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JONES v. I.L.A. LOCAL 1803

July 22, 2004.

I.L.A. LOCAL 1803, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge


This matter is before the court on Defendant International Longshoremen's Association Local 1803's ("ILA") motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we grant the motion for summary judgment in its entirety.


  ILA supplies Checkers based on work orders that its Secretary-Treasurer, Bror Johnson ("Johnson") receives from stevedoring companies in the Port of Chicago. Presently, work in the port has slowed significantly compared to prior years. For the past few years there have only been two stevedoring companies that have had collective bargaining agreement with ILA. As a consequence, work opportunities for longshoremen have been significantly reduced, and work has been sporadic. Members of ILA function as "Checkers." They keep a record of cargo being unloaded or loaded. Sometimes "Extras" are needed when the supply of regular Checkers with seniority who can work the next day is exhausted. The system of supplying Checkers has been in place for decades. Johnson, who has been Secretary-Treasurer for 21 years, must phone Checkers or Extras when a stevedoring company's work order is received. Because of the need to promptly fulfill the work order to supply Checkers for the next day, Johnson can not leave messages or wait for a return call that may never materialize. If a Checker or Extra does not answer the phone and Johnson cannot speak with the individual, he calls the next person.

  In late 2000 and early 2001, Johnson lost contact with Plaintiff Patricia Jones ("Jones"). He could never reach Jones by phone, and she never called him. Therefore Johnson stopped calling Jones as an Extra. Moreover, during this same period, Jones did not appear for the hiring shapes at her home local ILA 19. Thus, Johnson concluded that Jones was no longer interested in working on the docks.

  As a result, Jones filed a compliant against ILA alleging that her failure to receive further phone calls from Johnson to work as an Extra on the docks was due to discrimination based on sex, race, retaliation for opposing unlawful employment practices and for seeking to join ILA as a member, and disability. However, Jones has now withdrawn her claims of disability discrimination and retaliation based on alleged refusal of ILA to permit her to join as a member. Therefore, all that remains at issue is Jones' claim that she was discriminated against based on her sex and her race.


  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 the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). In seeking a grant of summary judgment the moving party must identify "those portions of `the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). This initial burden may be satisfied by presenting specific evidence on a particular issue or by pointing out "an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case." Id. at 325. Once the movant has met this burden, the non-moving party cannot simply rest on the allegations in the pleadings, but, "by affidavits or as otherwise provided for in [Rule 56], must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). A "genuine issue" in the context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). The court must consider the record as a whole, in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences that favor the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).


  I. Failure By Jones To Respond

  We note that Jones has not responded to the arguments presented by ILA in regards to the summary judgment motion or to ILA's Local Rule 56.1 statement of facts, thereby admitting the veracity of ILA's stated facts. On September 25, 2003, we gave the parties until January 12, 2004, to respond to dispositive motions that were filed by December 30, 2003. Jones failed to respond to ILA's summary judgment motion by January 12, 2004. Jones filed a motion seeking an extension of time to file an answer, but neither Jones nor her counsel appeared in court for her noticed motion and we denied the motion. On February 10, 2004, Jones filed a brief indicating that she would not be filing a response to the summary judgment motion.

  II. Whether Claim is Untimely

  ILA first argues that Jones' charge of discrimination was untimely. We agree. A Title VII plaintiff seeking to bring a claim in Illinois "must file a charge with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged discrimination." Bilow v. Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C., 277 F.3d 882, 892 (7th Cir. 2001). Jones alleges that the discrimination against her began in May of 2000, yet Jones admits that her charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") was not filed until September 5, 2001. Clearly the ...

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