The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Eugene W. Brown, Jr., filed suit against Defendant,
the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
Union. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated against
Plaintiff on the basis of his gender, in violation of Title VII,
by not properly acting on grievances filed by Plaintiff.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant retaliated against
Plaintiff, in violation of Title VII, after Plaintiff filed a
complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC") against Defendant. Presently before the Court is
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. For the following
reasons, that motion is granted.
Summary judgment is appropriate when no genuine issue of
material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Cincinnati Ins. Co. v.
Flanders Elec. Motor Serv., Inc., 40 F.3d 146, 150 (7th Cir.
1994). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment
rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or
defenses. . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986) (Celotex). Thus, although the moving party on a motion for summary judgment is responsible
for demonstrating to the court why there is no genuine issue of
material fact, the non-moving party must go beyond the face of
the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file to demonstrate, through
specific evidence, that a genuine issue of material fact exists
and to show that a rational jury could return a verdict in the
non-moving party's favor. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-27;
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254-56 (1986)
(Anderson); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (Matsushita); Waldridge v.
Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 923 (7th Cir. 1994).
Disputed facts are material when they might affect the outcome
of the suit. First Ind. Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08
(7th Cir. 1992). When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, a
court must view all inferences to be drawn from the facts in the
light most favorable to the opposing party. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 247-48; Popovits v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 185 F.3d 726,
731 (7th Cir. 1999). However, a metaphysical doubt will not
suffice. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. If the evidence is merely
colorable or is not significantly probative or is no more than a
scintilla, summary judgment may be granted. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 249-250.
Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment
of Rule 56.1(a) Statement of Facts is deficient in many respects;
it contains improper denials, evasive factual arguments which are
often unresponsive to Defendant's corresponding statement of
fact, and often lacks proper citation to evidence in the record.
These failures prevent a determination of which facts are
actually in controversy. Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se, Defendant, in accordance with Local Rule 56.2, advised
Plaintiff of his obligations under Local Rule 56.1. Plaintiff's failure to comply with Rule 56.1(b) results in
accepting as true all facts set out in a Rule 56.1(a) statement.
Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524,
527-28 (7th Cir. 2000). Plaintiff also failed to file his own
statement of material facts that are in dispute.
Even though Plaintiff failed to properly respond to Defendant's
statement of material facts, which are therefore deemed admitted,
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment will only be granted if
it can demonstrate that there is no genuine issue of material
fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See
Johnson v. Gudmundson, 35 F.3d 1104, 1112 (7th Cir. 1994).
Accordingly, the undisputed facts, for the purposes of this
motion, taken from Defendant's Local Rule 56.1(a) & (b)
statements of material facts (referred to herein as "Def.'s
56.1") and exhibits, are as follows.
Plaintiff is a male who was employed by the Illinois Department
of Public Aid until he was terminated on September 12, 2001.
Def.'s 56.1 ¶¶ 3-4. Plaintiff was a member of Defendant, a labor
organization that represents and collectively bargains for its
members, until his termination. Def.'s 56.1 ¶¶ 5-10.
Plaintiff filed a number of grievances against the Department
relating to: (1) harassment he allegedly suffered, (2) the
alleged denial of sick leave benefits, (3) obtaining a copy of
his personnel file, (4) the alleged failure to handle one of his
grievances properly, (5) retaliation by his supervisor, (6)
suspensions Plaintiff received, and (7) Plaintiff's use of
Department stationery for matters not related to the Department.
Def.'s 56.1 ¶¶ 31-33, 35-40. Plaintiff also filed a grievance
regarding an oral reprimand he received for tardiness;
eventually, this grievance was granted, and the reprimand was removed from Plaintiff's file.
Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 34; Def.'s Ex. D, Pl.'s Dep. Ex. 15. Plaintiff,
though, felt these grievances were not properly handled and were
not advanced to the proper levels because he was a male. Def.'s
56.1 ¶¶ 14-15.
Plaintiff only knows of three female employees on whose behalf
the Union filed grievances and whose grievances were resolved.
Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 68. These three females are the only evidence of
female employees' grievances which Plaintiff believes were
treated differently than his grievances. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 72.
One female filed a grievance challenging a written reprimand
she received for excessive tardiness. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 69; Def.'s
Ex. C, Pl.'s Dep. at 75-76; Def.'s Ex. D, Pl.'s Dep. Ex. 20. This
grievance was eventually resolved in favor of the female, and the
reprimand was removed from the female's file. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 69;
Def.'s Ex. C, Pl.'s Dep. at 77; Def.'s Ex. D, Pl.'s Dep. Ex. 20.
The second female filed a grievance concerning a safety hazard.
Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 70. Plaintiff is unaware of the third female's
basis for filing her grievances. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 71.
Before Plaintiff was terminated from his employment with the
Department, he was placed on administrative leave. Def.'s 56.1 ¶
48. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination
against Defendant with the EEOC, alleging that Defendant has not
properly acted upon his grievances. Def.'s 56.1 ¶¶ 11-12. Shortly
thereafter, Plaintiff was terminated from his position with the
Department because, for among other reasons, Plaintiff had
physically harassed other employees. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 49.
Defendant then filed a "priority" grievance against the
Department on Plaintiff's behalf. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 51. This
grievance was denied. Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 61. After representing
Plaintiff through the initial stages of his grievance, a
representative of Defendant chose not to advance Plaintiff's grievance to a higher stage because Defendant had
consistently lost past discharge claims involving charges of
physical harassment. Def.'s 56.1 ¶¶ 51, 52, 54-60, 62-64. At no
time during this grievance ...