file Rule 11 sanctions and 28 U.S.C. § 1927 sanctions. On
September 20, 1999, FWHS moved for sanctions pursuant to both
Rule 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927 (Docket Entry No. 120). Following
suit, Mayhew, LIUNA and SILDC also moved for sanctions pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1927 on September 27, 1999 (Docket Entry No. 124).
Harris began working for FWHS in 1978. In 1989, she was
promoted to the position of Director of Rehabilitation Services.
In September of 1994, the employees of FWHS elected to become
members of SILDC. Mayhew was the Director of Organizing in charge
of the union organization and campaign at FWHS. Harris alleges
that Mayhew committed numerous offensive acts against her and
that she made repeated complaints to FWHS during her employment
Specifically, Harris alleges that on September 20, 1994, Mayhew
assaulted, intimidated and harassed her while she was working at
the Rehabilitation Center and that after the September 20, 1994
incident, Mayhew threatened, assaulted, intimidated, sexually
harassed and/or stalked Harris on more than one occasion on the
premises of FWHS' Rehabilitation Center. Harris' complaint
further alleges that on or about September 20, 1994, Mayhew
contacted Kenneth Bleyer, an attorney for FWHS, and told Bleyer
that he controlled the County Boards in Franklin and Williamson
Counties and that unless Harris was fired, Mayhew would make
things difficult for FWHS with respect to its position with the
union, and after that Mayhew threatened FWHS with adverse union
actions, including strikes, if FWHS did not discipline,
discharge, demote or otherwise make things difficult for Harris.
She further asserts that agents and/or employees of Defendants,
including Mayhew, did the following: (1) assaulted, intimidated,
stalked and harassed her; (2) circulated a letter falsely
implying that she had been tested for herpes; (3) circulated a
flyer depicting her as a witch; (4) circulated a picture of a
nude female with "call Marcia 618-996-3082" written on it; and
(5) circulated a document entitled "The Great American Bitch
Award" which named Harris as the recipient and stated the award
was given to her for "being a c____t." Harris also claims that in
January 1996, she informed First Amended Complaint Markley, then
acting administrator of FWHS, that Mayhew made or caused to be
made threatening comments to her and threatened to shoot her. She
claims that right after she and Markley talked, Markley issued
her two written reprimands regarding her handling of a union
At the end of June 1997, Harris initiated contact with an
individual named Jimmy Fulks.*fn1 Harris had read news articles
about Fulks' problems with Defendants. Feeling that they had
something in common, Harris and Fulks developed a relationship.
Eventually, Harris met with
Fulks and his partner, corporate counsel, Paul Schoen. Fulks is
paying for Harris' legal bills in connection with this suit.*fn2
Subsequently, in July of 1997, FWHS transferred Harris from her
position of Director of Rehabilitation Services and assigned her
to the position of Director of Development and Marketing. At this
time, Harris was 49 years old and replaced (in the interim) by
Karen Freitag, age 44.*fn3 Ultimately, the position was filled
by Robert G. Ford, age 44. Harris maintains that she was
transferred from her position as Director of Rehabilitation
Services because of her sex, her age and in retaliation. Harris
alleges that this transfer was an adverse employment action. She
also alleges that her new office was infested with roaches.
IV. Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings and affidavits,
if any, "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c). The movant bears the burden
of establishing the absence of fact issues and entitlement to
judgment as a matter of law. Yorger v. Pittsburgh Corning
Corp., 733 F.2d 1215, 1218 (7th Cir. 1984).*fn4 The Court must
consider the entire record, drawing reasonable inferences and
resolving factual disputes in favor of the non-movant. Tregenza
v. Great American Communications Co., 823 F. Supp. 1409, 1411
(N.D.Ill. 1993), aff'd, 12 F.3d 717 (7th Cir. 1993), cert.
denied, 511 U.S. 1085, 114 S.Ct. 1837, 128 L.Ed.2d 465 (1994).
In reviewing a summary judgment motion, the Court does not
determine the truth of asserted matters, but rather decides
whether there is a genuine factual issue for trial. Harms v.
Godinez, 829 F. Supp. 259, 261 (N.D.Ill. 1993). No issue remains
for trial "unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the
non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party.
If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not sufficiently
probative, summary judgment may be granted. . . ." Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Accord Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285,
1289 (7th Cir. 1991).
In a 1995 case, the Seventh Circuit noted that this standard
should be applied "with added rigor" in employment discrimination
cases, in which intent and credibility are crucial issues. See,
e.g., DeLuca v. Winer Industries, Inc., 53 F.3d 793, 797 (7th
Cir. 1995) (quoting Robinson v. PPG Industries, Inc.,
23 F.3d 1159, 1162 (7th Cir. 1994) and Sarsha v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.,
3 F.3d 1035, 1038 (7th Cir. 1993)). DeLuca affirmed prior
Seventh Circuit pronouncements that in employment discrimination
cases, which often involve issues of motive and intent, summary
judgment must be approached with caution. Huhn v. Koehring Co.,
718 F.2d 239, 242 (7th Cir. 1983) Huhn relied on an earlier
case which recognized that, although summary judgment is improper
in employment discrimination cases which involve "weighing of
conflicting indications of motive and intent," where a plaintiff
has no evidence of discriminatory motive to "put on the scales
for weighing," summary judgment is appropriate. Id.
A. Count I — Sex Discrimination
Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate
against an employee
because of the employee's race or sex. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et
seq. The plaintiff must prove that she was a victim of
intentional discrimination. St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks,
509 U.S. 502, 509, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 125 L.Ed.2d 407 (1993). A
plaintiff can satisfy her burden of proof in a sex discrimination
case in two ways: through direct evidence of discriminatory
intent or through indirect evidence demonstrated by the
burden-shifting method presented in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.
Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973).
Pasqua v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 101 F.3d 514, 516 (7th
Cir. 1996); Von Zuckerstein v. Argonne Nat'l Lab.,
984 F.2d 1467, 1472 (7th Cir. 1993). Here, Harris has not presented direct
evidence of discrimination, and thus the Court turns to the
burden-shifting method of McDonnell Douglas.
The first step for Harris under the McDonnell Douglas method
is to establish a prima facie case of sex discrimination.
Gonzalez v. Ingersoll Milling Machine Co., 133 F.3d 1025, 1032
(7th Cir. 1998); Pasqua, 101 F.3d at 516. To establish a prima
facie case of sex discrimination, Harris must show: (1) she is in
a protected class; (2) she is qualified for her position; (3) she
suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) that others,
similarly situated but not of the protected class, were treated
more favorably. Morrow v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 152 F.3d 559,
561 (7th Cir. 1998) (citing Geier v. Medtronic, Inc.,
99 F.3d 238, 241 (7th Cir. 1996)).
Once the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden
shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for its action. Cowan v. Glenbrook Sec.
Servs., Inc., 123 F.3d 438, 445 (7th Cir. 1997). Then the burden
shifts back to the plaintiff to show the defendant's reason is in
fact pretext for discrimination. Bahl v. Royal Indemnity Co.,
115 F.3d 1283, 1290 (7th Cir. 1997). The ultimate burden of proof
remains with the plaintiff at all times. See Kirk v. Federal
Property Management Corp., 22 F.3d 135, 138 (7th Cir. 1994).
First, the Court must determine whether Harris has established
a prima facie case of sex discrimination.*fn5 Defendants
maintain that Harris cannot set forth a prima facie case of sex
discrimination. Harris responds that she was moved out of her
position as Director of Rehabilitation and replaced by a man
because she is a woman. She further argues that there is a
genuine issue of fact as to whether she was meeting FWHS'
legitimate expectations and whether FWHS' reason for transfer was
pretextual. Based on the following, the Court concludes that
Harris has failed to establish a prima facie case of sex
The Court finds that Harris cannot establish that she suffered
an adverse employment action. The Seventh Circuit has defined an
adverse action as follows:
[A] materially adverse change in the terms and
conditions of employment must be more disruptive than
a mere inconvenience or an alteration of job
responsibilities. A materially adverse change might
be indicated by a termination of employment, a
demotion, evidenced by a decrease in salary, a less
distinguished title, a material loss of benefits,
significantly diminished material responsibilities,
or other indices that might be unique to a particular
Crady v. Liberty Nat. Bank & Trust Co.,