Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

GRANA v. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

November 12, 2002

GREGORY GRANA, PLAINTIFF,
V.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ruben Castillo, United States District Judge.

  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Gregory Grana ("Grana") sued the Illinois Department of Transportation ("IDOT") under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3 (a), claiming that he was retaliated against for opposing alleged discrimination against a female Co-worker. Presently before the Court is IDOT's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following reasons we grant IDOT's motion for summary judgment. (R. 12-1.)

RELEVANT FACTS*fn1

Grana was first employed by IDOT in 1990 as a temporary worker. (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶ 2.) In 1992, Grana was hired permanently as a highway maintainer, and in 1994 he was promoted to heavy construction equipment manager of the Arlington Heights Yard ("Yard"). (Id.) Grana' s co-workers include Technician Matt Mara ("Mara"), who holds the highest position at the Yard, and Michael Poladian ("Poladian"), the Lead Lead Worker, who has assisted Mara since 1996. (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶¶ 3, 4.) In conjunction with Mara, Poladian gives assignments to the crew and passes out assignments to Lead Workers. (Id., Ex. D at ¶ 13.) The Lead Workers are responsible for managing their crews, carrying out assigned tasks, and assigning particular tasks to individual workers, including Grana. (Id.)

On October 26, 2000, Grana wrote a memo complaining about alleged unfair labor practices at the Yard. (R. 12, Def.'s Facts ¶ 5.) Specifically, Grana believed that he was being treated unfairly because another worker received more overtime than he did and was transferred to a more favorable position. (Id. at ¶ 6.) In the memo, Grana also alleged that Poladian was under investigation for discriminatory practices against Donna Rhodes, a female co-worker who filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, and Grana indicated that he would "gladly testify" on Rhodes's behalf. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.)*fn2 His memo also mentioned a sexual comment Mara made about Sandi Brown, an IDOT Civil Rights Investigator. (Id. at ¶ 7.) In his memo Grana stated that he could no longer tolerate his supervisors' continual abuse of their power and authority. (R. 15, Pl.'s Facts, Grana Aff. ¶ 2.) Grana claims that the statements in the memo are "not retaliation but factual and I would gladly testify as such." (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶ 8.) Grana alleges that the statements in his memo informed IDOT that he was acting as a witness for Rhodes. (Id.) Grana has not been called to testify on behalf of Rhodes, but he did make a statement to the Chief Counsel for the State of Illinois on February 21, 2002. (R. 15. Pl's Facts, Grana Aff. ¶ 3.)

Grana's memo complaining of unfair labor practices was referred to Giovanni Fulgenzi, IDOT's Personnel Services Manager. (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶ 12.) On November 30, 2000, Fulgenzi met with Grana and Michael Malone. the union steward, for over an hour. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Grana and Fulgenzi discussed all the topics in Grana's memo. (Id. at ¶ 15.) Grana declared that "other employees" were denied opportunities in the Yard because of IDOT's "unfair labor practices." (Id. at ¶ 16.) Grana then informed Fulgenzi that he had witnesses that could vouch for his grievances. (R. 15, Pl.'s Facts, Grana Aff ¶ 4.) Fulgenzi did not inquire about the names of the witnesses, and told Grana that in his experience it would be difficult to get anyone to conic forward. (Id.) Grana also provided Fulgenzi with a typed memo from Tom Kidon, one of his co-workers, which stated that Kidon had heard Mara make a statement about Sandi Brown. (R. 15, Pl.'s Facts ¶ 17.) Grana and Fulgenzi spent less than ten minutes discussing the alleged sexual harassment of women in the Yard. (R. 12, Def.'s Facts ¶ 14.) Fulgenzi never asked for the names of Grana's witnesses, nor did he tell Grana that he was investigating Grana's complaints. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Fulgenzi nevertheless investigated Grana's claims. (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶ 19)*fn3

Grana also complains that shortly after his October 26, 2000, memo Mara warned him that he would need a "good lawyer." (R. 12, Def's Facts ¶ 27.) According to one of Grana's co-workers, Poladian commented that he would "own [Grana's] home." (Id at ¶ 29.) Grana did not hear this comment himself (Id. at ¶ 30.) Grana also felt that Poladian would slam the door in his Face and do things that made him uneasy at work. (Id.) Grana felt that Mara and Poladian ceased "casual talk" with him after his involvement in a sexual harassment claim against them. (Id. at ¶ 31.)

On February 21, 2001, IDOT notified Grana that a pre-disciplinary meeting against him was scheduled. (R. 12, Def's Facts, Ex. K, IDOT Letter.) Grana felt that this pre-disciplinary meeting was retaliatory even though he had not yet received the charges against him. (Id. at ¶ 36). Grana was charged with violating the following sections of the Illinois Department of Transportation Personnel Policy:

Section F-1: "Employees should not engage in, instigate or cause any interruption or impede the work effort of other employees."
Section R: "Employees shall conduct themselves and their business to the highest ethical standards that reflect professional management and/or engineering practices."
Section J: "All employees have a duty to participate in, and shall cooperate with, all official investigations."

(Id at ¶ 38.)

No determination was made at the pre-disciplinary meeting. (Id at ΒΆ 39.) Grana filed a retaliation claim with the EEOC against DOT prior to being informed of the determination of the pre-disciplinary meeting. (Id.) Grana wrote a memo responding to the charges against him. and filed a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.