The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES KOCORAS, District Judge
This matter comes before the court on the motions of Defendant
Field Museum of Natural History ("the museum") for summary
judgment of the claims of Plaintiffs Roberto Claveria and Robert
French. For the reasons set forth below, the motions are granted.
Claveria (born March 11, 1926) is a former employee of the
museum; French (born December 25, 1927) is a current employee. At
the time of the events at issue, both were employed as security
guards in the museum's freight elevator and shipping area. At
that time, Claveria and French worked 32 and 24 hours a week,
respectively. Although he began at the museum as a full-time guard, French
reduced his hours because of restrictions placed on him by his
physician for diabetes and breathing problems brought on by
asthma and emphysema.
In January 2002, Jeff Hawkins, Senior Manager of Protection
Services at the museum, informed French and Claveria that the
museum was installing an electronic keycard security system on
the freight elevator. As a result of the change, it was no longer
necessary to place a security guard at the post that Claveria and
French had occupied.
Hawkins offered both Claveria and French an "on-call" position,
meaning that they would be contacted if another security guard
could not report to work or if the museum had a need for extra
security for special events and the like. Neither Claveria nor
French was willing to take the "on-call" offer, and both asked
whether there were any regular positions that they could take
instead. Hawkins replied that there were no positions available
aside from the "on-call" slots.
Undaunted, French wrote two letters to the museum requesting
that he be considered for a full-time position. He also provided
the museum with a note from his doctor, lifting his previous
restrictions. Approximately three months after the date of the
note, French was offered a full-time position as a security
guard, which he still holds. Claveria inquired of Hawkins about the possibility of his
staying on at the museum "on the floor", once in January and
again in August 2002, immediately prior to his termination. Both
times, Hawkins informed Claveria that his employment was going to
be terminated, and by implication indicated that he would not be
hired "on the floor."
Both Claveria and French filed charges with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, and both received notices of
their right to sue. Each timely filed suit against the
museum.*fn1 Claveria alleged discrimination in violation of
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"),
29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. French alleged discrimination under the
ADEA as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"),
42 U.S.C. § 12102, et seq. The parties have completed discovery,
and the museum moves for summary judgment on all claims of both
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, reveals that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party bears the initial burden
of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325, 106 S.Ct. 2548
(1986). The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to show
through specific evidence that a triable issue of fact remains on
issues on which the nonmovant bears the burden of proof at trial.
Id. The nonmovant may not rest upon mere allegations in the
pleadings or upon conclusory statements in affidavits; it must go
beyond the pleadings and support its contentions with proper
documentary evidence. Id. The court considers the record as a
whole and draws all reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the party opposing the motion. Bay v. Cassens
Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000). A genuine
issue of material fact exists when "the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party."
Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir.
2000); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). With these principles in mind, we address the motions
1. Age Discrimination in Violation of the ADEA
Claveria has not offered any direct evidence of age
discrimination. Instead, he proceeds under the indirect
McDonnell-Douglas method. In a typical ADEA case under the indirect method, a plaintiff must first surpass the
threshold of the prima facie elements. They are membership within
the protected group (persons 40 years of age and older),
satisfactory job performance, an adverse employment action, and
replacement by a similarly situated individual who is not within
the protected class. Balderston v. Fairbanks Morse Engine Div.
of Coltec Industries, 328 F.3d 309, 321 (7th Cir. 2003). In
Claveria's case, which involves a reduction in force ("RIF"), the
fourth factor is altered slightly because the employer decides
who to re-hire or retain from a defined group of existing
employees, thus narrowing the potential pool of similarly
situated individuals. Id. To withstand summary judgment on an
ADEA claim in the RIF context, a plaintiff must ...