inform him of it. Although a genuine issue exists as to this rationale because it is also based on plaintiff's status as a supervisor, plaintiff additionally refutes the basis for Menick's belief. Credo testified that during the meeting in Menick's office he stated that he had just found out about the checks. Menick testified that plaintiff indicated that he had known about the check-cashing practice all along, which was why he decided to terminate him. Menick did not ask the cashiers or Maloney whether plaintiff had been involved in or informed of the scheme. Although plaintiff cannot establish pretext by claiming Menick made a mistake about his involvement or knowledge, he can do so by creating a genuine issue as to what he and Menick actually discussed. See Sarsha, 3 F.3d at 1041. Menick supported his belief that plaintiff knew of the scheme on plaintiff's demeanor and statements during their meeting. Plaintiff specifically refuted Menick's description of their conversation by asserting that he told Menick he had not known about the scheme. This is different from arguing that Menick was simply mistaken in believing that plaintiff had known about the checks. The parties' different descriptions of the conversation that formed the basis of Menick's decision makes "this a case of one party's word against another." Sarsha, 3 F.3d at 1041. Summary judgment is inappropriate when credibility is at issue. Id.
To support its assertion that Menick's belief that plaintiff knew all along was reasonable, CBS points to the testimony of several other employees who stated that Credo "must have known" about the scheme. First, as the court previously noted, a review of the testimony reveals that the other employees' assumptions that plaintiff was aware of the check cashing were not based on first-hand knowledge. Second, the issue is what Menick honestly believed at the time he terminated plaintiff. He admitted that he had not questioned other employees about plaintiff's involvement in or knowledge of the scheme before terminating him. CBS cannot now rely on information collected after the termination to establish what Menick honestly believed at the time he made his decision. McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., 513 U.S. 352, 130 L. Ed. 2d 852, 115 S. Ct. 879, 885 (1995).
As a final matter, CBS claims that plaintiff's ADEA claim should be dismissed because he admitted that he had no facts to support his claim of age discrimination. Plaintiff established a prima facie case as to his race, national origin and age claims. Although plaintiff offered no direct evidence of discrimination, a genuine issue of fact exists as to CBS' legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for termination, which it proffered as to all claims. Although a jury may disbelieve an employer's proffered reason for discharge and still conclude that discrimination did not occur, this does not allow a court to dismiss the case at the summary judgment stage. Nor does it require plaintiff to submit additional evidence to prove discrimination. The ultimate question of whether discrimination occurred remains a question of fact for the jury. Sarsha v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1391, 1994 WL 46701 (N.D.Ill.) (discussing Saint Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407 (1993)).
Plaintiff has shown more than a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986). Therefore, the court denies CBS' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's discriminatory termination claims under Title VII, ADEA and § 1981.
For the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted as to the wage discrimination claims and denied as to the termination claim.
ORDERED: Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part.
George W. Lindberg
United States District Judge
DATED: NOV 12 1996