Defendants cite a good deal of specific evidence to show that plaintiff was fired because of his poor work performance. Plaintiff received a one-day suspension on September 23, 1994 following charges that he violated DCFS Procedures 300.100(a)(2) and 300.160(b). Assistant State's Attorney Renee Thibault informed DCFS officials that plaintiff threatened her during a meeting on October 24, 1994. Although plaintiff denies that he threatened Thibault, he offers no evidence to show that DCFS officials disbelieved her version of the events in question. In November 19994, Williams conducted a quantitative survey of plaintiff's case work and found that he had not achieved any of his target case completion rates. Plaintiff failed to make ongoing attempts to see child abuse or neglect victims in sixteen separate cases assigned to him between May and September of 1994. He was charged with poor quality work in four separate cases. H e was unable to close fifteen cases by a supervisory deadline of October 17, 1994 despite the fact that his pending cases were reassigned and his intake was reduced. Finally, plaintiff himself testified that Williams returned a large number of his cases for correction.
Plaintiff relies on virtually the same evidence to establish pretext as he cited in support of his direct case of discrimination. First, plaintiff disputes the accuracy of his performance evaluations by pointing out that they were prepared by Marcia Williams, a woman whose preference for dark-skinned African-American men is now a matter of public record. Plaintiff does not, however, present any specific evidence to contradict the charges against him. Plaintiff remonstrates that he cannot establish the quality of his work because defendants failed to produce the actual case files in discovery. The docket bears no indication that plaintiff filed a motion to compel the production of those documents, however, and plaintiff makes no effort to address the specific charges against him in either his affidavit or deposition testimony. Standing alone, plaintiff's own insistence that the quality of his work was satisfactory does not support an inference that the stated reasons for his discharge were pretextual. Aungst, 937 F.2d at 1221; Armstrong, 883 F. Supp. at 1179.
Plaintiff contends that his work was not returned to him by his first supervisor or by any of the supervisors who substituted for Williams. As an initial matter, it is unclear whether plaintiff even had a supervisor before Williams. Williams became a supervisor in May 1993 -- the same month that plaintiff was hired -- and she asserts that she was plaintiff's immediate supervisor throughout his employment at DCFS. Plaintiff contends that he had a different supervisor when he first arrived on the job, but he cannot recall her name or how long he worked for her. Even if plaintiff had a supervisor before Williams who thought favorably of his work, that evidence would be immaterial because plaintiff has produced nothing to show that the quality of his work was consistent over time. The possibility that plaintiff's work was satisfactory in 1993 does not undermine the concrete evidence that his work was substantially less than satisfactory at the time of his discharge in late 1994. Hong v. Children's Memorial Hospital, 993 F.2d 1257, 1262 (7th Cir. 1993) (relevant issue is whether plaintiff was performing job at the time of his termination).
Plaintiff suggests that there is reason to question whether his errors were sufficiently grievous to support his discharge because he did not have quarterly evaluations, did not receive a copy of his November 1994 evaluation, and did not get a chance to improve his performance after he returned from his training course in Springfield. He also argues that he was treated less favorably than other child protection investigators who were not light-skinned African-American men over forty. The court has already weighed these arguments and has determined that they do not show that plaintiff's work was satisfactory. Accordingly, the court finds that plaintiff has failed to raise a factual question about whether the stated reasons for his discharge were pretextual.
Plaintiff claims that he was discharged because of his age in violation of the ADEA. 29 U.S.C. § 623. To overcome a motion for summary judgment on a claim of age discrimination under the ADEA, a plaintiff must produce sufficient evidence to show that age was a decisive factor in his termination. Fuka, 82 F.3d at 1402, citing Gehring v. Case Corp., 43 F.3d 340, 344 (7th Cir. 1994) (issue is whether termination would have occurred "if the employee had been younger than 40 and everything else had been the same"). As with a claim of race discrimination under Title VII, plaintiff can meet this burden using either the direct or indirect method s of proof outlined above. Anderson v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 13 F.3d 1120, 1122 (7th Cir. 1994). Rather than accord separate treatment to his claim under the ADEA, plaintiff simply relies on the evidence and arguments discussed above to raise an inference that he was discharged because of his age as well as his race. Accordingly, the court's finding that plaintiff has not produced sufficient evidence to raise an inference of intentional race discrimination applies with equal force to his claim of age discrimination.
C. Section 1983
Finally, plaintiff claims that he was fired because of his race, age, and skin color in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. A claim of intentional discrimination claim under the Equal Protection Clause is subject to the same methods of proof as analogous claims under Title VII or the ADEA. See Dugan v. Ball State Univ., 815 F.2d 1132, 1135-1136 (7th Cir. 1987); Huebschen v. Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., 716 F.2d 1167, 1170 (7th Cir. 1983), citing Rivera v. City of Wichita Falls, 665 F.2d 531, 534 n.4 (5th Cir. 1982). Because the record in this case does not raise an inference of intentional discrimination under either Title VII or the ADEA, defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the section 1983 claim as well. The court also notes defendants Jess McDonald, John Goad, Mary Ellen Eads, and Kathy Glenney are entitled to summary judgment for the additional reason that the complaint refers to them only as supervisory employees of DCFS and does not indicate that they are sued in their personal capacities. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66, 70, 105 L. Ed. 2d 45, 109 S. Ct. 2304 (1989) (state official liable under section 1983 only if sued in personal capacity); Kolar v. County of Sangamon, 756 F.2d 564, 568 (7th Cir. 1985) (failure to specify that state official is named in personal capacity raises presumption that he is named in official capacity only).
Defendants have presented virtually overwhelming evidence that plaintiff was not performing his job adequately when he was discharged from his job at DCFS. Rather than produce any specific evidence to rebut these charges, plaintiff relies primarily on his own self-serving testimony to show that his work was adequate. Accordingly, the court finds that the record contains insufficient evidence to raise an inference that plaintiff was fired because of his age, race, or complexion in violation of Title VII, the ADEA, or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
ORDERED: Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.
George W. Lindberg
United States District Court
DATE: DEC 16 1997
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