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MESSINA v. SIGMATRON

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


April 28, 2004.

Messina
v.
Sigmatron

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES ZAGEL, District Judge

The plaintiff, Nancy Messina, filed her original complaint on May 25, 2001 alleging sexual harassment, gender discrimination, violation of the Equal Pay Act, and constructive discharge. Summary judgment was subsequently granted to the defendant as to the sexual harassment claim. Sigmatron now asserts that Messina's failure to report the sexual harassment by a particular employee is fatal to her constructive discharge claim as well and moves for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-323 (1986). In determining whether any genuine issue of material fact exists, I must construe all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable and justifiable inferences in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). A genuine issue of fact exists only when, based on the record as a whole, a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant. Pipitone v. United States, 180 F.3d 859, 861 (7th Cir. 1999).

According to the defendant, Messina's constructive discharge claim rests solely upon the sexual harassment of a non-supervisory co-worker, which she failed to report to her supervisors. "[A]n employee who quits without first affording her employer a reasonable opportunity to resolve a problem has not been constructively discharged." Wolf v. Northwest Indiana Symphony Society, 250 F.3d 1136, 1143 (7th Cir. 2001). Contrary to the defendant's assertions, Messina's complaint alleges many other incidences of sex discrimination which led to her constructive discharge, including discriminatory comments and actions by her supervisor and senior management. The defendant's argument is, therefore, not accurately based on the record at hand.

  For the aforementioned reasons, the defendant's motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

20040428

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