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DEW v. GUARDSMARK

March 24, 2003

SANDRA DEW, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GUARDSMARK INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Suzanne B. Conlon, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Sandra Dew sues Guardsmark, Inc. ("Guardsmark") for sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e eq. seq. Specifically, Dew alleges Guardsmark failed to promote her to a temporary supervisor position because of her gender. Guardsmark moves for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 and Local Rule 56.1.

BACKGROUND

I. Local Rule 56.1

Local Rule 56.1 requires litigants to follow a detailed procedure in filing and responding to summary judgment motions. Local Rule 56.1 requires both the moving and non-moving parties to submit a statement of material facts, including, "specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." Local Rules 56.1(a)(3) and 56.1(b)(3)(B). All relevant facts denied without supporting documentation must be accepted as true provided the facts are "properly supported by references to the record or other evidentiary material." Jupiter Aluminum Corp. v. Home Ins. Co., 225 F.3d 868, 871 (7th Cir. 2000); Stewart v. McGinnis, 5 F.3d 1031, 1034 (7th Cir. 1993). Evidence submitted at summary judgment must be admissible at trial under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Woods v. City of Chicago, 234 F.3d 979, 988 (7th Cir. 2000).

In its statement of facts, Guardsmark details Charles Dickens' qualifications for the supervisor position. See Def. Facts at ¶¶ 59-63. Dew denies these facts as inadmissible hearsay. However, these facts are not offered for the truth of the matter asserted. Rather, they illustrate Brien Oakley's motive in selecting Dickens for the position. These statements are admissible.

Guardsmark's statement of facts includes the persons Oakley interviewed for the supervisor position and the questions he asked each of them. See Def. Facts at ¶¶ 57-58. Dew denies these statements by claiming she has no personal knowledge of the interviews. This is not an effective denial. Dew provides no supporting documentation or references to the record. Under Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(A), these facts are deemed admitted. Jupiter Aluminum Corp., 225 F.3d at 871.

Guardsmark's statement of facts asserts that during Dew's interview, she said she would "kick ass" as third-shift supervisor. Def. Facts at ¶ 65. Dew's citation to the record does not support her denial. Further, the denial is argumentative and changes the actual language of Dew's deposition testimony. It is undisputed that Dew said she would "kick ass" when Oakley asked if she could supervise the third shift. Def. Facts, Ex. A, at 111-12.

Dew fails to properly dispute paragraph 73 of Guardsmark's statement of facts. Paragraph 73 states that Oakley believed Dickens was the best qualified person for the position. Dew first disputes that fact with her own unsubstantiated opinion that Oakley thought Dickens was the most qualified because he was a man. Unsupported opinions of a supervisor's motives cannot be considered on summary judgment. See Uhl v. Zalk Josephs Fabricators, Inc., 121 F.3d 1133, 1137 (7th Cir. 1997) ("Facts, not an employee's perceptions and feelings, are required to support a discrimination claim"). Second, Dew disputes the statement because Oakley later stated in an email that Dew was a "fine candidate." Dew's Add. Facts, Ex. B. However, in context, Oakley's email confirms his belief that Dickens was the best qualified applicant. "They all would have been `fine candidates' for the position, but Dickens had more supervisory experience and people skills. [Dew] is a very knowledgeable Control Room Operator, but has no supervisory experience, . . . lacks people skills . . . and has had past disciplinary write-ups." Id Accordingly, Dew's citation to the email does not support her denial of the fact Oakley believed Dickens was the best qualified candidate. Accordingly, the fact is deemed admitted.

Dew also fails to properly dispute paragraphs 71 and 72 of Guardsmark's statement of facts. Dew disputes each fact with unsubstantiated arguments based on her personal opinion. Conjecture and speculation regarding an employer's motives cannot be used to defeat summary judgment. Abioye v. Sunstrand Corp., 164 F.3d 364, 367 (7th Cir. 1999). Thus, paragraphs 71 and 72 of Guardsmark's statement of facts are deemed admitted. Uhl, 121 F.3d at 1137.

Guardsmark's response to paragraph 28 of Dew's statement of additional facts fails to cite record evidence supporting its denial that the posted job listing required supervisory experience. In its response, Guardsmark denies the fact with an unsupported statement of opinion. Because Guardsmark provides no supporting documentation of its denial, the fact must be accepted as true and deemed admitted. Jupiler Aluminum Corp. v. Home Ins. Co., 225 F.3d 868, 871 (7th Cir. 2000); Stewart v. McGinnis, 5 F.3d 1031, 1034 (7th Cir. 1993).

II. Facts

All facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. Guardsmark, a Delaware corporation, provides security personnel to businesses throughout the United States. Dew, an Illinois resident, began working for Guardsmark in December 1998. Guardsmark initially assigned Dew to work as a security guard for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Guardsmark promoted her to lobby receptionist and then to control room operator.

In the summer of 2001, Guardsmark temporarily reassigned the third-shift supervisor at Blue Cross/Blue Shield. As a result, Guardsmark need to fill the position. The posted notice for temporary supervisor listed three criteria: (i) control room experience; (ii) few disciplinary infractions; and (iii) seniority. The position entailed supervisory responsibility over other employees. These duties included arranging officers' work schedules, holding instructional meetings, and disciplining officers when they violated rules or regulations. Brien Oakley, ...


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