United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
April 27, 2004.
CAYETT PORTIES, Plaintiff, V. GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY d/b/a GE CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL SERVICES, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendant General Electric Company
d/b/a GE Capital Auto Financial Services' motion for summary judgment.
For the following reasons, the motion for summary judgment is granted.
Plaintiff Cayett Porties is an African American woman. General Electric
Company d/b/a GE Capital Auto Financial Services ("GE AFS") is a company
which provides consumer loans and automobile financing. On November 3,
1997, GE AFS hired Porties as a collections employee at its Mount
Prospect office. As a collections employee. Porties serviced automobile
loans that were 30, 60 and 90 days delinquent. One year later, Porties
transferred to GE AFS's Harrington office and began a position in the
Dialing Group in which she attempted to collect overdue payments on
automobile leases that were delinquent.
In February 3, 2000, Porties transferred to a position as a collector
in the Recovery Group in which she was responsible for collecting money
owed on vehicles leases that had been written off as not recoverable. The Recovery Group sought to minimize the
losses relating to automobile leases by attempting to recover the vehicle
if the leasee still retained possession of the car and/or by working with
the leasee to develop a repayment plan. Collectors in the Recovery Group
make telephone calls and write collection letters to the leasees as part
of their efforts to recover the vehicles and to obtain payments on
defaulted leases. Each month, GE AFS management sets performance goals
for the amount of money the collectors are expected to collect. These
goals are based on the Group's performance over the prior three months as
well as seasonal trends and fluctuations.
GE AFS uses a Recovery Management System to randomly assign lease
accounts to each of the Recovery Group collectors. However, manual
assignments are made for certain types of specialized accounts, including
lease accounts for Canadian citizens and "Tex-Flex" accounts. Manual
assignments occurred in limited other occasions: (1) for accounts that
were being sent to the Recovery Group that had not been previously
assigned to any collector in the Group, those accounts would be randomly
assigned to the next collector in line to receive a new account; (2) for
accounts that had been referred by a collector in the Recovery Group to
Legal Services and subsequently was being returned to the Recovery Group,
those accounts would be reassigned to the original collector; and (3) if
a collector received a phone call on an account that had been abandoned
or not yet reassigned and was able to resolve the account, then the
account would be assigned to that collector.
When Porties started in the Recovery Group until the time she left GE
AFS, Monica McDermott was the Recovery Manager. However, Porties did not
directly report to McDermott. Initially, Porties reported to a
supervisor, Tim Minister. Then from April 2001 until she was discharged, Porties reported to Adam Diliberti. On or about June
21, 2001, McDermott and Diliberti informed Porties that she was being
placed on a Corrective Action Plan because of her failure to abide by
management guidelines and her repeated failure to reach the collections
goals set for her team. Porties had failed to meet nine of the monthly
departmental collection goals between July 2000 and June 2001. In
addition to not meeting her collection goals, Porties was not correctly
closing her accounts, not properly documenting the work she performed on
her accounts and not updating information required for certain account
After meeting with McDermott and Diliberti, Porties refused to sign the
Corrective Action Plan when it was presented to her and requested that
she be given an opportunity to present a rebuttal, which she submitted on
June 27, 2001. In her rebuttal, Porties claimed that the goals
set for the entire group were unreasonable and that she believed that she
was being harassed and discriminated against because of a previous
incident between her and Diliberti. At that time, Porties did not claim
that the harassment or any alleged discrimination was based on her race.
On August 18, 2001, Porties began a medical leave of absence due to
injuries she suffered in a car accident. Based on GE AFS's disability
policies, because Porties had a disciplinary action pending in her
personnel record when she went out on disability, she received only sixty
percent of her salary. In an annual management assessment dated August
28, 2001 that was prepared while Porties was out on disability, McDermott
rated Porties' performance as less than fully satisfactory. On September
27, 2001, Porties filed a charge of discrimination with the Illinois
Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") alleging that she was placed on a
Corrective Action Plan, subjected to unequal terms and conditions and denied
disability benefits because of her race.
Porties returned to work from her leave of absence on November 5, 2001.
Upon her return, McDermott and Diliberti attempted to meet with Porties
to address the concerns she raised in her rebuttal. Initially, Porties
agreed to meet with them, however, later refused to continue to
participate in the meeting because, as she explained to McDermott and
Diliberti, she had chosen other avenues to resolve this matter. At that
time, Porties also advised McDermott and Diliberti that she wanted
advance notice of any future meetings they wished to have with her. On
November 7, 2001, Diliberti informed Porties that her Corrective Action
Plan would be extended for another two months.
Then, on November 16, 2001, a Call Quality Specialist contacted Porties
to discuss a customer call that was deemed borderline unprofessional.
Porties and the Call Quality Specialist had a confrontation regarding her
conduct on the phone call. Also sometime during November 2001, Porties
raised an issue with management claiming that certain monthly assessments
of her performance contained forgeries of her signatures. Porties met
with Jennifer Duncan, Director of Human Resources for GE AFS, and Melody
Helms, Director of Collections for GE AFS, about her forgery allegations.
These allegations were investigated by management, and ultimately there
was no evidence that Porties' signature was forged on any of the
Thereafter, on November 29, 2001, Porties amended her IDHR charge of
discrimination to include a retaliatory harassment claim. On December
12, 2001, Diliberti and Duncan met with Porties and presented her with
another Corrective Action Plan for insubordination and unprofessional
behavior as well as missing her monthly collection targets. Specifically,
Diliberti and Duncan identified four examples of Porties' insubordination:
walking away from a manager while the manager was speaking with her;
demanding advanced notice for meeting and refusing to attend any meetings
without such advanced notice; failing to provide information requested by
management; and speaking in an inappropriate tone and manner during
discussions with management, including using a confrontational,
intimidating and disrespectful manner of communication. The December 12,
2001 Corrective Action Plan also stated that further display of
insubordination or unprofessional behavior or failure to meet target
collection goals may result in termination. In December 2001, Diliberti
and Duncan also denied Potties' request to carry over the 2001 vacation
time she had accrued and to delay her vacation until 2002. GE AFS did not
permit any collectors in the Recovery Group to carry over unused vacation
time into 2002.
Diliberti and Duncan met with Porties again on January 7, 2002 and
presented her with a notice that her Corrective Action Plan was being
extended for an additional 30 days. During that meeting, Diliberti and
Duncan reviewed Porties' phone records from a weekend overtime
opportunity in which Porties logged over three hours of overtime and
pointed out that during that three hour period she had made only one
business-related call which lasted fifteen seconds while she spent
forty-seven minutes on personal calls. On or about January 8, 2002, GE
AFS also placed five additional employees, including one Hispanic, one
Caucasian, two African American employees and another employee race
unknown, on Corrective Action Plans for their repeated failure to meet
their collection goals.
After extending Porties' Corrective Action Plan in January 2002,
Diliberti continued to monitor her telephone use, and he noticed that
Porties would log herself off of the GE AFS computer system, make
personnel phone calls and then log back onto the system. Diliberti and Duncan then met with Helms to discuss Porties' performance and conduct
and, at that time, concluded that her employment should be terminated
because of her repeated failure to meet her performance goals and her
refusal to follow management guidelines and directions.
Duncan prepared a Review Committee Summary to present to the
Termination Review Committee. In this summary, Duncan identified the
various concerns and problems she and Diliberti experienced with Porties,
including: (1) her unsatisfactory performance and failure to meet her
monthly performance target nine times during the period between July 2000
and June 2001; (2) a pattern of not following management directives on
proper account procedures; (3) a continued display of a pattern of
insubordination and unprofessional behavior that violated management
guidelines and workplace policies; and (4) her continued failure to
respond to the corrective action process notwithstanding the multiple
verbal and written warnings she had received about management
expectations. At the Termination Review Committee meeting, Duncan
discussed her summary report as well as Porties' telephone usage during
the overtime opportunity and her attempt to evade the system monitoring
the next week. The Committee approved the recommendation that Porties'
employment be terminated, and she was notified of the decision on January
18, 2002. Porties filed the instant lawsuit on June 4, 2002.
Even thought GE AFS has urged this Court to consider the fact that on
February 6, 2002 Porties pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in which
Porties admitted that she intended to devise and devised a scheme to
defraud the United States Board of Education in connection with her
employment as a unit supervisor for CSC Credit Services, Inc., we have
not taken Porties' conviction into account for purposes of resolving this
summary judgment motion. However, we do note that such information
probably would be used to attack Porties' credibility, if this case would have gone to trial. Moreover, GE AFS also would have had a
strong defense that it would have fired Porties upon learning of her wire
fraud conviction. Thus, even if Porties would have been able to create a
material issue of fact for trial, the lost wages and benefits that she
seeks likely would have been cut off as of August 21, 2002, which is the
date GE AFS discovered that Porties pled guilty to wire fraud in
connection with her employment as a collections manager with another
company. However, as stated above, this Court did not consider any of the
information about Porties' conviction or GE AFS's asserted defense based
on the after acquired information in deciding this motion.
A. Standard of Review
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment may only be
granted when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . .
the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." FED. R.
Civ. P. 56(c). We apply this standard with particular care in employment
discrimination cases in which intent and credibility are critical.
Senner v. Northcentral Technical College, 113 F.3d 750, 757 (7th
Cir. 1997). Nevertheless, "an adverse party may not rest upon the mere
allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but . . . must
set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial." FED. R. Civ, P. 56(e). A party must present "more than a
scintilla of evidence" to defeat summary judgment. Senner, 113
F.3d at 757.
Indeed, "Rule 56 demands something more specific than the bald
assertion of the general truth of a particular matter, rather it requires
affidavits that cite specific concrete facts establishing the existence
of the truth of the matter asserted." Hadley v. County of Du
Page, 715 F.2d 1238, 1243 (7th Cir. 1983). Conclusory allegations will not
defeat a motion for summary judgment." Thomas v. Christ Hosp. and
Medical Center, 328 F.3d 890, 893-94 (7th Cir. 2003), citing
Lujan v. Nat'I Wildlife Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).
"Speculation does not create a genuine issue of fact, instead,
it creates a false issue, the demolition of which is a primary goal of
summary judgment. "Hedberg v. Indiana Bell Tel. Co., 47 F.3d 928,
932 (7th Cir. 1995) (emphasis added). The fact-intensive nature of
employment discrimination cases does not oblige the court to "scour the
record" for factual disputes to help the plaintiff avert summary
judgment. Greer v. Bd. of Ed. of the City of Chicago,
267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001).
Local Rule 56.1 for the Northern District of Illinois requires that the
parties support all disputed facts with specific references to the record
and further emphasizes that it is inappropriate to include legal
conclusions and/or argument in the Rule 56.1 statements of facts.
Jupiter Aluminum Corp. v. Home Ins. Co., 225 F.3d 868, 871 (7th
Cir. 2000) (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 materials"). The Seventh
Circuit repeatedly has sustained the entry of summary judgment when the
non-movant has failed to submit a factual statement in the form called
for by the local rules and regularly upholds strict enforcement of
Rule 56.1. Midwest Imports, Ltd. v. Coval, 71 F.3d 1311, 1316 (7th
Cir. 1995) (citing cases); Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 583
(N.D. Ill. 2000).
In this case, Porties has failed to object properly and/or respond
appropriately to many of GE AFS's asserted, and properly supported,
facts. In many instances in both her statement of facts and responses to
GE AFS's statement of facts, Porties includes legal conclusions and
argument without specific factual support. Servin v. GATX Logistics,
Inc., 187 F.R.D. 561, 562 (N.D. Ill.1999) (legal argument is improper in statement of
material facts under local rules). In addition, Porties repeatedly has
failed to support her responses to GE AFS's statement of facts with
admissible evidence. Winskunas v. Birnbaum, 23 F.3d 1264,
1267-68 (7th Cir. 1994) (only admissible evidence may be considered on
Specifically, Rule 56(e) requires that affidavits offered in opposition
to summary judgment be made on personal knowledge and set forth such
facts as would be admissible at trial. "Although `personal knowledge' may
include inferences and opinions, those inferences must be substantiated
by specific facts." Drake v. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing
Co., 134 F.3d 878, 887 (7th Cir. 1998), quoting Davis v. City of
Chicago, 841 F.2d 186, 189 (7th Cir. 1988). In many instances, that
is not the case with Porties' affidavit which contains many unsupported
conclusory assertions. In other instances, Porties discusses "evidence"
in her statement of facts and memoranda of law which are not supported by
the record. Therefore, we have relied heavily on GE AFS's version of the
facts in deciding the summary judgment motion. However, it should be
noted that we have reviewed and studied all of the materials submitted by
Porties, and when appropriate, we have taken into consideration Porties'
statement of material facts and responses to GE AFS's statement of facts. B. Title VII Claim
Porties claims that GE AFS violated Title VII by discriminating against
and discharging her because of her race. Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from discharging or otherwise
discriminating against an employee in the terms, conditions or privileges
of employment based on the employee's race. Traylor v. Brown,
295 F.3d 783, 788-89 (7th Cir. 2002), citing 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a).
A plaintiff alleging race discrimination under Title VII can prove such
discrimination either by providing direct evidence of an employer's
discriminatory intent, or by showing disparate treatment using indirect
evidence and the burden-shifting method established in McDonnell
Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). Alexander v.
Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, 263 F.3d 673,
682 (7th Cir. 2001).
Porties has not produced any direct evidence of race discrimination.
Thus, we proceed under the McDonnell Douglas framework. Under
this burden-shifting method, Porties must initially demonstrate: (1) she
is a member of a protected class; (2) she performed her job
satisfactorily and was meeting her employer's legitimate performance
expectations; (3) she suffered an adverse employment action; and (4)
other similarly-situated employees who are not members of the protected
class were treated more favorably. Koski v. Standex Intern.
Corp., 307 F.3d 672, 676 (7th Cir. 2002); Wells v. Unisource
Worldwide, Inc., 289 F.3d 1001, 1006 (7th Cir. 2002). In the event
Porties can establish a prima facie case of discrimination, the burden
then shifts to GE AFS to provide a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason
for its employment decision. Jones v. Union Pacific R. Co.,
302 F.3d 735, 742 (7th Cir. 2002). GE AFS's burden at this point is one of
production only, not one of persuasion. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
Prod., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 142 (2000). To satisfy this burden, GE AFS need only offer
"admissible evidence which would allow the trier of fact to rationally
conclude that the employment decision had not been motivated by
discriminatory animus." Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v.
Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 257(1981).
If GE AFS provides a rational, non-discriminatory reason for its
action, then the burden shifts back to Porties to show that GE AFS's
stated reason is a pretext for discrimination. Simmons v. Chicago Bd
of Educ., 289 F.3d 488, 492 (7th Cir. 2002). Although the burden of
producing evidence shifts between the employee and the employer, "[t]he
ultimate burden of persuading the trier of fact that the defendant
intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff remains at all times
with the plaintiff." St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks,
509 U.S. 502, 507 (1993), quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253.
GE AFS argues that Porties has failed to make a prima facie showing of
discrimination because she cannot satisfy either the second or fourth
prongs of the test. We agree with GE AFS. The record shows that Porties
was not performing her job satisfactorily and that she was not meeting GE
AFS's legitimate expectations because, among other things, she repeatedly
failed to meet her monthly collection goals. GE AFS put Porties on a
Corrective Action Plan in June 2001 after she did not meet her collection
goals in nine of the previous thirteen months. Porties' Corrective Action
Plan was later extended for insubordination and failure to follow
management guidelines and procedures.
In response, Porties asserts that she could not meet her collection
goals because her supervisors impeded her abilities by manually
transferring the "better accounts" to white employees and that based on
this discriminatory practice, GE AFS prevented her from meeting her collection goals. However, these assertions without factual support
are simply not enough to overcome Porties' burden, "An employee's
self-serving statements about [her] ability . . . are insufficient to
contradict an employer's negative assessment of that ability."
Gustovich v. AT & T Communications, Inc., 972 F.2d 845, 848
(7th Cir. 1992).
Porties cannot establish a genuine issue of fact based upon her own
assertions that she was performing her job. Moreover, the record does not
support Porties' claim that GE AFS was distributing accounts with a
racial bias. GE AFS does not dispute that, in certain limited
circumstances, accounts are distributed manually. However, GE AFS has
provided legitimate and reasonable explanations for those instances, and
Porties has failed to point to any specific instances, which are
supported by the record, in which GE AFS has distributed accounts in a
racially discriminatory manner. Thus, based on the record before this
Court, Porties has failed to demonstrate that she was performing her job
satisfactorily and was meeting her employer's legitimate expectations.
Porties also has failed to demonstrate that other similarly-situated
employees who are not members of the protected class were treated more
favorably. In order to meet her burden on this fourth prong of the test,
Porties must show that there is an individual or individuals directly
comparable to her in all material aspects who received more favorable
treatment. Patterson v. Avery Dennison Corp., 281 F.3d 676, 679
(7th Cir. 2002). In considering these material aspects, the "court must
look at all relevant factors, the number of which depends on the context
of the case." Radue v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 219 F.3d 612, 617
(7th Cir. 2000). However, Porties has offered absolutely no evidence that
other similarly-situated non-African American employees were treated more
favorably. Specifically, she has not presented any evidence that
similarly-situated white employees were treated more favorably in the assignment of
accounts, in receiving a Corrective Action Plan or in receiving
Although Porties has claimed that non-African Americans were not
subject to such actions, her conclusory allegations are insufficient:
"conclusory allegations and self-serving affidavits, without support in
the record, do not create a triable issue of fact." Hall v. Bodine
Elec. Co., 276 F.3d 345, 354 (7th Cir. 2002). Porties' statements in
her brief and affidavit without corroborating evidence amount to nothing
more than self-serving, conclusory allegations and should not be
considered as evidence. Oest v, Illinois Dept. of Corrections,
240 F.3d 605, 615 (7th Cir. 2001) (plaintiff is not permitted to submit
self-serving conclusory testimony or "uncorroborated generalities" to
satisfy evidentiary burden in a Title VII claim); Shank v. William R.
Hague, Inc., 192 F.3d 675, 682 (7th Cir. 1999) (court must disregard
on summary judgment self-serving statement without factual support in the
In regard to the assignment of accounts, GE AFS specifically explained
that accounts were assigned randomly except in those instances
specifically identified and enumerated above. Beyond the conclusory
statements and speculation contained in her statement of facts, Porties
has not identified any specific examples, which are supported by
admissible evidence, to support her claim that accounts were manually
distributed to benefit similarly-situated white employees. In regard to
the imposition of disciplinary actions, the record shows that GE AFS
placed five other employees, including one Hispanic, one Caucasian, two
African American employees and one whose race is unknown, on Corrective
Action Plans for their failure to meet performance goals. Finally with
regard to disability benefits, Porties has not cited a single example
when a similarly-situated white employee received 100% of his benefits
while a disciplinary action was pending and he was out of work on a disability leave. Thus, based on the record
before us, Porties has failed to establish the fourth prong of her prima
Assuming arguendo that Porties could establish a prima facie
case of race discrimination, the burden then would shift to GE AFS to
provide a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its employment
decision. Jones v. Union Pacific R. Co., 302 F.3d 735, 742 (7th
Cir. 2002). GE AFS states that it discharged Porties because she was not
performing her job satisfactorily, which is a legitimate and
non-discriminatory reason. Since GE AFS has provided a rational,
non-discriminatory reason for its action, we must now proceed to the
issue of pretext. Porties may satisfy this element with evidence that the
defendant was more likely than not motivated by a discriminatory reason
or that its explanation is not worthy of credence. O'Neal v. City of
New Albany, 293 F.3d 998, 1005 (7th Cir. 2002); Reeves, 530
U.S. at 143 (to show pretext, plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating
that the employer's ostensible justification for its decision is unworthy
The Seventh Circuit has repeatedly reiterated that courts "do not sit
as a superpersonnel department that reexamines an entity's business
decision and reviews the propriety of the decision." Stewart v.
Henderson, 207 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2000). Pretext will not be
found in an ill advised or incorrect decision. Id. Instead, the
Court examines the record to see if there is evidence that the employer
is lying to cover up illegal discrimination. Paluck v. Gooding Rubber
Co., 221 F.3d 1003, 1012-13 (7th Cir. 2000). The record plainly
reflects GE AFS's repeated warnings to Porties about her unsatisfactory
work performance. Furthermore, Porties' failure to show that she was
meeting GE AFS's legitimate expectations supplies GE AFS with a
legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for discharging her. There is
nothing in the record to indicate that GE AFS is lying to cover up some illegal
discrimination. Thus, Porties has failed to demonstrate that GE AFS's
proffered reason for firing her is a pretext for discrimination.
Ultimately, Porties cannot establish a prima facie showing of
discrimination with respect to any of the actions that she alleged GE AFS
took against her for discriminatory reasons. Porties has not shown that
her race was a motivating factor in GE AFS's decision to discharge her or
that GE AFS's reasons were false and the real reason was discrimination
based on race. King v. Preferred Technical Group, 166 F.3d 887,
892-93 (7th Cir. 1999) (plaintiff must produce "significantly probative
admissible evidence" from which the trier of fact could infer that the
employer's reason was false and that the actual reason was
discriminatory). To the contrary, GE AFS gave Porties ample opportunity
to improve her performance and attempted to work with her to resolve the
perceived problems before it determined that her work performance did not
merit continued employment.
C. Retaliation Claim
Porties also claims that GE AFS discharged her in retaliation for
filing charges of discrimination with the IDHR. Title VII prohibits
discrimination against an employee "because [s]he has opposed any
practice made an unlawful employment practice by this subchapter, or
because [s]he has made a charge, testified, or assisted, or participated
in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this
subchapter." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). To prove retaliation under this
provision, Porties again must present direct evidence or proceed under an
indirect method, which is an adaptation of the McDonnell Douglas
burden shifting analysis in the context of a retaliation claim. To establish a prima facie case of retaliation, a plaintiff must show
that: (1) she engaged in a statutorily protected activity; and (2) she
suffered an adverse employment action. Stone v. City of Indianapolis
Public Utilities Division, 281 F.3d 640, 644 (7th Cir. 2002). If the
evidence is uncontradicted, then the plaintiff is entitled to summary
judgment. Id. However, if the evidence is contradicted, the case
must be tried unless the defendant employer presents unrebutted evidence
that it would have take the adverse employment action against the
plaintiff even if there had been no retaliatory motive. Id.
In this case, GE AFS does not dispute that Porties engaged in
statutorily protected activity by filing a claim of discrimination with
the IDHR or that her discharge constitutes an adverse employment action.
GE AFS also concedes that the seven-week time period between the date
Porties amended her IDHR claim (November 29, 2001) and her discharge
(January 18, 2002) creates a causal connection between the two events.
However, the mere temporal proximity between the filing of the charge of
discrimination and the action alleged to have been taken in retaliation
for that filing rarely is sufficient in and of itself to create a triable
issue of fact. Id., citing Bilow v. Much Shelist Freed
Deneberg Ament & Ritbenstein, 277 F.3d 882, 895 (7th Cir. 2001).
Indeed, GE AFS argues that Porties' retaliation claim fails because she
cannot rebut the fact that GE AFS would have discharged her anyway. It is
not disputed that GE AFS put Porties on a Corrective Action Plan in June
2001 and that she remained on it through January 2002 when she was
discharged. Porties did not complain of any alleged discriminatory
conduct until after GE AFS initiated the first disciplinary action
against Porties. It was only in response to the June 2001 Corrective
Action Plan that Porties first claimed that she suffered discrimination
and harassment. However, as discussed above, Porties has failed to
establish discriminatory intent with respect to any of the actions that
GE AFS took. Porties has not shown that her race was a motivating factor
in GE AFS's decision to place her on a Corrective Action Plan and
ultimately in its decision to discharge her. Porties also has not shown
that GE AFS's reasons were false or that the real reason was
discrimination based on race. Thus, Porties has failed to present direct
evidence of retaliation.
Under the alternative route to summary judgment, which the Seventh
Circuit has termed "the adaptation of McDonnell Douglas to the
retaliation context," a plaintiff must show that "after filing the
discrimination charge only [s]he, and not any similarly situated employee
who did not file a charge, was subjected to an adverse employment action
even though [s]he was performing [her] job in a satisfactory manner."
Stone, 281 F.3d at 644, If the defendant employer presents no
evidence in response, the plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment.
Id. However, if the defendant employer presents "unrebutted
evidence of a noninvidious reasons for the adverse action," then the
defendant employer is entitled to summary judgment. Id.
GE AFS states that it discharged Porties because she was not performing
her job satisfactorily, and Porties' failure to show that she was meeting
GE AFS's legitimate expectations supplies GE AFS with a legitimate and
non-retaliatory basis for discharging her. Moreover, Porties cannot show
that any similarly-situated employees were treated better. There is no
evidence in this record from which this Court could conclude that
similarly-situated employees were treated better. There are no other
employees who, while on a Corrective Action Plan, violated management
directives in manner comparable to Porties and who was not discharged. Based on the record before us, we conclude that Porties
has failed to demonstrate that GE AFS's actions were pretextual,
discriminatory or retaliatory.
For all of the foregoing reasons, General Electric Company d/b/a GE
Capital Auto Financial Services' motion for summary judgment is granted.
It is so ordered.
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