MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Gary Kay ("Kay") has sued both his ex-employer First Continental Trading, Inc. ("First Continental") and a credit reporting agency, asserting several claims stemming from the termination of his employment within a very short time (just 19 days) after Kay was hired at the end of October 1994. Although the more complex questions posed by Kay's various claims relate to both defendants' alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, his Complaint Count VI is a state law claim against First Continental alone arising out of what he calls his "wrongful termination."
With discovery on that score having been completed (at least to the extent required to deal with a Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 56 motion), First Continental has moved for summary judgment on the Count VI claim. At this point the parties have complied with the requirements of this District Court's General Rule 12(M) and (N) as well as having briefed the motion, which is therefore ripe for decision. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, First Continental's motion is granted and the so-called "wrongful termination" claim is dismissed.
As is required by Rule 56, this Court draws inferences from the parties' factual submissions in the light most favorable to the non-moving party--in this instance Kay. But it is "not required to draw every conceivable inference from the record--only those inferences that are reasonable" ( Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir. 1991)). What follows has adhered to that principle.
Kay's brief term of employment was the result of his acquaintanceship with one of First Continental's trading managers, Anthony Bittman ("Bittman"), an association that arose out of their mutual interest in backgammon.
Bittman thought that Kay's gaming skills would likely translate well to options trading and, over the course of several conversations, Bittman offered Kay an opportunity to trade currency options for First Continental.
Kay attempts to portray the result of his discussions with Bittman as an oral agreement to employ him "for a fixed minimum period of time" (Mem. 1, 3), but a fair reading of Kay's own account of events--even with the required reasonable inferences--leaves the objective reader wholly unconvinced on that score. Instead Kay's description of what could reasonably be anticipated by the parties in terms of Kay's possible training and development is a good deal more amorphous, plainly lacking the elements of assured promises and certainty that are required to take the parties' joint understanding out of the category of at-will employment (for discussions in that respect, see, e.g., this Court's early opinion in Payne v. AHFI/Netherlands, B.V., 522 F. Supp. 18 (N.D. Ill. 1980) and the opinion from our Court of Appeals that Payne called into play for comparative purposes, Buian v. J.L. Jacobs & Co., 428 F.2d 531 (7th Cir. 1970)).
Moreover, Kay is wholly unpersuasive in attempting to gloss over as "boiler-plate" the written Application for Employment ("Application") that he completed for First Continental after his oral discussions with Bittman and just before he reported for duty at the end of October 1994. After Kay had filled out all of the applicable information on the Application in his own handwriting, he signed it immediately below this legend (emphasis added):
The information provided in this Application for Employment is true, correct, and complete. If employed, any misstatement or omission of fact on this application may result in my dismissal.
I understand that acceptance of an offer of employment does not create a contractual obligation upon the employer to continue to employ me in the future.