCFS moves for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow the Court must grant the pending motion.

 RELEVANT FACTS

 The following recitation of facts is drawn from the parties' Local General Rule 12 statements provided to the Court in connection with DCFS's pending motion for summary judgment. *fn1" Washington began working at DCFS in November 1960. (Pl.'s Ans. Def.'s Interrogs. P 1). She began as a Clerk Typist and progressed through a number of positions over the course of her employment. (Id.). In October 1984, she attained the position of "Executive III" in DCFS's Chicago office of the Office of Management Services--working specifically in the Cook County Business Office--and she remained in that position until August 1992, when she grudgingly accepted a transfer to DCFS's Aurora, Illinois office in lieu of being laid off. (Def.'s Facts PP 3, 12). In her Executive III capacity, Washington had myriad responsibilities included supervision, evaluation, planning and coordination of the following business management functions: accounting, budgeting, vouchering, contracting, purchasing, security, property control, building maintenance and other business related functions as required. (Def.'s Facts PP 9, 14). Washington received superior evaluations of her work. *fn2" (Def.'s Ex. D).

 In July 1992, DCFS implemented a reduction in force ("RIF") and reorganization necessitated by a legislative cut in operations funding and a judicial mandate to reduce its worker case load. (Def.'s Facts P 8). Moreover, a consent decree (relating to supervisor/worker ratios) required the elimination of administrative positions as opposed to direct service positions because elimination of the latter would have led to noncompliance with the consent decree. (Def.'s Facts PP 16, 17). The RIF and reorganization at DCFS involved cuts in management positions affecting people of many races and both genders, including at least 24 management positions in Cook County. (Putting Aff. P 3; see also Def.'s Facts P 29). Within Cook County's Office of Management Services, Washington's position was targeted for elimination. Robert Trine, the Executive III from the Data Control and Benefits Determination unit of Management Services, took over Washington's support services duties. (Def.'s Facts P 20). Washington's former supervisor, John Caldwell, absorbed her other duties. (Id.).

 Washington received official notification on July 13, 1992 that her position was being eliminated due to a reduction in force caused by lack of funds. (Def.'s Facts P 7; Def.'s Ex. B, Layoff letter). When she inquired about other available positions at DCFS, she was offered two possible jobs in Cook County. Both offers were revoked when she failed to respond in a sufficiently timely manner. *fn3" (Pl.'s Add'l Facts P 2; Def.'s Resp. Add'l Facts P 2). Washington's additional requests for a new position led only to proposed DCFS jobs outside of Cook County. Washington ultimately accepted a "Child Welfare II" position in Aurora, Illinois because it was the least distant location and relocating was not a viable option. (Pl.'s Add'l Facts P 2). After a year of working in Aurora, Washington was able to transfer back to Chicago where she filled a vacant Child Administrator II position. (Pl.'s Add'l Facts P 3).

 As evidence of the alleged discriminatory intent underlying her adverse treatment, Washington contrasts her fate with that of the other manager-level employees working under John Caldwell in the Cook County Management Services office. Robert Trine, John Targonski and Amos Gregory are all white males and are all younger than Washington. All of them have less seniority than Washington. Yet none of them underwent a change in employment status as a result of the RIF.

 DCFS Director of Personnel Thomas Putting ("Putting") identified the following factors as being relevant to the decision to RIF Washington's position: efficiency of operations, span of control (supervisor/worker ratio), reorganization and lack of funds. (Def.'s Facts P 19; Putting Aff. P 8). In addition, during his deposition Putting stated that decisions as to which positions would be eliminated were guided by a "formula" that targeted management positions with "two or less subordinate staffs" as positions warranting a closer look. (Putting Dep. at 15-16). When questioned about the specific reasons for eliminating Washington's position, Putting testified:

 (Id. at 18). In response to questions by plaintiff's counsel, Putting noted that budgeting and accounting, and support services were the two subordinate functions that Washington supervised and that support services was easily transferable to another supervisor because "it's not a highly complex function so, therefore, it could be absorbed by someone else." (Id. at 18-19). In her response to DCFS's statement of material facts and supporting materials, Washington denies that Putting's testimony reflects how the layoff decisions were actually made. However, Washington provides no support for this denial. (Pl.'s Facts P 15). Alternatively, Washington offers her own appraisal as to whether her position was any more or less appropriate for elimination. For instance, Washington states:

 
The Plaintiff's duties were not more easily transferable to another supervisor. At the very least, it was just as easily transferable as Robert Trine's duties, Amos Gregory's duties or John Targonski's duties. (Plaintiff's Exhibits C, D, E; Defendant's Exhibit E). Each is responsible for supervising other employees. (Plaintiff's Exhibits C, D, E; Defendant's Exhibit E). *fn4"

 (Pl.'s Facts P 18).

 DCFS moves for summary judgment contending that (1) Washington cannot establish a prima facie showing of discrimination and (2) there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the nondiscriminatory reason it has proffered for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.