The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendant Atrium Village's
("Atrium") motion for summary judgment. For the reasons below, we grant
summary judgment on all counts.
Atrium is a residential apartment complex located in Chicago, Illinois,
Atrium hired Melvin Williams ("Williams") on July 24, 2000 as an
Assistant Head Janitor. As a new employee, Williams' employment was
probationary for 90 days. In late September of 2000, Atrium's Head
Janitor resigned. While searching for a
Head Janitor, Defendant temporarily assigned Williams as Acting Head
Janitor, from October 2, 2000 through October 20, 2000.
Williams indicated to Nancy Spira ("Spira"), the General Manager of
Atrium, that he was interested in the permanent Head Janitor position.
Williams underwent a brief informal interview with Spira, and she later
reviewed his initial job application and resume. However, at the
conclusion of the hiring process, Spira chose Andy Ibell ("Ibell") for
the Head Janitor position. Spira claims that she chose Ibell because of
his experience as a Head Janitor and their prior relationship. Spira
believed Ibell had already proven his capabilities working at Atrium as
an Assistant Head Janitor. Ibell left that position in October 1999 to
pursue a position as a Head Janitor at another residential apartment
complex. Spira and Ibell also had a working relationship at a different
property. On October 16, 2000, Spira explained to Williams that she gave
Ibell the position as Head Janitor. Just a week later, on October 23,
2000, Ibell officially began working as Head Janitor and Williams resumed
his position as Assistant Head Janitor.
As a member of the janitorial and maintenance staff at Atrium Village,
the terms and conditions of Williams' employment are governed by the
Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") between Atrium and the Service
Employees International Union, Local No. 1. The CBA outlines Williams'
included working weekends and assisting the Head Janitor in performing
cleaning work. The CBA explicitly defines the Assistant Head Janitor's
Duties as assisting the "Head Janitor in the performance of his duties
and responsibilities." These duties and responsibilities are likewise set
forth in the CBA and include "work involved in the maintenance,
cleaning, servicing, heating, and operation of the premises,"
Additionally, Atrium required Williams' participation in the on-call
employee system, which involved immediate response to tenant problems
occurring after hours and over the weekend.
From July 24, 2000 through February 17, 2001 Williams' weekly work
schedule consistently began on Monday and concluded on Friday. Pursuant
to the CBA, Atrium maintained the right to schedule employees to meet its
needs. From February 2001 through January 2002, Atrium temporarily
altered Williams' work schedule. Atrium claims it altered his schedule in
order to provide weekday technical training for Lemont Brown. Williams'
compensation rate, job title, and responsibilities remained the same
during the temporary schedule change. The new schedule required Williams
to work weekends, reporting for work on Friday and finishing on Tuesday.
On Fridays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, Atrium expected Williams to perform
his normal weekday duties by completing tenant work orders. Over the
weekend, Williams' duties included cleaning, maintenance work and
responding to tenant emergency requests. Atrium additionally required
Williams to complete Daily Report Sheets and Emergency Maintenance Logs
explaining his weekend work. Atrium required these reports because the
management office is closed over the weekend making it impossible to fill
out work orders. To encourage employees to complete the Daily Report
Sheets, Atrium distributed a memorandum reminding all employees to
complete these sheets or face discipline. Williams often failed to
complete the Daily Report Sheets, receiving a written warning on October
5, 2001. From December 2000 to August 2002, Atrium disciplined Williams
on numerous occasions. Finally, on August 14, 2002, Atrium terminated
Williams when he refused a security guard's request to return to the
apartment complex and let a locked out tenant into his apartment and then
failed to arrive in the morning as he stated he would to let in the
On August 31, 2001, Williams filed a Charge of discrimination with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). However, the EEOC
dismissed his claim on December 18, 2001. Williams then filed a civil
compliant in the Northern District of Illinois on March 14, 2002 claiming
that Atrium failed to promote him because of his race, demoted him
because of his race, and disciplined him on certain occasions in
retaliation for the filing of his EEOC charge in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Count I
seeks relief for violation of Title VII based upon the failure to
promote Williams. Count II seeks relief for violation of Title VII based
upon his alleged demotion. Count III seeks relief for violation of Title
VII resulting from alleged acts of retaliation after Williams filed his
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record reveals that there is
no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). In seeking a grant of
summary judgment the moving party must identify "those portions of `the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
This initial burden may be satisfied by presenting specific evidence on a
particular issue or by pointing out "an absence of evidence to support the
non-moving party's case." Id. at 325. Once the movant has met this
burden, the non-moving party cannot simply rest on the allegations in the
pleadings, but, "by affidavits or as otherwise provided for in [Rule 56],
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e), A "genuine issue" in the context of a motion
summary judgment is not simply a "metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists
when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict
for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir.
2000). The court must consider the record as a whole, in a light most
favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences
that favor the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v.
Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).
In the Northern District of Illinois, parties must comply with Local
Rule 56.1. Compliance requires "a statement of material facts as to which
the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the
moving party to a judgment as a matter of law." Local Rule 56.1(a)(3).
The statement of material facts is comprised of "short numbered
paragraphs, including within each paragraph specific references to the
affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied
upon to support the facts set forth in that paragraph." Local Rule
56.1(a). The non-movant
is correspondingly obligated to submit, "a response to each numbered
paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any
disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the
record, and other supporting materials relied upon. . . ." Local Rule
56.1(b)(3)(A). The non-moving party is also required to file a material
statement of additional facts and the moving party is required to respond
in a likewise fashion. Local Rule 56.1(a) & (b)(3)(B). The court will
deem any fact admitted in the opponent's statement of facts unless the
fact is properly denied by the opposing party. Local Rule 56.1(a) &
The courts are not "obliged in our adversary system to scour the record
looking for factual disputes and may adopt local rules reasonably
designed to streamline the resolution of summary judgment motions."
Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir. 1994). A
denial is improper if the denial is not accompanied by specific
references to admissible evidence or at least evidence that represents
admissible evidence. Dent v. Bestfoods, 2003 WL 22025008, at *1 n.1
(N.D. Ill. 2003); Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 585 (N.D. Ill.
2000). Pursuant to Rule 56.1 any facts included in a party's statement of
facts that are not properly denied by the opposing party are deemed to be
admitted. Local Rule 56.1; Dent, 2003 WL 22025008, at *1 n.1. See ...