harassment, a plaintiff must produce evidence of a "significant shortcoming" in the employer's response. Saxton, 10 F.3d at 535. When evaluating the employer's response, the court may consider "whether the employer's efforts were both timely and reasonably likely to prevent the conduct underlying her complaint from recurring." Jansen v. Packaging Corp. of Am., 895 F. Supp. 1053 (N.D. Ill. 1995) (citation omitted).
An employer is not required to terminate a harasser to satisfy the appropriate remedial action test. Barrett v. Omaha Nat'l Bank, 726 F.2d 424, 427 (8th Cir. 1984). The court recognizes that employers may face litigation from both accuser and accused when attempting to deal with allegations discrimination within their work force. See, e.g., Sarsha v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1391, No. 89 C 8836, 1994 WL 46701 (N.D. Ill. Feb 14, 1994) (addressing age discrimination case in which proffered reason for termination was violation of no-dating policy designed to avoid sexual harassment issues).
In the instant case, Jones has admitted that, within an hour after Jones complained to LSC of Gatzambide's conduct, LSC's human resources personnel met with her, discussed her complaint, gave her the day off, appointed an investigator, and told her that the investigator would contact her within twenty-four hours. She also admitted that, when the investigator did contact her, she refused to speak with the investigator and refused to disclose the name of her attorney. Ultimately, LSC issued a written reprimand to Gatzambide.
Admissions are trumps for summary judgment purposes. See Reed v. Gardner, 986 F.2d 1122, 1129 (7th Cir. 1993) (Posner, J. dissenting in part). Given the admissible evidence and the arguments in the instant case, the court had difficulty imagining, and Jones has not proposed, any action which LSC should have taken in light of Jones' complaint, beyond that which it did take. Although Gatzambide's conduct may have been subjectively offensive, it certainly did not demand that LSC take immediate action against Gatzambide absent an investigation. Jones thwarted the investigation. "When management attempts to delve into plaintiff's claim and plaintiff does not cooperate, she cannot later argue that management is responsible." Foulks v. Allstate Ins. Co., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12716, No. 94 C 7590, 1996 WL 501571, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 1996). Employers stand in a difficult position when faced with charges of sexual harassment against their employees. In the instant case, given the relative tepidity of Gatzambide's conduct and Jones' refusal to cooperate, the court finds that, as a matter of law, LSC'S conduct was appropriate. Jones has come forth with any evidence raising any question of fact on the issue.
In closing its discussion of Jones' federal claim, the court notes that, in her response to LSC's motion, Jones appears to argue the viability of a retaliation theory of recovery against LSC. However, the court finds no indication from the Complaint that Jones even attempted to state a claim for retaliation, much less that she did so, and even less of an indication that she presented any support for such a theory. Jones has not sought leave to amend her Complaint, and she may not do so via responsive pleadings. Wallace Computers Servs., Inc. v. David Noyes & Co., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 516, 93 C 6005, 1994 WL 23110, at *7 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 21, 1994) (citation omitted).
Even so, to establish claims for retaliation, plaintiffs must show that (1) they engaged in statutorily protected activity, (2) they suffered adverse employment action, and (3) there is a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action. Rennie v. Dalton, 3 F.3d 1100, 1109 (7th Cir. 1993). Even assuming protected activity (Jones' complaint to LSC), Jones has produced nothing, much less anything admissible, which would indicate that she suffered adverse employment action. She may have wanted to establish that LSC attempted to move her to another location, and terminated her when she refused to go, in retaliation for her complaint of harassment. She has not done so. She does not even state, much less support, an argument that any transfer which may have occurred (though she has not introduced proper evidence of a transfer) effected her adversely.
Not surprisingly, Jones also has not introduced any evidence which would indicate that she was terminated. As such, the court would have to find, as a matter of law, that she suffered no adverse employment action and, thus, that she cannot recover for retaliation.
In sum, as a matter of law, Jones has not come forth with any evidence demonstrating a material question of fact. She cannot establish her claim. As such, summary judgment is granted in favor of LSC.
As the court grants summary judgment on the federal claim, it will not retain jurisdiction over Jones' "state claim." It would not serve the interests of justice for the court to attempt to resolve that claim, since it is even unclear under which state theory Jones attempts to proceed.
LSC has also moved for sanctions based on the de minimus allegations in Jones' Complaint and the deficient nature of her response to LSC's summary judgment motion. Although the court is far from satisfied with Jones' submissions, it finds that they do not sink to the level of sanctionable filings in civil rights litigation.
For the foregoing reasons, summary judgment is granted in favor of LSC. However, LSC's motion for sanctions is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR., Judge
United States District Court
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
Decision by Court. This action came to a hearing before the Court. The issues have been heard and a decision has been rendered.
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that summary judgment is granted in favor of defendant Levy Consultants Limited and against plaintiff Kimberly Jones. It is further ordered that court finds that plaintiff cannot state a hostile work environment claim against Joel Gatzambide.
September 16, 1996