The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Sir Ezell Wilkins ("Wilkins") has sued his former employer Riveredge
Hospital ("Riveredge") under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(42 U.S.C. § 2000e) for assertedly discriminating against him on
account of sex when it terminated his employment and then refused to
rehire him after an internal appeal. Riveredge has moved for summary
judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56, and both parties have
complied for the most part with this District Court's LR 56. I.*fn1
Because Wilkins has not created a reasonable factual inference that
either or both of Riveredge's decisions (1) to terminate him and then
(2) not to rehire him were because of his sex, Riveredge's motion for
summary judgment is granted and this action is dismissed.
Every Rule 56 movant must establish the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact (Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, (477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986)).
For that purpose this Court considers the evidentiary record in the light
most favorable to the nonmovant and draws all reasonable inferences in
his favor (Lesch y. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 282 F.3d 467, 471 (7th Cir.
2002)). But to avoid summary judgment a nonmovant "must produce more than
a scintilla of evidence to support his position" that a genuine issue of
material fact exists (Pugh v. City of Attica, 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th
Cir. 2001)) and "must set forth specific facts that demonstrate a genuine
issue of triable fact" (id.). Ultimately summary judgment is warranted
only if a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the nonmovant
(Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). What follows
is a summary of the facts viewed in the light most favorable to nonmovant
Wilkins but within the limitations created by the extent of his
compliance (or noncompliance) with the strictures of LR 56.1.
Riveredge is a mental health facility specializing in psychiatric care
for adolescents (W. St. ¶ 1; R. St. ¶ 5). Between October 2000 and
November 2001 Wilkins worked as a night shift mental health counselor,
serving predominantly in one of Riveredge's female adolescent units (W. St. ¶ 1; R. St. 18; W. Resp. ¶
9), His immediate supervisor was Nurse Manager Elaine Shemroske
("Shemroske") (W. St. ¶ 5). One of Wilkins' regular duties was to
conduct patient rounds every fifteen minutes by physically "eyeballing"
each patient and making a notation of the patient's location on
Psychiatric Nurse Flow Sheets ("Rounds Sheets") (W. St. ¶¶ 10, 19; R. St.
¶¶ 20, 28, 30, 35; W. Resp. ¶ 22).
On November 7, 2001 a patient named "Dominique" was discharged from
Riveredge at 6 p.m. (W. St. ¶ l3). Wilkins was the Riveredge employee
who escorted her to the lobby and then (as required) separated her Rounds
Sheet from the rest of the pile of such sheets and left it on the nurse's
desk (W. St. ¶¶ 15-16, R. St. ¶ 47). But Wilkins did not put Dominique's
Rounds Sheet in the "closed file box" also as required and as he had
done when he assisted with discharging previous patients (R. St. ¶¶ 45,
48). At about the same time another employee in the unit lost, her keys,
so that all patients were sent to their rooms until the missing keys
could be located (W. St. ¶¶ 5, 9).
When Wilkins returned from discharging Dominique, he picked up the
stack of Rounds Sheets and began to conduct rounds (W. St. ¶ 17).
Although Wilkins says he was unaware of it, Dominique's Rounds Sheet was somehow in the pile of Rounds Sheets,*fn2 and
throughout the course of the evening Wilkins made several notations on
Dominique's Rounds Sheet that she was either "in room," "in group" or
"sleeping" (W. St. ¶¶ 18, 22; R. St. ¶¶ 53, 55). Two notations on
Dominique's Rounds Sheet were also made by Riveredge employee Sherrie
Dean ("Dean") after Dominique's discharge (W. St. ¶ 56; R. St. ¶ 99).
Because Dominique had in fact been discharged several hours earlier, of
course Wilkins did not really see her when he made the several notations
of having done so on her Rounds Sheet (R. Resp. ¶ 20). Wilkins says
he veered from his normal practice of eyeballing each patient that night
because (due to the lost keys incident) all of the patients were in their
rooms and not at different locations throughout the unit as usual. So
rather than locating each individual patient visually and then making a
notation on her Rounds Sheet, Wilkins simply verified that all patients
were in their rooms and then marked the Rounds Sheets accordingly, but
without checking the individual names (W. St. ¶¶ 19-21; R. St. ¶
50; R. Resp. ¶¶ 19-20). But at the end of his shift Wilkins reviewed
the Rounds Sheets and realized that Dominique's had been inadvertently
filled in throughout the course of the night long after she had left the hospital (W. St. ¶
After noticing the problem with Dominique's Rounds Sheet in the
morning, Shemroske brought the sheet to her immediate supervisor Pat
Thomas ("Thomas," also a female)(W. St. ¶¶ 26, 30; R. St. ¶¶ 6, 57).
Shemroske showed Thomas the entries that Wilkins had made on Dominique's
Rounds Sheet and recommended that Wilkins be terminated for falsification
of patient records (W. St. ¶¶ 31-33, R. St. ¶ 58).
When Wilkins arrived for work on November 8, 2001 he was immediately
called into a meeting with Shemroske, Thomas and HR representative Karen
Lindsay ("Lindsay") (W. St. ¶ 40). Thomas showed Wilkins Dominique's
Rounds Sheet and asked him if he had made the entries. He freely admitted
that he had. Thomas informed him that his conduct was grounds for termination, and Wilkins
was promptly terminated for falsification of patient records (W. St.
141; R. St. ¶ 68).
As permitted by Riveredge's grievance policy, Wilkins appealed his
termination (W. St. ¶ 46). In his appeal letter Wilkins explained the
unusual circumstances surrounding his conduct (the lost keys issue plus
his assertion that he wag unaware that Dominique's Rounds Sheet was in
the pile of Rounds Sheets he was completing) and argued that he was
terminated for a clerical error that he was never given the opportunity
to correct (W. St. ¶¶ 47-48). Although Wilkins asked that his grievance
hearing be held before CEO Mark Russell ("Russell"), the hearing was
conducted by CFO Jack Barzilai ("Barzilai") and attended by Lindsay (W.
St. ¶¶ 52-53; R. St. ¶¶ 82-83; W. Resp. ¶ 79).
After hearing Wilkins' explanation and arguments, Barzilai was not
persuaded that Wilkins' discharge was unwarranted based on the
circumstances, and he therefore denied the request for reinstatement (R.
St. ¶¶ 86-87). Wilkins's current lawsuit stems from his belief that
Riveredge's decisions ...