The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendants' motion for
summary judgment. Plaintiff Willie Morris has filed a pro se
complaint against defendants Bill O'Boyle and First Equity
Mortgage alleging both racial and gender discrimination in
violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq. For the
following reasons, defendants' motion for summary judgment is
The following undisputed facts are taken from defendants' Local
Rule 56.1 Statement of Material Facts. Defendant O'Boyle is the
president of First Equity Mortgage. First Equity Mortgage first
hired Morris in April 2002 as a telemarketer. On his first
scheduled start date, Morris called O'Boyle to explain that he
would not be able to show up for work because he was in a car
accident. O'Boyle gave Morris a second start date. However,
Morris did not show up for work on the second date either.
O'Boyle contacted Morris to inquire about his absence. Morris
explained that he had been offered and accepted a job with the
Cook County Forest Preserve, and thus, he would not be working at
First Equity Mortgage. Several months later, Morris once again interviewed for a
telemarketing position at First Equity Mortgage. Although O'Boyle
was hesitant to hire Morris again, O'Boyle decided to give Morris
another chance and offered him a job. At that time, O'Boyle set
forth First Equity Mortgage's absentee and notification policies
and employment guidelines and specifically explained to Morris
that, if he violated the absentee or notification policies, he
would be discharged. First Equity Mortgage had very strict
guidelines for new employees. Among other guidelines, it is First
Equity Mortgage's policy that an employee contact the office
manager at a minimum of three hours prior to the start of his or
her shift if there is going to be problem or if the employee will
not be at work. The first month of employment at First Equity
Mortgage is considered a probationary time period for new
employees. During this time, new employees may be fired for any
violations of First Equity Mortgage's employment guidelines or
Morris began his employment with First Equity Mortgage in or
about November 2002. However, only three or four days after he
had started, Morris called into work about thirty minutes before
his shift was scheduled to begin and stated that he had a cold
and would be late for work because he had to fill a prescription.
Later that afternoon, well after Morris' shift had begun, he
called the office manger again and explained that he would not be
coming into work at all that day. O'Boyle fired Morris the next
day because: (1) Morris did not show up for work; (2) he failed
to comply with First Equity Mortgage's notification policy that
he call in at least three hours before the scheduled start time
of his shift to inform the office manager that he would be late;
and (3) he did not call back until at least four hours after his
shift began to inform the office manager that he would not be
coming into work at all. Thereafter, Morris filed the instant
lawsuit alleging racial and gender discrimination. DISCUSSION
As a threshold matter, this Court notes that Morris has not
alleged or claimed that he has filed a charge of discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") as he
is required to do so, and defendants have not addressed this
issue in their motion. A plaintiff must file an employment
discrimination complaint within 300 days of the alleged
discriminatory behavior. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e); see also
Slovinec v. Illinois Department of Human Services, 2004 WL
1114758, at *8 (N.D. Ill. 2004). If a plaintiff fails to file a
timely complaint with the EEOC, then he will be precluded from
bringing such a claim in federal court. Koelsch v. Betone Elec.
Corp., 46 F.3d 705, 707 (7th Cir. 1995).
In opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment,
Morris has attached copies of a Charge of Discrimination that he
claims to have submitted to the Illinois Labor Relations Board as
well as a wage claim application that he submitted to the
Illinois Department of Labor. These administrative filings are
not sufficient to satisfy his obligation to file a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC. However, Seventh Circuit authority
indicates that a plaintiff's administrative filing requirement is
not jurisdictional. Slovinec, 2004 WL 1114758, at *8, citing
Cheek v. W. & S. Life Ins., 31 F.3d 497, 499 (7th Cir. 1994).
Instead, meeting the administrative filing requirements is in the
nature of a "condition precedent" as opposed to a jurisdictional
As a procedural matter, this case should be dismissed because
there is no evidence in the record that Morris has complied with
the requirement that he, in fact, filed an EEOC complaint within
300 days of the alleged act of discrimination. Although Morris'
complaint is fatally deficient because there is no evidence
before us that he has filed a complaint with the EEOC, we nevertheless will address the merits of Morris' claim and
defendants' motion for summary judgment.
A. Summary Judgment Standard
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 DuPage, 715 F.2d 1238, 1243 (7th Cir.
1983). Conclusory allegations alone 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'l
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 a 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). 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).
In this case, Morris has failed to object properly and/or
respond to nearly all of defendants' asserted, and properly
supported, facts. Defendants O'Boyle and First Equity Mortgage
filed their statement of undisputed facts with supporting
affidavits, and Morris did not file a response to a single
statement of fact asserted by defendants. Instead, Morris
included a discussion of the alleged factual background in his
memorandum of law and also filed a separate document which
purports to be a six-paragraph statement of undisputed facts but
does not have a single citation to any supporting affidavits.
Morris, however, did submit a declaration of another
individual, Mary Russell, in support of his opposition to
defendants' motion, yet he does not cite this declaration in his
statement of facts. 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 Russell's
declaration which contains unsupported conclusory assertions that
do not appear to be based on personal knowledge. Because Morris
has failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1, we adopt defendants'
statement of the facts in deciding ...