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SCOTT v. PACE SUBURBAN BUS

March 25, 2003

GREGORY L. SCOTT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PACE SUBURBAN BUS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul E. Plunkett, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Gregory Scott ("Scott") has sued Pave Suburban Bus ("Pace") for alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"). Pace has filed a Federal Rule ofCivil Procedure 56(e) motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

Facts

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed. Pace Suburban Bus, a unit of local government, is responsible for providing public translxntation by bus throughout Chicago's siM-eounty suburban region. (DeL's LR 56.1(a) Stmt, ¶ 4.) Gregory Scott, an African-American, was hired by Pace's South Division in April 1994 as a bus operator. (Id. ¶ 3.) He became a dispatch supervisor in December 1996 and saved in that position until he was tired on August 21, 2000. (Id.) During Scott's tenure as a dispatch supervisor1 ten other South Division employees held the position of dispatch supervisor. (Id. ¶ 21.) Five of them were African-American. (Id.)

A dispatch supervisor is assigned to perform either as a road supervisor or as a dispatcher. (Id. ¶ 13.) When acting as a road supervisor, a dispatch supervisor conducts field operations out on the road, such as monitoring the performance of bus operators and investigating passenger incidents, accidents and vehicle break-downs. Id.) When acting as a dispatcher, a dispatch supervisor remains on-site at a Pace garage, supervising and coordinating bus routes and bus operators1 maintaining work assignment boards, operating the base radio, coordinating route detours and communicating with local authorities as needed. (Id.)

During his employment as a dispatch supervisor, Scott's own supervisors were Jerel Trerinert, a Caucasian, and Greg Hawkins, an African-American. (Id. ¶ 14.) Pete Komtner, Pace's regional manager fix the South Division, was the highest ranking employee at the South Division. (Id. ¶ 19.) Scott's job pertbrrnance was evaluated by Hawkins. (Id. ¶ 16.) Pace's employee performance appraisal form lists ten discrete categories of evaluation. (Id. ¶ 17; Hawkins Dep. Ex. 10.) On Scott's 1999 appraisal form, coveringthe 1999 calendar year, Scott's performance was rated "below position requirements" in two of the ten areas. (Def.'s LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 16; Hawkins Dep. Ex. 10.) Jn the other eight areas, Scott's performance was rated "meets position requirement," (Hawkins Dep. Ex. 10.) Scott's overall performance was rated "meets position requirements". (Id.)

On August 17, 2000, Joyce Boyd, a Pace bus operator, met with Kommer and told him that on August 15, 2000, Scott was waiting for her at approximately 12:54 p.m. at the Homewood Park & Ride. (Def.'s LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 59; Def's Ex. 25.) Boyd told Koinmer she felt intimidated and harassed by Scott. (Def.'s LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 59.) This conversation prompted Komnier to ask Hawkins to retrieve Scott's daily report*fn1 and system — route check log*fn2 for that date. (Id. ¶ 60.) Aller Hawkins reviewed Scott's records, Hawkins reported to Kommer that Scott's records were not consistent with Scott's whereabouts for that day. (Id. ¶ 64.) Scott's daily report did not indicate that he was at the Homewood Park & Ride at all on August 15. (Def.'s Ex. 21.) It indicated that between 12:30 p.m. and 12:40 p.m. Scott was "en route to 153rd Park" and that between 12:40 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. he was at "153rd Park." (Id.) Komrrier was told by a Pace employee that Scott announced to other dispatch supervisors that Scott caught Boyd running late at the Homewood Park & Ride. (Dci's LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 67.)

Scott was at the Homewood Park & Ride between 12:30 p.m. and 12:40 p.m. oil August 15. (Scott Dep. 93-94.) Scott's daily report did not reflect this fact because, although he was "in the vicinity" of the Park & Ride, Scott was ordered by a dispatcher to go to the intersection of 153rd and Park to investigate a malfunctioning railroad gate. (Pl.'s Ex. D ¶ 23.) He listed his location as "en route" because he never actually got out of' his car at the Park & Ride. (Id.)

Scott's route check log indicated that Scott saw five buses leaving the Pace facility between 6:07 a.m. and 6:09 a.rn. (Def.'s Ex, 22.) Hawkins told Koinmer that Hawkins saw Scott at approximately 6:05 a.m. on August 15 going through a nearby White Castle fast food drive-thru in a supervisor's car. (Def.'s LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 65.) Hawkins also told Kominer that hawkins arrived at the Pace facility at approximately 6:15 a.m. that day, and that Scott entered the LZci1ity's parking lot after him. (Id.) Hawkins told Kommer that Scott's route check log could not be correct. (Dci's LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 66.)

Certain of Scott's daily report and route check log entries for August 15, 2000, were not accurate. (Scott Dep. 89, 97, 100-01, 191.) Scott testified that he did not receive proper training on how to complete a daily report and that he completed it to the best of his ability. (Scott Dep. 97, 99, 101, 191.) Scott was fired on August 21, 2000 by Kommer. (Id. ¶ 68.) Kommer made the decision himself to tenninate Scott. (Id. ¶ 69.) He based his decision on the inaccuracies in Scott's daily report brought to his attention by Hawkins and Boyd, and Scott's own statement to Pace employees that Boyd arrived at the Homewood Park & Ride late. (Id. ¶¶ 72, 74, 75.) Komi-ner told Melinda Mezger, Kommer's immediate supervisor, that he was going to terminate Scott, but Kommer did not consult with anyone else at Pace. (Id.) Scott's immediate supervisor, Trennert, was present as a witness when Koinmerfired Scott. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b) Stmt. ¶ 44.) On August 23, 2000, Scott tiled a notice of charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging race discrimination in violation of Title VII. (Def.'s Ex. 1.)

Scott filed a complaint against Pace, alleging racial discrimination in employment (Count I) and retaliatory discharge (Count II). Pace filed a motion for summary judgment on both counts.

The Legal Standard

To prevail on a summary judgment motion, "the pleadings, depositions1 answers to interrogatories1 and admissions on file, together with the affidavits1 if any, [must] show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. H. Civ. P. 56(c). Atthis stage, we do not weigh evidence or determine the truth of the matters asserted. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). We view all evidence and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Michas v. Health Cost Control of Illinois, Inc., 206 F.3d 687,692 ...


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