The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUZANNE CONLON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Meena Brongel ("Brongel") sues Bank One Corporation ("Bank One") for
age, color, national origin, race, and sex discrimination and retaliation
in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 26 U.S.C. § 12101
("ADEA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1 991
("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Bank One
moves for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 and Local Rule
Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to lenient standards,
compliance with procedural rules is required. Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158,
163 (7th Cir. 1994). Brongel has failed to comply with Local Rule 56.
Bank One provided Brongel with Local 56.1 notice to pro se litigants
opposing summary judgment. Nevertheless, Brongel submitted a ten-page
rambling and argumentative response that includes unsubstantiated
accusations her deposition transcript was altered, purported factual
statements without citation to the record, unsupported rebuttal to the
declaration of a Bank
One employee, and unauthenticated, incomplete portions of documents and
correspondence. Brongel's response does not qualify as a Rule 56.1
response or a statement of additional facts. Nor can her response be
deemed a declaration or affidavit as it is not sworn under penalty of
perjury. 28 U.S.C. § 1746; Eddings v. Lefevour, No. 98 C 7968, 2000 WL
146610, at *7 (N.D. Ill. Sept 29, 2000). Accordingly, BankOne's Rule 56.1
facts are deemed admitted. Oates v. Discovery Zone, 116 F.3d 1161, 1167
(7th Cir. 1997); Flaherty v. Gas Research Inst., 31 F.3d 451, 453 (7th
Cir. 1994); L.R. 56.1(b)(2)(B).
The following facts are undisputed. Bank One is a multi-bank holding
company that provides retail banking, finance and credit card services,
as well as commercial banking, trust, and investment management services.
Employees in Bank One's information technology department are typically
assigned to work in teams at the direction of a team leader who then
reports to a higher level manager. From December 1994 until February
2003, Brongel was a programmer in Bank One's Chicago office assigned to
mainframe computing and COBOL-language projects. In December 1999,
Brongel was assigned to a team managed by Jerry Glass ("Glass"). At her
deposition, Brongel admitted that she and Glass had a romantic, flirting
and consensual relationship, and alluded to the fact that Glass reminded
her of her college boyfriend. Bank One management was unaware of the
In September 2000, Glass left Bank One in order to relocate to Las
Vegas, Nevada. In December 2000, Glass returned to Chicago and was
re-hired by Bank One as a team leader. Although Glass was no longer a
manager, his new role included supervision of Brongel. According to
Brongel, Glass sought her attentions; she rejected him. Nevertheless,
Glass repeatedly made
unwanted sexual advances over the next several months, including
requests for sexual relations and touching. Brongel testified that Glass
slowly "got the idea" that she did not want to have a relationship with
him. Def. Facts ¶ 21; Brongel Dep. at 36.
In late 2001, Bank One decided to deploy Brongel's team from their
current project to another by March 2002. Brongel and her co-workers were
told they could remain on their current team and be deployed, or
alternatively, they could interview for other Bank One positions. On
November 2, 2001, Brongel met with her manager, Ted Frejek ("Frejek"),
after she unsuccessfully interviewed for transfer to another team. At
this meeting, Brongel was upset, argumentative, and threatened to resign.
In particular, she complained about some of her co-workers' performances,
hours and pay. Frejek told Brongel to take time off in order to consider
whether she wanted to resign. Brongel admitted Frejek was unaware she was
purportedly harassed by Glass at the time of their meeting. Def. Facts
¶ 15; Brongel Dep. at 55.
Around the same time, Brongel met with a Bank One psychologist and told
him that Glass sexually harassed her. Thereafter, Brongel met with Frejek
again on November 15, 2001. Frejek asked Lenore Chester ("Chester"), a
human resources consultant, to attend. At this meeting, Brongel
complained for the first time that Glass sexually harassed her.
According to Chester, Brongel recanted the allegation when she asked for
additional details, admitting she and Glass previously had a consensual
relationship that ended several months earlier, that there had been no
sexual harassment, that there was no reason they could not work
together, and that she did not want to resign. Chester indicated that
false allegations were serious, and Brongel apologized. At her
deposition, Brongel testified that the meeting left her `Very satisfied"
and "[everything got smooth]" and went "fine" subsequently.*fn1 Def.
Facts ¶ 26; Brongel Dep. at 67-68.
Over a year later, on December 20, 2002, Brongel again complained about
Glass to Frejek. Prior to this date, Brongel had made no complaints about
Glass to Frejek, Chester, management, human resources, or employee
relations. Brongel told Frejek that Glass kissed her in an elevator two
days earlier returning from a work party, and that the kiss was unwanted
and unsolicited. Brongel told Frejek, "I want to get his ass because I
think he called security." Def. Facts ¶ 38; Brongel Dep. at 147.
Frejek contacted human resources. At her deposition, Brongel claimed that
her co-workers conspired against her that day. In particular, Brongel
thought one employee had drugs in his wallet and Glass planned to put his
wallet in her coat and call security.
After Brongel's complaint, she worked from home until an alternate
workstation could be set up in another Bank One building. Glass was
removed as Brongel's supervisor, and was placed under Frejek. On January
3, 2003, Chester and Amy Brossard ("Brossard") a Bank One employee
relations specialist began investigating Brongel's complaint,
interviewing Brongel, Glass, and some of their co-workers. On January
6th, Brongel filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. On January
10th, Brongel returned to work at an alternate workstation in another
Bank One building under Frejek's supervision.
The investigation was inconclusive. Brongel told Chester that in the
year prior to the kiss, Glass made numerous unwanted sexual advances.
Glass told Chester that their relationship was consensual, and the kiss
was a shared, passionate one. Nevertheless, Bank One warned Glass to
avoid personal, non-business communications with Brongel, placed
his workstation on the opposite side of the floor from Brongel's, and
advised Brongel that she should report directly to Frejek and call
Chester if she needed any help. After December 20, 2002, Brongel made no
further complaints about Glass.
On February 11, 2003, Brongel left Bank One and never returned. That
same day, she filed an EEOC charge alleging retaliation and claiming; that
Glass called the police and had her desk searched, apparently for illegal
drugs. On February 15, Brongel left two voicemail messages at Bank One
informing Frejek and employee relations that she decided not to return to
work. On February 18, Brossard contacted Brongel and confirmed her
resignation. At this point, Brongel apparently believed her co-workers
were conspiring to plant drugs in her desk. At her deposition, Brongel
made numerous accusations, including, for example, that the police were
called in connection with her departure from Bank One, that the police
and Cook County Judge Robert Bertucci followed her in the days and weeks
after she quit, and that someone broke into her car ...