an adverse job action. This claim also fails because, even assuming its truth, Savino has simply produced no evidence of a causal connection between her complaint and C.P. Hall's failure to interview Savino. Furthermore, C.P. Hall has produced a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its actions that Savino has failed to properly rebut.
Savino specifically claims C.P. Hall raised the requirements for the position solely in an attempt to disqualify her for the position, see Pl.'s Dep. At 196, and she was retaliated against because she "was not given the opportunity to interview for the 5851 position," see Pl.'s Add'l Facts P 87. Contrary to Savino's assertions, the evidence shows that C.P. Hall raised the requirements for the position before Savino expressed any interest in applying, and when C.P. Hall offered to interview Savino for the position, she declined to do so.
We first address Savino's claim that C.P. Hall raised the requirements for the Plant Accountant position solely to disqualify her for the position. In March 1996 -- one month before Savino again complained about Popper and prior to the time she expressed interest in the position -- Martinek increased the minimum requirements for the job. Whereas the position previously required a four-year degree, or one to two years of experience, or an equivalent amount of experience and education -- requirements that Savino could arguably satisfy -- the new requirements called for a four-year degree in accounting and two years of experience in a manufacturing setting and preferably some supervisory experience. See Def.'s Facts PP 210-211. Thus Savino no longer met the minimum requirements because, at the very least, she did not yet have her accounting degree. Martinek, however, justified her decision to increase the requirements. For instance, the person who ultimately filled the position would have to work independently (since the position was at the Bedford Park location, and Martinek worked out of corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago), and would "need to have enough experience to make sound accounting decisions without the benefit of immediate management feedback." See Def.'s App. Ex. K at KS 235.
Also relevant to this discussion is the fact that Martinek did not know of Savino's complaint until May 1996 -- two months after she changed the requirements for the position. See Dey, 28 F.3d at 1458 (finding no causal link in the absence of knowledge). Nor is there evidence of collusion or a conspiracy on the part of management to prevent Savino from qualifying for or receiving the position. As such, Savino cannot establish a causal connection between her complaint and upgrading the job requirements and, even if she could, C.P. Hall has presented a noninsidious reason for its decision to upgrade the requirements for the position.
Next, even if Savino was qualified for the position, she declined the interview, and cannot now claim retaliation because she did not get the job. Although Martinek had reservations regarding Savino's qualifications, she agreed to interview Savino. Since Savino had some experience and would soon receive her accounting degree, C.P. Hall was willing to give Savino the "benefit of the doubt" by granting her an interview. See Def.'s App. Ex. K Savino admits that Green told her on more than one occasion that Martinek would interview her for the position. Pl.'s Dep. At 132, 192. This evidence is contrary to Savino's contention that "corporate" had discouraged Martinek from interviewing Savino. See Pl.'s Dep. at 192.. When asked, Savino chose not to interview for the position, claiming that she did not believe that "the company had any long-term plans" for her, and that she did not want the interview "if you're just trying to pacify me." See Pl.'s Dep. at 203-04. By declining the interview, Savino cannot now claim that C.P. Hall retaliated against her. See Perry v. Harris Chernin, Inc., 126 F.3d 1010, 1014 (7th Cir. 1997).
Savino claims, perhaps in an attempt to establish pretext, that C.P. Hall interviewed someone who "also didn't have the qualifications." Pl.'s Dep. at 192, 202. Savino has failed to point to any evidence indicating who this person was, what qualifications he or she possessed, or that such a person was, in fact, interviewed. The inquiry is moot, however, because Savino herself also could have interviewed for the position, but chose not to. Furthermore, Savino's insinuations that the job did not actually require "two years of cost accounting" are irrelevant. Savino admitted in her deposition that the person actually hired for the position, Ed Wier, who had ten years of experience, was being well utilized by C.P. Hall. C.P. Hall's reasons for raising the requirements were proven justified. She therefore has no evidence of pretext to overcome C.P. Hall's legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its actions.
3. The Lack of an "Anniversary Raise"
Finally, Savino's claim that C.P. Hall's failure to give her a raise on April 1, 1996, her "anniversary date" constituted retaliation, fails as a matter of law. We merely note that even if Savino has produced sufficient evidence to meet the second and third elements of a prima facie case, specifically that she suffered an adverse job action by being denied a raise on her start date as a result of her complaint, C.P. Hall has satisfied its burden of producing sufficient evidence of a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the action. Specifically, C.P. Hall produced evidence showing that raises are given at the beginning of the fiscal year (in October) and not on anniversary dates, that employees generally must be employed for a full year prior to receiving raises, that as an exception to this rule Savino received benefits at a company cost of $ 3.46 per hour in October 1995 (six months after she started), and that benefits are sometimes given to part-time employees in lieu of raises. Finally, C.P. Hall provides an example of this specific conduct in the past, where a part-time employee was not given a raise in October (when she had been employed less than a year), was given benefits in lieu of a raise the following October, and finally received her first "raise" the following year -- 25 months after she began. See Def.'s Facts P 243. Thus, C.P. Hall has provided a legitimate reason for not giving Savino a raise on her anniversary date and Savino has not alleged any contrary evidence to establish pretext. Nor can we conclude that a jury could reasonably reach such a finding.
Savino has not produced sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of retaliation, and even assuming that she had, she failed to produce evidence that C.P. Hall's nondiscriminatory reasons were merely pretext. In the absence of such evidence, we conclude that C.P. Hall is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Savino's retaliation claim.
We find that Ms. Savino has presented sufficient evidence in support of her claims of hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment to survive C.P. Hall's motion for summary judgment. Drawing all inferences in Ms. Savino's favor, the trier of fact could reasonably conclude that Mr. Popper created an environment permeated with sexual innuendo and inappropriate behavior. The evidence supports Ms. Savino's contention that after she declined Mr. Popper's dinner invitation, he used his supervisory authority to harass and discredit her- perhaps in an effort to force Ms. Savino to reconsider her rejection of him. We cannot agree, however, that Ms. Savino has demonstrated that C.P. Hall retaliated against her for complaining about Mr. Popper by withholding a raise and certain promotions from her. To the contrary, C.P. Hall has presented nondiscriminatory reasons for these actions. For the foregoing reasons, C.P. Hall's motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, C.P. Hall's motion is denied as to Savino's hostile environment and quid pro quo counts, and granted with respect to Savino's retaliation count.
A status hearing will be held on January 14, 1998 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss all issues which will ensure a fair and efficient trial.
United States District Judge
December 31, 1997