The opinion of the court was delivered by: Keys, United States Magistrate Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment on Counts I and II, and Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment on Count II. For the following reasons, this
Court denies both the Defendant's and Plaintiff's motions.
Plaintiff Aleeta Murawski worked for Defendant Tri Service,
Inc. as an Inside Sales Assistant from February 6, 1996, through
January 10, 1997, at which time she was terminated. (Def.'s 12(M)
¶ 2, 44.) Ms. Murawski's duties included writing price quotes to
manufacturers and customers, maintaining sales literature
inventory, providing customers with sales materials, working on
long-term projects and "writing up jobs for the equipment Tri
Service manufactured." (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 2.)
Tri Service hired Ms. Murawski to replace Michelle Johnson, who
left Tri Service in February 1996 to take a job with another
employer, after having worked there since 1993. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶¶
7, 9.) Ms. Johnson had trained Ms. Murawski for two weeks prior
to her leaving Tri Service and provided her with several pages of
instructions as to how to perform the job. (Pl.'s 12(N) ¶ 9.)
Susan Cilia directly supervised Ms. Murawski (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 5)
and "was responsible for assessing Ms. Murawski's performance and
evaluating her work." (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 10.) Fred Valentini is
"Owner and Vice President of Sales and Marketing" and was Ms.
Cilia's supervisor. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 15, 18(c).)
In August 1996, Ms. Murawski asked Ms. Cilia whether she was a
"keeper." (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 62.) Ms. Murawski explained to Ms.
Cilia that she was asking her whether Tri Service intended to
keep her on as an employee, to which Ms. Cilia responded
affirmatively. (Pl.'s 12(N) ¶ 62; Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 62, Ex. 15 at
170.) On September 5, 1996, Ms. Murawski sent a memo to Ms. Cilia
and Mr. Valentini asking them to reconsider Ms. Cilia's prior
refusal to give her a review and salary increase.*fn1 (Def.'s
12(M) ¶ 15.)
At a sales meeting on December 13, 1996, Mr. Valentini
announced that Ms. Cilia would begin maternity leave in March
1997. (Pl.'s 12(N) ¶ 18.) He also announced that Ms. Murawski
would receive more work as a result. (Pl.'s Ex. L at 115.) A few
days later, on December 18 or 19, Ms. Murawski told Ms. Cilia
that she suffers from multiple sclerosis ("MS"). (Def.'s 12(M) ¶
27.) Ms. Murawski had not disclosed her MS to anyone at Tri
Service serving in a managerial capacity before this time. (Pl.'s
12(N) ¶ 30.) Ms. Murawski admitted that her MS had no effect on
her performance. (Def.'s Ex. 15 at 55.) However, she did explain
to Ms. Cilia that, on one occasion, she had needed to use a
typewriter, because her MS flared up and prevented her from
writing legibly. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 34; Pl.'s 12(N) ¶ 31.) Ms. Cilia
allegedly responded to Ms. Murawski's MS disclosure by asking her
"What about the job?" (Def.'s Ex. 15 at 44.) Ms. Murawski
informed Ms. Cilia, that, "despite her MS condition, she was
doing her job and would continue doing it." (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 29.)
Ms. Murawski also told Ms. Cilia that her doctor had advised her
not to "overwork," because she has the form of MS that flares up.
(Pl.'s 12(N) ¶ 31, Ex. D at 38.)
Tri Service terminated Ms. Murawski on January 10, 1997, at a
meeting attended by Ms. Murawski, Ms. Cilia, and John Richards,
CFO of Tri Service. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶¶ 44, 18(a).) Tri Service
claims it terminated Ms. Murawski because of her inadequate
performance. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 44.) Ms. Murawski claims she was
never told that her performance was unsatisfactory. (Pl.'s 12(N)
¶¶ 3, 14.)
Subsequent to Ms. Murawski's termination, Tri Service rehired
Ms. Johnson, a non-disabled individual, for the Inside Sales
Assistant position. (Pl.'s 12(N) Add. Facts ¶ 14.) Ms. Murawski
claims that Tri Service terminated her because she suffers from
MS. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 61.)
On January 28, Ms. Murawski filed a Charge of Discrimination
with the EEOC, alleging that Tri Service discriminated against
her by terminating her after learning that she had a disability.
(Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 52.) The EEOC issued Ms. Murawski a Notice of
Right to Sue (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 54), and on August 28, 1997, she
filed suit against Tri Service for discriminatory discharge.
(Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 55.) She later amended her complaint and included
a second count, charging that Tri Service failed to reasonably
accommodate her disability. (Def.'s 12(M) ¶ 56.)
I. Standard for Summary Judgement
Summary judgement is appropriate when "there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is
entitled to a
judgement as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A genuine
issue of material fact exists when the "evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Initially, the moving party bears
the burden of showing that the record contains no genuine issue
of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323,
106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). The governing substantive
law establishes which facts are material. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248, 106 S.Ct. 2505.
The non-moving party must present more than a "metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts" to survive summary judgment.
Matsushita Elec. Indus., Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). Additionally,
"mere conclusory" allegations are not enough. Nowak v. St. Rita
High School, 142 F.3d 999, 1002 (7th Cir. 1998). The non-moving
party will not survive summary judgement if she cannot present
sufficient evidence to support each element of her case on which
she will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548.
Courts do not make "credibility determinations nor choose
between competing inferences" at the summary judgment stage.
Sarsha v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 3 F.3d 1035, 1041 (7th Cir.
1993). Further, the court must view the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255,
106 S.Ct. 2505. In addition, pursuant to Northern District of
Illinois Local Rule 12(N), the parties must support all disputed
facts with "specific references to . . . parts of the record. . .
." The Seventh Circuit has articulated that courts need not
"scour the record" in an attempt to locate the relevant
information supporting the 12(N) claims. Waldridge v. American
Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir. 1994).
II. Standard for Analysis of Discriminatory Discharge Claim
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA") prohibits
employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with
a disability. 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a) (1994). The ADA recognizes two
types of discrimination: discriminatory discharge and failing to
provide reasonable accommodations.*fn4 Bombard v. Fort Wayne
Newspapers, Inc., 92 F.3d 560, 563 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing
42 U.S.C. § 12112(a), (b)(5)(A)).
A plaintiff may use either direct or indirect evidence in order
to establish a discriminatory discharge. Leffel v. Valley Fin.
Serv., 113 F.3d 787, 792 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S.
___, 118 S.Ct. 416, 139 L.Ed.2d 318 (1997). Direct evidence
requires the employer to acknowledge that a discriminatory motive
caused the plaintiff's termination. Troupe v. May Dept. Stores,
Co., 20 F.3d 734, 736 (7th Cir. 1994). Circumstantial evidence
falls under the rubric of direct evidence, but instead of an
acknowledgment of discrimination by the employer, circumstantial
evidence "provide[s] a basis for drawing an inference of
intentional discrimination." Id. (emphasis added). In using
direct or circumstantial evidence, the court determines whether
"but for" the disability, the defendant would not have terminated
the plaintiff. Hoffman v. MCA, Inc., 144 F.3d 1117, 1121 (7th